United States v. Sineneng-Smith

Federal law criminalizes “encouraging or inducing” an alien to come to or remain in the U.S. (so long as the encourager knows of or recklessly disregards the fact that the alien will be doing so illegally). That, says the Ninth Circuit, looks a whole lot like a law criminalizing speech. Tons of speech, including, for example, a grandmother’s saying to her undocumented grandson: “I encourage you to stay.” The scenario actually before the court is far less sympathetic. (Mail fraud featured prominently.) But even so, the court concludes, the law’s overbreadth makes it invalid under the First Amendment.

Tags: 2018, First Amendment, Free Speech, Immigration, Ninth Circuit, Overbreadth

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