We're all illegal Reno News and Review. Letters for June 16, 2011 - Letters - Opinions - June 16, 2011 - Reno News & Review Why is illegal immigration a crime? Because the law say it is a crime. Before there were no immigration laws (before 1929) immigration could not be illegal. Therefore it is in error that one may say we are all illegal as an excuse for the presence of illegal aliens who did not follow the law when entering this country. When Europeans entered this country in 1492 there were no immigration laws and native Americans did not make a claim on the land because they did not believe the land could be owned. At some later date Native Americans did make claim on some of the land. Where there is no law there cannot be a crime. .