Putting TRAC to Work
  Legal and Scholarly
Texas A&M University School of Law
March 8, 2018

Invoking Common Law Defenses in Immigration Cases
By Fatma E. Marouf

Prosecutions for immigration violations currently comprise fifty-two percent of all federal criminal prosecutions. The common-law defenses of necessity, duress, and insanity have been routinely considered in cases involving federal prosecutions for illegal entry; illegal reentry; alien smuggling; misuse of documents; and resisting departure under a deportation order. The legal hurdle that defendants face in these types of cases is not whether courts have the authority to consider common law defenses, which is taken for granted in the criminal context, but whether the defense meets the threshold requirements to present to a jury......[Citing TRAC research].

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