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Decriminalizing Border Crossings

31 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2010  

Victor C. Romero

Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law

Date Written: November 22, 2010


An international border crosser should only be deemed a criminal if the United States government can prove that, with requisite criminal intent, she engaged in an act aside from crossing the border that would constitute a crime. No longer should crossing the border be a strict liability criminal offense. Doing so will restore balance to the civil immigration system, conserve scarce enforcement resources to target truly criminal behavior, enhance our standing abroad, and help heal our racially-polarized discourse on immigration policy.

Suggested Citation

Romero, Victor C., Decriminalizing Border Crossings (November 22, 2010). Fordham Urban Law Journal, Forthcoming; The Pennsylvania State University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 42-2010. Available at SSRN:

Victor C. Romero (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law ( email )

Lewis Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States
814.865.8989 (Phone)

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