when it comes to separating families in order to forcibly remove them from this country, but there are some cases where deportation can be reversed through the concept of prosecutorial discretion.
ICE has the discretion to stop pursuing deportation for foreign individuals on a case by case basis through prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutorial discretion provides relief to undocumented immigrants by discontinuing or appealing the deportation process.
It should be emphasized that prosecutorial discretion is a decision made by ICE, and undocumented immigrants in California should never contact ICE without the help of an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles. This is a very risky procedure, and without the help of a deportation defense attorney Los Angeles, the undocumented immigrant can be promptly deported by putting themselves within the crosshairs of ICE or a deportation judge.
The prosecutorial discretion policy was put in place in order to help consolidate ICE resources. The justification of this policy is to ensure that ICE’s time and resources are spent deporting individuals that endanger public safety and national security.
Which Undocumented Persons Benefit From Prosecutorial Discretion?
Since prosecutorial discretion is exercised on a case-by-case basis, many undocumented immigrants are eligible beneficiaries. Meeting with a deportation lawyer Los Angeles can help you understand your most positive qualities as an immigrant that you can highlight when presenting your case to an immigration judge.
Anyone with a criminal history is an unlikely recipient; however, meeting with a removal proceedings immigration lawyer Los Angeles can give you an idea of how to expunge certain crimes from your record, and therefore, make yourself a better candidate for prosecutorial discretion.
While there’s no exact formula in eligibility for prosecutorial discretion, ICE officers are given a list of guidelines to consider:
- Length of U.S. residence - the longer an immigrant has lived in the U.S., the higher priority they are given when being considered.
- Criminal history - If the individual has a criminal history, ICE will consider how old they were when they committed the crimes and if they are a repeat offender. They also look at the actual sentence and/or fine as an indication of how serious the offense was. Additionally, ICE considers the amount of time that has elapsed since then and if there is any evidence of remorse and rehabilitation.
- Military service - Immigrants who served in the U.S. military are given additional consideration.
- Humanitarian concerns - Immigrants with family ties in the United States and serious medical conditions affecting them or their family are considered by ICE. They should also look at whether the individual speaks their native language or has relatives in their home country.
- Home country conditions - Given that the immigrant’s home country may have dangerous political and social conditions for them upon return, prosecutorial discretion is sometimes granted in order to protect the person’s safety.
DACA is a powerful tool when avoiding deportation, as it was put in place to protect undocumented immigrants who came to the country as young children. If you came to the U.S. before the age of 16, it’s possible that you are protected under the guidelines of DACA, which has also recently been upheld by the Supreme Court.
Prosecutorial Discretion Under the Biden Administration
The prosecutorial discretion initiative was put forth by the Obama administration to provide relief to undocumented immigrants that were considered low-priority cases and to shift focus to deporting serious criminal offenders. Obama directed deportation to prioritize the following categories:
- Those considered a threat to national security, border security, and/or public safety
- Those who have committed misdemeanors and "new immigrants" (those who entered the U.S. prior to 2014)
- Those already been successfully removed from the United States
Under the Trump administration prosecutorial discretion all but came to a complete stop, as this policy has hardly been enacted in the past few years. While prosecutorial discretion is meant to prioritize removing serious offenders, the Trump administration expanded enforcement priorities so that all undocumented immigrants could be targeted.
However, tides may change once President-Elect Biden takes office, as he has stated he wants to reform the immigration system to be more welcoming to foreign nationals.
Requesting Prosecutorial Discretion
All undocumented immigrants should be extremely careful when requesting prosecutorial discretion, as going about it the wrong way can backfire and result in expedited deportation. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to hire a deportation lawyer Los Angeles future residents trust with their immigration status.
Alami Law is experienced in deportation defense, and having our immigration attorneys on your side will serve as protection from removal. Our expertise in immigration law has helped foreigners immigrate to this country lawfully for decades, and we have a record to prove it. Before pursuing prosecutorial discretion, contact Alami Law to set up a consultation with an immigration attorney so you can determine the best course of action.