Sunday, April 2, 2023

Supreme Court Skeptical of Man Who Offered Adult Adoptions; Gorsuch Leads Supreme Court's Skeptics Over 'adult adoption' Immigration Scheme

Supreme Court skeptical of man who offered adult adoptions:
The Supreme Court seemed inclined Monday to rule against a man convicted of violating immigration law for offering adult adoptions he falsely claimed would lead to citizenship.
Attorneys for Helaman Hansen told the justices during approximately 90 minutes of arguments that the law he was convicted of violating was too broad. But the court’s conservative majority in particular seemed willing to side with the government and conclude that it is not.
Justice Neil Gorsuch noted that the law “has been on the books for 70 years” without some of the issues Hansen’s lawyers worried about. He also expressed no sympathy for Hansen himself, who he said was “taking advantage of very vulnerable people.”
“He had every intent in the world to keep these people here to take their money with no prospect they’d ever” actually get citizenship, Gorsuch said.
The case involves a section of federal immigration law that says a person such as Hansen who “encourages or induces” a non-citizen to come to or remain in the United States illegally can be punished by up to five years in prison. That’s increased to up to 10 years if the person doing the encouraging is doing so for their own financial gain. --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo/Santi Palacios
Gorsuch leads Supreme Court's skeptics over 'adult adoption' immigration scheme:
The Supreme Court did not appear swayed to rule in favor of a man convicted of immigration law violations for offering so-called "adult adoptions" he claimed would lead to citizenship, prompting overt skepticism by Justice Neil Gorsuch.
The case surrounds Helaman Hansen, who from 2012 to 2016 organized a program charging as much as $10,000 to 471 people for participation in what he promised would lead to their eventual citizenship. Attorneys for the petitioner brought their case to the high court after arguing the law he was convicted of violating was overly broad and stifled his First Amendment rights.
But Gorsuch, an appointee of former President Donald Trump and one of the six conservative justices on the court, appeared strikingly unconvinced that Hansen's argument was in good faith, arguing, "He is taking advantage of vulnerable people."
“He had every intent in the world to keep these people here to take their money with no prospect they'd ever” attain citizenship, Gorsuch added.
The law Hansen is challenging asserts that anyone who "encourages or induces" a non-citizen to come to the United States illegally can be punished by up to five years in prison. There is an added penalty of up to 10 years in prison if the person performing the act is doing it for financial gain.
The U.S. government said Hansen convinced at least 471 people to pay him between $550 and $10,000, which amounted to more than $1.8 million.
Hansen's attorneys want the justices to find the law is "facially unconstitutional on First Amendment overbreadth grounds," arguing it prohibits a substantial amount of free speech, according to the petition.
Hansen was sentenced to 10 years in prison on encouragement charges and an additional 20 years for fraud charges. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the law was overly broad and violated his free speech rights and overturned the encouragement charges. --->READ MORE HERE
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