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Prosecutorial Discretion has arrived in Immigration Court in San Diego, California……………

Prosecutorial Discretion has arrived in Immigration Court in San Diego, California……………

Scales of Justice, LLP was able to secure Prosecutorial Discretion for one of its clients last week.  There have been a lot of announcements, articles and uncertainty as to when, where and how Prosecutorial Discretion will be issued to individuals in removal proceedings.  Not knowing exactly the route to use, Scales of Justice, LLP made its request directly in writing to the Department of Homeland Security’s San Diego office.  One week after submitting our request, Prosecutorial Discretion was offered in our case.  Our client is now no longer in removal proceedings.  What remains to be seen is how Employment Authorization will be issued based on Prosecutorial Discretion. 

Some of you may be wondering what is Prosecutorial Discretion?  In legal ease, prosecutorial discretion is the authority of an agency charged with enforcing a law to decide to what degree to enforce the law against a particular individual.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), like any other law enforcement agencies, have prosecutorial discretion and may exercise “it in the ordinary course of enforcement.”  When ICE favorably exercises prosecutorial discretion, it essentially decides not to assert the full scope of the enforcement authority available to them in a given case.

How does this relate to the civil immigration enforcement context?  When used in immigration enforcement the term “prosecutorial discretion” applies to a broad range of discretionary enforcement decisions, including but not limited to:

deciding to issue or cancel a notice of detainer;

deciding to issue, reissue, serve, file, or cancel a Notice to Appear (NTA);

focusing enforcement resources on particular administrative violations or conduct;

deciding whom to stop, question, or arrest for an administrative violation;

deciding whom to detain or to release on bond, supervision, personal recognizance, or other condition;

seeking expedited removal or other forms of removal by means other than a formal removal proceeding in immigration court;

settling or dismissing a proceeding;

granting deferred action, granting parole, or staying a final order of removal;

agreeing to voluntary departure, the withdrawal of an application for admission, or other action in lieu of obtaining a formal order of removal;

pursuing an appeal;

executing a removal order; and

responding to or joining in a motion to reopen removal proceedings and to consider joining in a motion to grant relief or a benefit.

Understanding all of this information can be quite confusing.  Contact Scales of Justice, LLP with your questions or concerns regarding Prosecutorial Discretion.  We offer free consultations and payment plans are available for those who qualify.  Consultations can be done in person, on the phone or through email.  This article was written by Pablo A. Zamora, Esq., the Immigration Partner at Scales of Justice, LLP.  Portions of information listed in this article were taken from the June 17, 2011 Morton Memo from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement regarding Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion Consistent with the Civil Immigration Enforcement Priorities of the Agency for the Apprehension, Detention, and Removal of Aliens.

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Immigration Law (in California)
All the services relating to immigration and naturalization provided by the firm or corporation shall be provided by an active member of the State Bar or by a person under the supervision of an active member of the State Bar. Pablo Zamora is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia. Pablo Zamora is not an attorney licensed to practice law in California but is an attorney licensed in another state or territory of the United States and is authorized by federal law to represent persons before the Immigration Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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