Federal court strikes down law against “encouraging” unlawful immigration
A new federal ruling strikes down a law that made it a felony to encourage an immigrant to illegally enter or live in the US.
The 9th US circuit court of appeals said on Tuesday that the law violates the First Amendment, because it criminalizes protected speech.
For example, the statute, for example, would make it illegal for a grandmother to urge her grandson to ignore limits on his visa by encouraging him to stay in the US.
The law predates the Trump administration and its hardline stance on immigration.
But the new ruling came from the case of Filipina immigration consultant, Evelyn Sineneng-Smith, who was convicted of fraud.
She had also been convicted of two counts of encouraging an immigrant to remain in the country for financial gain.
Sineneng-Smith appealed those two convictions as unconstitutional, and the 9th circuit’s ruling overturned them.