2006 Federal Sentencing Guidelines
CHAPTER 2 - PART L - OFFENSES INVOLVING IMMIGRATION, NATURALIZATION, AND PASSPORTS
§2L1.1. Smuggling, Transporting, or Harboring an Unlawful Alien
(a) Base Offense Level:
(1) 25, if the defendant was convicted under 8 U.S.C. § 1327 of a violation involving an alien who was inadmissible under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3);
(2) 23, if the defendant was convicted under 8 U.S.C. § 1327 of a violation involving an alien who previously was deported after a conviction for an aggravated felony; or
(3) 12, otherwise.
(b) Specific Offense Characteristics
(1) If (A) the offense was committed other than for profit, or the offense involved the smuggling, transporting, or harboring only of the defendant’s spouse or child (or both the defendant’s spouse and child), and (B) the base offense level is determined under subsection (a)(2), decrease by 3 levels.
(2) If the offense involved the smuggling, transporting, or harboring of six or more unlawful aliens, increase as follows:
Number of Unlawful Aliens Smuggled, Transported, or Harbored
Increase in Level
100 or more
(3) If the defendant committed any part of the instant offense after sustaining (A) a conviction for a felony immigration and naturalization offense, increase by 2 levels; or (B) two (or more) convictions for felony immigration and naturalization offenses, each such conviction arising out of a separate prosecution, increase by 4 levels.
(4) If the defendant smuggled, transported, or harbored a minor who was unaccompanied by the minor’s parent or grandparent, increase by 2 levels.
(5) (Apply the Greatest):
(A) If a firearm was discharged, increase by 6 levels, but if the resulting offense level is less than level 22, increase to level 22.
(B) If a dangerous weapon (including a firearm) was brandished or otherwise used, increase by 4 levels, but if the resulting offense level is less than level 20, increase to level 20.
(C) If a dangerous weapon (including a firearm) was possessed, increase by 2 levels, but if the resulting offense level is less than level 18, increase to level 18.
(6) If the offense involved intentionally or recklessly creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another person, increase by 2 levels, but if the resulting offense level is less than level 18, increase to level 18.
(7) If any person died or sustained bodily injury, increase the offense level according to the seriousness of the injury:
Death or Degree of Injury
Increase in Level
add 2 levels
Serious Bodily Injury
add 4 levels
Permanent or Life-Threatening Bodily Injury
add 6 levels
add 10 levels.
(8) If an alien was involuntarily detained through coercion or threat, or in connection with a demand for payment, (A) after the alien was smuggled into the United States; or (B) while the alien was transported or harbored in the United States, increase by 2 levels. If the resulting offense level is less than level 18, increase to level 18.
(9) If the defendant was convicted under 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(4), increase by 2 levels.
(c) Cross Reference
(1) If death resulted, apply the appropriate homicide guideline from Chapter Two, Part A, Subpart 1, if the resulting offense level is greater than that determined under this guideline.
Statutory Provisions: 8 U.S.C. §§ 1324(a), 1327. For additional statutory provision(s), see Appendix A (Statutory Index).
1. Definitions.—For purposes of this guideline:
"The offense was committed other than for profit" means that there was no payment or expectation of payment for the smuggling, transporting, or harboring of any of the unlawful aliens.
"Number of unlawful aliens smuggled, transported, or harbored" does not include the defendant.
"Aggravated felony" is defined in the Commentary to §2L1.2 (Unlawfully Entering or Remaining in the United States).
"Child" has the meaning set forth in section 101(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. § 1101(b)(1)).
"Spouse" has the meaning set forth in 101(a)(35) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(35)).
"Immigration and naturalization offense" means any offense covered by Chapter Two, Part L.
"Minor" means an individual who had not attained the age of 16 years.
"Parent" means (A) a natural mother or father; (B) a stepmother or stepfather; or (C) an adoptive mother or father.
2. Interaction with §3B1.1.—
For the purposes of §3B1.1 (Aggravating Role), the aliens smuggled, transported, or harbored are not considered participants unless they actively assisted in the smuggling, transporting, or harboring of others.
In large scale smuggling, transporting, or harboring cases, an additional adjustment from §3B1.1 typically will apply.
3. Upward Departure Provisions.—An upward departure may be warranted in any of the following cases:
(A) The defendant smuggled, transported, or harbored an alien knowing that the alien intended to enter the United States to engage in subversive activity, drug trafficking, or other serious criminal behavior.
(B) The defendant smuggled, transported, or harbored an alien the defendant knew was inadmissible for reasons of security and related grounds, as set forth under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3).
(C) The offense involved substantially more than 100 aliens.
4. Prior Convictions Under Subsection (b)(3).—
Prior felony conviction(s) resulting in an adjustment under subsection (b)(3) are also counted for purposes of determining criminal history points pursuant to Chapter Four, Part A (Criminal History).
5. Application of Subsection (b)(6).—
Reckless conduct to which the adjustment from subsection (b)(6) applies includes a wide variety of conduct (e.g., transporting persons in the trunk or engine compartment of a motor vehicle, carrying substantially more passengers than the rated capacity of a motor vehicle or vessel, or harboring persons in a crowded, dangerous, or inhumane condition). If subsection (b)(6) applies solely on the basis of conduct related to fleeing from a law enforcement officer, do not apply an adjustment from §3C1.2 (Reckless Endangerment During Flight). Additionally, do not apply the adjustment in subsection (b)(6) if the only reckless conduct that created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury is conduct for which the defendant received an enhancement under subsection (b)(5).
6. Inapplicability of §3A1.3.—If an enhancement under subsection (b)(8) applies, do not apply §3A1.3 (Restraint of Victim).
Background: This section includes the most serious immigration offenses covered under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.