Follow up on ICE's Discretion in Closing Deportation Cases
In our September article, we shared that the Obama Administration's announcement that high-level officials from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice will be reviewing the 300,000 cases that are pending with the immigration courts. Those cases that are "low priority" may be administratively closed. Cases considered to be high priority will be aggressively prosecuted. This prioritization of cases is a form of prosecutorial discretion which permits the government to decide which cases are to be pursued more aggressively.
In that article, we emphasized that this closure of cases is discretionary and that contrary to some rumors in our community, there is no policy of stopping deportations altogether.
On November 17, ICE issued specific guidance for implementing the prosecutorial discretion and announced that the reviewing of the 300,000 cases had begun. For anyone desiring to review the full official memo regarding the latest guidance, visit http://www.ice.gov/doclib/foia/dro_policy_memos/case-by-case-review-incoming-certain-pending-cases-memorandum.pdf
Most importantly, if you are facing removal proceedings and need to discuss possible prosecutorial discretion in your case, contact an experienced immigration attorney immediately.