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Overcriminalization

"Overcriminalization" describes the trends in America - and particulary in Congress - to use the criminal law to "solve" every problem, punish every mistake (instead of making proper use of civil penalties), and coerce Americans into conforming their behavior to satisfy social engineering objectives.

S 523: A bill to provide for enhanced criminal penalties for individuals who file a SEVP certification petition under false pretenses.

Official Title

A bill to provide for enhanced criminal penalties for individuals who file a SEVP certification petition under false pretenses.

Analysis

This bill would increase the applicable criminal penalty for individuals who commit visa fraud by filing a petition for certification or recertification with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) under false pretenses. Specifically, S. 523 would make it a federal crime for a person “representing himself or herself as a principal, officer, or director of an educational institution” to “knowingly, and for pecuniary gain” file under false pretenses a “petition for certification or recertification with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program for attendance at such institution of nonimmigrant students.” Attempted false pretense filings or conspiracy to file fraudulent SEVP petitions would also be subject to criminal sanction under the bill. Violations of any of S. 523’s criminal provisions would be punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment, fines under Title 18 of the U.S. Code, or both. This bill would provide federal prosecutors with yet another statutory basis for prosecuting alleged incidents of visa fraud despite the fact that such violations are already punishable under 18 U.S.C. § 1546, 18 U.S.C. § 1001, and 18 U.S.C. § 371, among other statutes and regulations.

Legislation Details
SPONSOR

Schumer (D - NY)

STATUS:

03/09/2011: Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee
03/09/2011: Introduced in Senate