Admissibility of Alien Amnesty Application Information in Prosecutions of Third Parties: Memorandum for the Inspector General, Department of Justice [December 22, 1993]   [open pdf - 46KB]

"This memorandum responds to your request for our legal opinion on whether the confidentiality provisions of 8 U.S.C. § 1255a(c)(5) bar Justice Department prosecutors from introducing evidence consisting of information submitted as part of an illegal alien's application for amnesty in a criminal prosecution of a third party. We conclude that (1) the introduction of such evidence is generally barred under the plain language of the statute but (2) it is not barred by the statute in the prosecution of third parties for crimes (e.g., the acceptance of a bribe by a government official for approving a false amnesty application) that facilitate or are closely related to the false amnesty application violations covered by 8 U.S.C. § 1255a(c)(6). It should also be noted that a defendant who is not himself the alien whose amnesty application file is used in violation of the statute would not likely have standing to move for suppression of (c)(5) information. However, Justice Department use of amnesty application information is also subject to a specific regulation promulgated by INS, and that regulation limits use against third parties to the prosecution of persons who have 'created or supplied a false writing or document for use in [an amnesty application].' 8 C.F.R. § 245a.2(t)(3), (4) (1993). We believe that language would generally allow use of (c)(5) material to prosecute INS employees who take bribes to approve false amnesty applications, based on the reasoning that such an employee participates in the creation of falsified documents used in an amnesty application."

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