United States Attorney Chris Christie issued a statement today clarifying a remark he made at a public forum in Dover over the weekend.
At the event, sponsored by the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey and hosted by the United Methodist Church at Dover, The Star-Ledger quoted Christie saying that “being in this country without proper documentation is not a crime.”
In today’s statement, The U.S. Attorney’s office wrote that being here without proper documentation and sneaking across the United States border are not the same.
“U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie was asked a direct question on Sunday at a
community forum regarding whether being in the United States without proper documentation as a ‘crime.’ The U.S. Attorney responded that the simple act of being in the United States without proper documentation is not a criminal act under federal law. He further stated that this is typically enforced administratively by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement through deportation hearings. That is correct,” reads the statement.
“This is different from entering into the United States without going through the proper immigration channels, or entering through fraud. That is a federal misdemeanor under Title 8 U.S.C. Section 1325. He did not say, nor did he mean, that entering this country through any means other than the appropriate immigration channels is a lawful act. It is not.”