To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act and title 18, United States Code, to combat the crime of alien smuggling and related activities, and for other purposes.
3/31/2009--Passed House amended. (There is 1 other summary)
Alien Smuggling and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2009 - (Sec. 3) Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to check against all available terrorist watchlists persons suspected of alien smuggling and smuggled individuals who are interdicted at U.S. land, air, and sea borders.
(Sec. 4) Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to specify the following criminal penalties for individuals convicted of smuggling unlawful aliens into the United States (applicable to each alien for whom the offense applies): (1) fine and/or up to five years incarceration for smuggling; (2) fine and/or up to one year incarceration for transit of the defendant's spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, or niece or nephew; (3) fine and/or up to 10 years incarceration for recruiting to enter, or harboring or transporting in the United States for profit, commercial advantage, or private financial gain; (4) fine and/or incarceration for 3 to 10 years for a first or second offense of knowingly bringing an illegal alieninto the United States for profit, commercial advantage, or private financial gain, or if the offense was committed with the intent or reason to believe that the individual will commit a federal or state offense punishable by more than one year's incarceration, and 5 to 15 years incarceration for any subsequent violation; (5) fine and/or up to 20 years incarceration if the offense results in serious bodily injury or jeopardizes a person's life; (6) fine and/or up to 30 years incarceration if the defendant knew the individual was a terrorist or intended to engage in terrorist activity; (7) fine and/or incarceration for any term of years/or life if the offense involves kidnaping or attempt to kidnap, the conduct required for aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill; and (8) fine and subject to the death penalty or incarceration for any term of years/or life if the offense results in the death of any person.
Provides extraterritorial jurisdiction over such offenses.
Limits a defense of necessity for knowingly bringing an illegal alien into the United States from the high seas.
Exempts from certain of such violations (transporting or harboring in the United States, or recruiting or encouraging to reside in the United States) a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the United States (or its agents or officers) that encourages, invites, or enables an alien who is present in the United States to serve as a volunteer minister or missionary for such organization in the United States, provided the minister or missionary has been a member of the denomination for at least one year.
(Sec. 5) Amends federal criminal law to specify the following maritime penalties (in addition to the current fine/five-year incarceration): (1) fine and/or up to 10 years incarceration for offenses committed in the course of smuggling, trafficking, shipping, stolen property, drug, and other offenses; (2) fine and/or up to 15 years incarceration for offenses resulting in serious bodily injury or transportation under inhumane conditions; or (3) fine and/or incarceration for any term of years/or life if the offense results in death or involves kidnaping or attempt to kidnap, the conduct required for aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit such abuse, or an attempt to kill.
Limits a defense of necessity with respect to such maritime enforcement.
Defines "transportation under inhumane conditions" as the transportation of persons in an engine compartment, storage compartment, or other confined space, transportation at an excessive speed, transportation of a number of persons in excess of the rated capacity of the means of transportation, or intentionally grounding a vessel in which persons are being transported.
(Sec. 6) Directs the United States Sentencing Commission to review and amend as appropriate sentencing guidelines and policy statements applicable to persons convicted of alien smuggling offenses and criminal failure to heave to or obstruction of boarding.
Directs the Commission to consider sentencing enhancements for offenses that: (1) involve a pattern of continued and flagrant violations; (2) are part of an ongoing commercial organization or enterprise; (3) involve aliens who were transported in groups of 10 or more; (4) involve the transportation or abandonment of aliens in a manner that endangered their lives; or (5) involve the facilitation of terrorist activity.
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