A Kansas federal judge ruled on a law criminalizes someone who acts to “encourage” or “induce” illegal immigrants to enter or live in the country is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia said this law is “overbroad.” The case involved men who managed crews of workers who installed drywall and were convicted of hiring people who were in the country illegally. Judge Murguia also overturned the convictions.
A defendant’s lawyer Tom Bradshaw said of the ruling:
“The government was using this (law) to charge people who did nothing more than make a job available to an undocumented person, whether or not they had direct knowledge that the person was undocumented. The statute requires that when you ‘encourage’ or ‘induce,’ you know the person was here illegally. But the government has played loose with that.”
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco had previously ruled in a similar case that encouraging immigrants to be in the country illegally is protected speech under the First Amendment. Judge Murguia considered the Ninth Circuit’s decision in making his ruling, although Kansas is not in that district.
The law, 18 USC 1324(1)(A)(iv), was passed by Congress in 1952 and has been amended several times since then. Violations carry a sentence of up to five years in prison, with another five years added on if the defendant acted for “commercial advantage or private financial gain.”
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