How will we deal with questions regarding illegal immigration/immigrants?

2 Answers 2


I think there will be three types of questions regarding illegal immigrants/immigration:

  1. Legal questions: such as asking how to change the illegal status to legal. IMO, These should be allowed.
  2. Illegal questions: such as asking how to enter x country illegally. IMO, These should be closed.
  3. Gray zone questions: such as how to get health care if you are an illegal immigrant. These are tricky, I think common sense should be applied.

Off-topic as per the scope defined in the help center. It's not reasonable to expect an answer to a question about ways you can illegally enter (country), therefore the question itself isn't on-topic here.

As you said, if someone realized Oh no, I overstayed my visa! - I think we can help them to the best of our ability, depending on the question. Sometimes that might just be "contact an immigration attorney".

<Tongue In Cheek>

Is it better to swim, or cross by land to sneak into [country]?

  • Put on hold as primarily opinion based by ............

</Tongue In Cheek>

I don't think we'll see too many on the illegal or 'gray' scale of them, at least I hope not. All kidding aside, these 'help me do something immoral/illegal/unethical' questions can generally be closed for multiple reasons, so it's not very difficult to deal with them.

If these were to become a problem, we do have custom close reasons, but let's not spend too much time on problems until we actually have them - or it's clear that we will.

  • I think for clear questions no one will argue that it should be closed, but in some cases, for example seeking medical care in Saudi Arabia, if the hospital provides a medical care to an illegal immigrant the hospital will be in trouble, they have to report the case before they start any care. That's the kind of questions which look legal but they are not. Mar 14, 2014 at 11:20
  • 2
    @MeNoTalk At some point that ceases to be our responsibility. You can only be responsible for the information that you share to the extent that you believe it to be benign and helpful. I'd tell an illegal immigrant with a gunshot wound to seek a hospital, even though I know they're obligated to report the wound and the patient. I don't think we're going to run into this too often, but I have pretty solid faith in the moral compass of this community. Like you said, common sense.
    – Tim Post
    Mar 14, 2014 at 11:23
  • true that... :) Mar 14, 2014 at 11:24
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    "per the scope defined in the help center" - could you point me to the exact page? I wasn't able to find a clear definition of the scope there.
    – Rob Hoare
    Mar 14, 2014 at 21:25

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