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"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.

HR 3823: Adjusted Residency for Military Service Act (ARMS Act)

Official Title

A bill to authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain aliens who are long-term United States residents and who entered the United States as children, and for other purposes.


This bill establishes a regime for canceling deportation orders for illegal aliens who have been in the country for at least 5 years but entered when they were under 16 years old. It would give them the status of “conditional nonimmigrant” and allow them to enlist in the armed forces. In turn, the bill would create a criminal offense for anyone who files an application under the act and “willfully and knowingly falsifies, misrepresents, or conceals a material fact or makes any false or fraudulent statement or representation, or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false or fraudulent statement or entry.” Although the bill uses a moderately strong intent term “willfully” it is unclear if the term would apply to all of the prohibited conduct, as it may be too far removed from some of the final clauses. Furthermore, several other statutes already exist that would likely prohibit this conduct. A violation is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine under Title 18, U.S. Code.

Legislation Details

Rivera (R - FL)


01/24/2012: Referred to House Ways and Means Committee
01/24/2012: Referred to House Judiciary Committee
01/24/2012: Referred to House Armed Services Committee
2/23/2012: Referred to the Subcommittee on Military Personnel