(1) It shall be unlawful for any person, including any transportation company, or the owner, master, commanding officer, agent, charterer, or consignee of any vessel or aircraft, to bring to the United States from any place outside thereof (other than from foreign contiguous territory) any alien who does not have a valid passport and an unexpired visa, if a visa was required under this chapter or regulations issued thereunder.
(2) It is unlawful for an owner, agent, master, commanding officer, person in charge, purser, or consignee of a vessel or aircraft who is bringing an alien (except an alien crewmember) to the United States to take any consideration to be kept or returned contingent on whether an alien is admitted to, or ordered removed from, the United States.
If it appears to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that any alien has been so brought, such person, or transportation company, or the master, commanding officer, agent, owner, charterer, or consignee of any such vessel or aircraft, shall pay to the Commissioner a fine of $3,000 for each alien so brought and, except in the case of any such alien who is admitted, or permitted to land temporarily, in addition, an amount equal to that paid by such alien for his transportation from the initial point of departure, indicated in his ticket, to the port of arrival, such latter fine to be delivered by the Commissioner to the alien on whose account the assessment is made. No vessel or aircraft shall be granted clearance pending the determination of the liability to the payment of such fine or while such fine remains unpaid, except that clearance may be granted prior to the determination of such question upon the deposit of an amount sufficient to cover such fine, or of a bond with sufficient surety to secure the payment thereof approved by the Commissioner.
Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, such fine shall not be remitted or refunded, unless it appears to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that such person, and the owner, master, commanding officer, agent, charterer, and consignee of the vessel or aircraft, prior to the departure of the vessel or aircraft from the last port outside the United States, did not know, and could not have ascertained by the exercise of reasonable diligence, that the individual transported was an alien and that a valid passport or visa was required.
A fine under this section may be reduced, refunded, or waived under such regulations as the Attorney General shall prescribe in cases in which—
(1) the carrier demonstrates that it had screened all passengers on the vessel or aircraft in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Attorney General, or
(2) circumstances exist that the Attorney General determines would justify such reduction, refund, or waiver.
(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 8, §273, 66 Stat. 227; Pub. L. 101–649, title II, §201(b), title V, §543(a)(10), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 5014, 5058; Pub. L. 102–232, title III, §306(c)(4)(D), Dec. 12, 1991, 105 Stat. 1752; Pub. L. 103–416, title II, §§209(a), 216, 219(p), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4312, 4315, 4317; Pub. L. 104–208, div. C, title III, §§308(c)(3), (e)(13), 371(b)(8), title VI, §671(b)(6), (7), Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–616, 3009–620, 3009–645, 3009–722.)
Last modified: October 26, 2015