Supreme Court hears case of man who offered non-citizens adult adoptions

Washington –

The Supreme Court on Monday falsely claimed that a man convicted of violating immigration law by offering an adult adoption would lead him to citizenship.

Attorneys for Helaman Hansen told the judge during his nearly 90-minute argument that the law he was convicted of was too broad. However, a particularly conservative majority in the court seemed ready to conclude otherwise, in favor of the government.

Judge Neil Gorsuch said the law “has been on the books for 70 years” even without some of the issues Hansen’s lawyers were concerned about. He also expressed no sympathy for Hansen himself, who said he “takes advantage of very vulnerable people.”

Gorsuch said, “He had every intention of staying here for these people to receive money without any real prospect of obtaining citizenship.”

The case says that someone like Hansen who “encourages or induces” noncitizens to enter or remain in the United States illegally could be sentenced to up to five years in prison. It has to do with a passage of federal immigration law.

Between 2012 and 2016, Hansen, who lived in Elk Grove, near Sacramento, California, tricked hundreds of noncitizens into believing he could guarantee them a path to citizenship through adult adoption, according to the federal government. I let

Under Hansen’s promise, people entered and stayed in the United States in violation of the law, officials said. The government says at least 471 of his people paid him his $10,000 out of his $550, and in total he raised more than $1.8 million.

Hansen was eventually convicted of encouragement and fraud. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for encouragement and another 20 years for fraud. However, a federal appeals court overturned those convictions, holding that the encouragement statute was broad and violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.

Three liberal Supreme Court justices appeared more concerned about the scope of the law. Justice Elena Cagan asked, “What happens to all cases if a lawyer, doctor, neighbor, friend, or teacher says to a foreigner, ‘I really think you should stay. prosecuted under the law.

But Brian Fletcher, an endorser of the Biden administration, said it wasn’t the kind of case the government would pursue, pointing to the government’s decades-long history of using the law. He seemed to believe that explanation.

Judgment in US v. Helaman Hansen, 22-179 is expected by the end of June.

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