Five Years for 'Encouraging' Illegal Immigration


House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), who never saw a criminal penalty that couldn't be improved by making it harsher, has introduced a bill that would impose a three-year mandatory minimum sentence on anyone who, with an expectation of financial gain, "assists, encourages, directs, or induces" two or more foreigners to illegally reside in the U.S. The penalty rises to five years if the encouragement leads to a crime punishable by more than a year in prison. Families Against Mandatory Minimums notes that "the five-year mandatory minimum will nearly always apply because the bill would also increase the maximum penalty for illegal entry to a year and a day and provides mandatory minimum penalties of one to 10 years for those who reenter the country following deportation." Sensenbrenner's committee is scheduled to vote on the bill today, without any hearings.