8 USC Sec. 1253 01/05/2009
TITLE 8 - ALIENS AND NATIONALITY
CHAPTER 12 - IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY
SUBCHAPTER II - IMMIGRATION
Part V - Adjustment and Change of Status
Sec. 1253. Penalties related to removal
(a) Penalty for failure to depart
(1) In general
Any alien against whom a final order of removal is outstanding
by reason of being a member of any of the classes described in
section 1227(a) of this title, who -
(A) willfully fails or refuses to depart from the United
States within a period of 90 days from the date of the final
order of removal under administrative processes, or if judicial
review is had, then from the date of the final order of the
(B) willfully fails or refuses to make timely application in
good faith for travel or other documents necessary to the
(C) connives or conspires, or takes any other action,
designed to prevent or hamper or with the purpose of preventing
or hampering the alien's departure pursuant to such, or
(D) willfully fails or refuses to present himself or herself
for removal at the time and place required by the Attorney
General pursuant to such order,
shall be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than four
years (or 10 years if the alien is a member of any of the classes
described in paragraph (1)(E), (2), (3), or (4) of section
1227(a) of this title), or both.
It is not a violation of paragraph (1) to take any proper steps
for the purpose of securing cancellation of or exemption from
such order of removal or for the purpose of securing the alien's
release from incarceration or custody.
The court may for good cause suspend the sentence of an alien
under this subsection and order the alien's release under such
conditions as the court may prescribe. In determining whether
good cause has been shown to justify releasing the alien, the
court shall take into account such factors as -
(A) the age, health, and period of detention of the alien;
(B) the effect of the alien's release upon the national
security and public peace or safety;
(C) the likelihood of the alien's resuming or following a
course of conduct which made or would make the alien
(D) the character of the efforts made by such alien himself
and by representatives of the country or countries to which the
alien's removal is directed to expedite the alien's departure
from the United States;
(E) the reason for the inability of the Government of the
United States to secure passports, other travel documents, or
removal facilities from the country or countries to which the
alien has been ordered removed; and
(F) the eligibility of the alien for discretionary relief
under the immigration laws.
(b) Willful failure to comply with terms of release under
An alien who shall willfully fail to comply with regulations or
requirements issued pursuant to section 1231(a)(3) of this title or
knowingly give false information in response to an inquiry under
such section shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for
not more than one year, or both.
(c) Penalties relating to vessels and aircraft
(1) Civil penalties
(A) Failure to carry out certain orders
If the Attorney General is satisfied that a person has
violated subsection (d) or (e) of section 1231 of this title,
the person shall pay to the Commissioner the sum of $2,000 for
(B) Failure to remove alien stowaways
If the Attorney General is satisfied that a person has failed
to remove an alien stowaway as required under section
1231(d)(2) of this title, the person shall pay to the
Commissioner the sum of $5,000 for each alien stowaway not
(C) No compromise
The Attorney General may not compromise the amount of such
penalty under this paragraph.
(2) Clearing vessels and aircraft
(A) Clearance before decision on liability
A vessel or aircraft may be granted clearance before a
decision on liability is made under paragraph (1) only if a
bond approved by the Attorney General or an amount sufficient
to pay the civil penalty is deposited with the Commissioner.
(B) Prohibition on clearance while penalty unpaid
A vessel or aircraft may not be granted clearance if a civil
penalty imposed under paragraph (1) is not paid.
(d) Discontinuing granting visas to nationals of country denying or
delaying accepting alien
On being notified by the Attorney General that the government of
a foreign country denies or unreasonably delays accepting an alien
who is a citizen, subject, national, or resident of that country
after the Attorney General asks whether the government will accept
the alien under this section, the Secretary of State shall order
consular officers in that foreign country to discontinue granting
immigrant visas or nonimmigrant visas, or both, to citizens,
subjects, nationals, and residents of that country until the
Attorney General notifies the Secretary that the country has
accepted the alien.
(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 5, Sec. 243, 66 Stat. 212;
Pub. L. 89-236, Sec. 11(f), Oct. 3, 1965, 79 Stat. 918; Pub. L. 95-
549, title I, Sec. 104, Oct. 30, 1978, 92 Stat. 2066; Pub. L. 96-
212, title II, Sec. 203(e), Mar. 17, 1980, 94 Stat. 107; Pub. L.
97-116, Sec. 18(i), Dec. 29, 1981, 95 Stat. 1620; Pub. L. 101-649,
title V, Sec. 515(a)(2), title VI, Sec. 603(b)(3), Nov. 29, 1990,
104 Stat. 5053, 5085; Pub. L. 104-132, title IV, Sec. 413(a), (f),
Apr. 24, 1996, 110 Stat. 1269; Pub. L. 104-208, div. C, title III,
Sec. 307(a), Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009-612.)
