Hannah Hamley


Federal law 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii), commonly referred to as the “Alien Harboring” statute, was passed sixty-eight years ago and has been used as a weapon against immigrants and their allies. Spanning back decades, numerous scholars, alarmed by the dangerous use of the statute, have written about its muddled congressional intent and the unclear definition of “harboring.” These issues continue to be relevant and are foundational concerns with the enforcement of the harboring statute. However, in the era of President Donald J. Trump, we are faced with a new danger. We are confronted with an Administration that is ferociously anti-immigrant and that wields the dangerous weapon of the amorphous, fear-inducing 8 U.S.C. § 1324. Under the Trump Administration, more and more people have been prosecuted or threatened with prosecution under the harboring statute. The government has used this statute to: (1) harass and prosecute nonprofit organizations and good Samaritans who offer assistance to immigrants; (2) coerce immigrants and their families and friends into complying with the government’s demands; (3) strip DACAmented individuals of their deferred action status; and (4) initiate deportation proceedings. This Note proposes a rewrite of the harboring statute and a victim-protection companion statute to convert 8 USC 1324 from a sword to a shield.