How Crossing the Border Became a Crime

This is the history of Section 1325 — the federal law used to justify family separations at the border.

Has the U.S. ever been "Borderless"?

A little-known provision of U.S. immigration law is taking the spotlight in the 2020 election. Section 1325 is a federal law used to justify family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. The law makes entering the U.S. outside of a port of entry a federal misdemeanor. Though authorities could still deport immigrants who hadn’t gone through an official entry point, they couldn’t be detained and prosecuted for a federal crime. But that all changed in 1929 when the U.S. passed a bill to restrict a group of immigrants it hadn’t really focused on before: people who crossed the U.S.-Mexican border.

The origin of Section 1325 goes back to 1929, when South Carolina senator and avowed white supremacist Coleman Livingston Blease introduced a bill into Congress. Several years later, in 1929, this new law was passed to create a crime for individuals who were coming to the United States outside of that quota-based process. For decades, Section 1325 was rarely enforced. Those caught crossing the border were deported without criminal prosecution. That changed in 2005 in George W. Bush’s administration.

There were about 40,000 Criminal prosecutions for immigration that year according to data from Syracuse University. Under President Barack Obama, immigration criminal prosecutions went up to 90,000 in 2013. In defending its “zero tolerance” border policy that has caused the separation of families, the Trump administration has argued that the Obama and Bush administrations did this too. That’s misleading. Experts say there were some separations under previous administrations, but no blanket policy to prosecute parents and, therefore, separate them from their children. In 2018, criminal prosecutions for immigration reached about 100,000. Section 1325 enabled the Trump administration to separate children from their parents. Castro says he will repeal Section 1325 and have civil courts handle deportations. Former congressman Beto O’Rourke disagrees and the battle of U.S. immigration continues on.


07/03/2019 11:57 AMupdated: 07/03/2019 2:34 PM


  • Robert D.
    07/30/2019 01:02

    Wow the swamp raised there hands

  • Jon F.
    07/29/2019 23:29

    Lock them all up

  • Steven P.
    07/29/2019 03:36

    A law is a law is a law! Like the libtards always like to say woo a country of laws! 00 except when the laws don't suit them! If you don't like the law then get it changed

  • Ukuta M.
    07/29/2019 03:33

    Should be shoot on sight!

  • Mark B.
    07/28/2019 22:14

    Do you not under stand there bringing children with them so parents can stay also and a lot of these illegal immigrants are useing children that's not even there's because the United States will not let these children be alone in this country and that's a law and the illegal immigrants no that the United States of America will support them on a free ride there immigrants here in my town that came over in the Obama administration that are getting food stamps and cash assistance and are still not legal in this country 4 adults 6 children living in 1 apparent and the adults are working I don't under stand we have a lot of homeless veterans and children that are American citizen they are sleeping on streets and our government turn there backs on them the veterans put their lives on the line for every one in this country but no help shame on the people in Congress im not Democrat or a Republican im a American citizen for this country

  • Don B.
    07/27/2019 21:25

    The parents should be charged with cruelty to their children making them sleep on the ground,little food and drinking water. Protect the children from BAD parents. They must go through a port of entry. We cannot allow child abuse!

  • Kim B.
    07/27/2019 11:38

    It’s a crime in every country in the world to come in illegally. The US is no different. Try crossing the border illegally in any other country in the world and see how fast you’re arrested if not shot on sight. The US and it’s citizens have the right to protect it’s borders from illegal entry.

  • Howard M.
    07/24/2019 03:05

    Jeh Johnson said it was necessary during the Obama admin and it.still is. Crickets from the corrupt media.

  • Janet R.
    07/23/2019 22:57

    No it's a crime crossing illegally... Port of entry , so paperwork and do it Legally

  • Mike M.
    07/23/2019 16:00

    The left wants as many as possible to come in and then wants to give them a rite to vote because that is the only way one of them will make it into potus.

  • Mac W.
    07/23/2019 03:35

    We send money to all these countries, but the corrupt government does not use it to improve their citizens lives. Just like the hurricane relief we sent to Puerto Rico

  • Martin S.
    07/22/2019 22:54

    Tell that to all the parents that lost loved ones to these illegals. If you cross illegally you are a criminal!!!!!!!!!

  • Ruben C.
    07/19/2019 19:37

    So why hasn’t congress changed the law?🤷🏽‍♂️ they’ve had plenty of time.

  • Mike R.
    07/18/2019 17:21

    I guess this post does not comprehend the term equal rights. So we are going to treat children differently from other country than our own. Then additionally you are going to throw kids in a group of adults not their parents. So what these democratic fools want now is to cry about children being raped in custody with their plan from others in the holding facility. Who ever come up with this idea has a IQ in the negatives.

  • Henry C.
    07/18/2019 13:37

    I still think it’s a crime but like tearing families apart that’s one of those lines that like you don’t cross you just don’t do that.

  • James E.
    07/17/2019 19:42

    And these are the dumbasses that's running for PRESIDENT???!!!!! NO THANK YOU!!!!!!

  • Jay K.
    07/17/2019 03:14

    What are these idiots called oh the idiots

  • Eric P.
    07/15/2019 14:25

    Should be a felony. Add a 10 year prison term before deportation and watch people figure out how to respect our laws.

  • John P.
    07/15/2019 12:34

    If I broke the law with my kids with me I would be separated from my kids. Why should they be different?

  • Dan P.
    07/15/2019 02:27

    Come illegally- deported, no criminal record. Back of the line for legal entry. Do it again, same thing. 3rd strike- banned entry. It's that simple

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