1996 - Pub. L. 104-208 amended section generally. Prior to
amendment, section consisted of subsecs. (a) to (h) relating to
countries to which aliens were to be deported.
Subsec. (h)(2). Pub. L. 104-132, Sec. 413(a), inserted at end
"For purposes of subparagraph (D), an alien who is described in
section 1251(a)(4)(B) of this title shall be considered to be an
alien for whom there are reasonable grounds for regarding as a
danger to the security of the United States."
Subsec. (h)(3). Pub. L. 104-132, Sec. 413(f), added par. (3)
which read as follows: "Notwithstanding any other provision of law,
paragraph (1) shall apply to any alien if the Attorney General
determines, in the discretion of the Attorney General, that -
"(A) such alien's life or freedom would be threatened, in the
country to which such alien would be deported or returned, on
account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a
particular social group, or political opinion; and
"(B) the application of paragraph (1) to such alien is
necessary to ensure compliance with the 1967 United Nations
Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees."
1990 - Subsec. (h)(1). Pub. L. 101-649, Sec. 603(b)(3),
substituted "1251(a)(4)(D)" for "1251(a)(19)".
Subsec. (h)(2). Pub. L. 101-649, Sec. 515(a)(2), inserted
sentence at end relating to aliens who have been convicted of
1981 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97-116 inserted a comma after
"subject" in fourth sentence.
1980 - Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 96-212 substituted provisions
relating to deportation or return of an alien where the Attorney
General determines that the return would threaten the life or
freedom of the alien on account of race, religion, nationality,
membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, for
provisions relating to withholding of deportation for any necessary
period of time where the Attorney General decides the alien would
be subject to persecution on account of race, religion, or
1978 - Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 95-549 inserted "(other than an alien
described in section 1251(a) of this title)" before "within the
1965 - Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 89-236 substituted "persecution on
account of race, religion, or political opinion" for "physical
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1996 AMENDMENTS
Amendment by Pub. L. 104-208 effective, with certain transitional
provisions, on the first day of the first month beginning more than
180 days after Sept. 30, 1996, see section 309 of Pub. L. 104-208,
set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.
Section 413(g) of Pub. L. 104-132 provided that: "The amendments
made by this section [amending this section and sections 1254,
1255, and 1259 of this title] shall take effect on the date of the
enactment of this Act [Apr. 24, 1996] and shall apply to
applications filed before, on, or after such date if final action
has not been taken on them before such date."
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1990 AMENDMENT
Amendment by section 515(a)(2) of Pub. L. 101-649 applicable to
convictions entered before, on, or after Nov. 29, 1990, and to
applications for withholding of deportation made on or after such
date, see section 515(b)(2) of Pub. L. 101-649, as amended, set out
as a note under section 1158 of this title.
Amendment by section 603(b)(3) of Pub. L. 101-649 not applicable
to deportation proceedings for which notice has been provided to
the alien before Mar. 1, 1991, see section 602(d) of Pub. L. 101-
649, set out as a note under section 1227 of this title.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1981 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 97-116 effective Dec. 29, 1981, see section
21(a) of Pub. L. 97-116, set out as a note under section 1101 of
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1980 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 96-212 effective Mar. 17, 1980, and
applicable to fiscal years beginning with the fiscal year beginning
Oct. 1, 1979, see section 204 of Pub. L. 96-212, set out as a note
under section 1101 of this title.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1965 AMENDMENT
For effective date of amendment by Pub. L. 89-236, see section 20
of Pub. L. 89-236, set out as a note under section 1151 of this
ABOLITION OF IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE AND TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS
For abolition of Immigration and Naturalization Service, transfer
of functions, and treatment of related references, see note set out
under section 1551 of this title.
REFERENCES TO ORDER OF REMOVAL DEEMED TO INCLUDE ORDER OF EXCLUSION AND DEPORTATION
For purposes of carrying out this chapter, any reference in law
to an order of removal is deemed to include a reference to an order
of exclusion and deportation or an order of deportation, see
section 309(d)(2) of Pub. L. 104-208, set out in an Effective Date
of 1996 Amendments note under section 1101 of this title.
SENSE OF CONGRESS RESPECTING TREATMENT OF CUBAN POLITICAL PRISONERS
Pub. L. 99-603, title III, Sec. 315(c), Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat.
3440, as amended by Pub. L. 104-208, div. C, title III, Sec.
308(g)(7)(C)(i), Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009-623, provided that:
"It is the sense of the Congress that the Secretary of State should
provide for the issuance of visas to nationals of Cuba who are or
were imprisoned in Cuba for political activities without regard to
section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C.