Alien Smuggling: What It Is and How It Can Affect Immigrants

Alien smuggling can affect an immigrant in several different ways:  Alien smuggling is a ground of inadmissibility, a ground of deportability, a bar to good moral character, and a conviction for alien smuggling is an aggravated felony.  Screening for alien smuggling is particularly important in light of Secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland Security John Kelly’s memoranda directing his agency to prioritize immigration enforcement against alien smugglers, and U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Sessions’ directive to federal prosecutors to prioritize prosecution of alien smuggling.  This practice advisory will walk through what “alien smuggling” is, how it can affect an immigrant client in each of these contexts, and practice tips for when alien smuggling might come up in your client’s case.