Is your case stuck in administrative process? We can help you by completing this form.

Federal Judges Call on Government to Increase Use of Prosecutorial Discretion | St. Louis, Missouri Deportation Attorney Jim Hacking

Spread the love

Judges have been realizing that changes must be made to control their large dockets, manage scare resources, and attempt to instill humanity into the immigration system.  They are urging attorneys to use prosecutorial discretion when deciding on a case rather than immediately litigating a case.

“Prosecutorial discretion is the authority of a law enforcement agency or officer to decide whether and to what degree to enforce the law in particular cases.”  A successful example is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative that grants relief to individuals and allows them to apply for lawful permanent residence or citizenship. However, with the exception of the DACA initiative, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) usually ignores other cases where prosecutorial discretion would also be appropriate.

DHS attorneys are urged to use prosecutorial discretion as early on in the process as possible, but this “can be granted while a case is pending in immigration court, before the Board of Immigration Appeals, or on appeal to the federal courts.” In Vega-Alvarez v. Holder, prosecutorial discretion was granted after the Ninth Circuit Court ordered the parties to participate in out-of-court discussions and submit briefs. This case involved a Mexican couple with four children who were U.S. citizens and no criminal history. Because the couple’s deportation would cause “severe hardship” for their eldest daughter, the immigration judge granted them relief from removal.

In a similar case of Gasparian v. Holder, an Armenian family with no criminal history and ties to the U.S. were granted a judgment that allowed their son to apply for DACA and the court “suggested further that the government may well wish to avoid splitting up the family by declining to remove them as well.” Clearly the courts used their prosecutorial discretion to preserve family unity and were sympathetic in these cases.

Finally, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has announced that all pending cases will be held for 90 days for DHS to decide whether they will advance or will be removed from the court’s docket.

Federal judges are recognizing the importance of an efficient immigration system. By encouraging attorneys to use prosecutorial discretion they are also illustrating that the court recognizes the sensitivity of the cases being brought before them. They are demonstrating to the public that they are able to show some heart when deciding whether or not to separate a family.

If you have questions regarding relief from removal, applying for a visa, or other immigration laws, contact us at 314-961-8200 or visit our contact page.

You May Also Like

Everything You Need to Know About H1B Premium Processing Fee Spread the love The H1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa allowing American employers to hire foreign workers in special positions for a certain period. Specialty occupations usually need a... VIEW POST
Form I-90 Filing Fee Breakdown: Renewing or Replacing Your Green Card Spread the love If you’re a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States, you’re given a green card, also known as a permanent resident card. This legal document... VIEW POST
What Does “USCIS Case Status Denied” Mean? Spread the love The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) handles immigration applications in the U.S. It operates under the United States Department of Homeland Security. USCIS offers... VIEW POST

Download Free Guide 
2024 Immigrant’s Guide to 
Becoming a U.S. Citizen

This guide contains all you need to know to become  
a U.S. citizen.

Download Free Guide 2022 Immigrant’s Guide to Becoming a U.S. Citizen

This guide contains all you need to know
to become a U.S. citizen.
DOWNLOAD FREE PDF

Immigration 
Answers Show
Live every week.

JOIN US