New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

How Prosecutorial Discretion Relates to Cancellation of Removal

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova

The legal term "prosecutorial discretion" has taken on a new emphasis and become a pivotal factor in the outcomes of certain deportation and removal cases. Prosecutorial discretion refers to "the authority of an agency charged with enforcing a law to decide to what degree to enforce the law against a particular individual."

ICE Memo

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) brought new relevancy to this term in a memo it released in July, 2011.

The memo explains that ICE has limited resources to deal with the large number of administrative immigration violations that exist. Its limitations require prioritizing cases so the cases most threatening to national security and public safety receive attention. To accomplish this goal, ICE applies prosecutorial discretion to certain immigration issues, including some of the following:

  • Decisions about issuing or canceling a notice of detainer;
  • Whether to issue, reissue, serve, file or cancel a Notice to Appear (NTA);
  • Whether to stop, question, or arrest;
  • Bond releases;
  • Whether to expedite removal;
  • Dismissing or settling proceedings;
  • Granting deferred actions, parole, or final orders of removal;
  • Pursuing appeals.

Legal Pperspective of an Immigration Attorney

When defending clients against deportation and removal proceedings, immigration lawyers can develop case strategies related to prosecutorial discretion. Effective case strategies can lead to positive outcomes for their clients. For example, legal arguments that position immigrants in a favorable light may persuade immigration judges or authorities to settle or dismiss cases. Find out how a New York immigration lawyer can help you resolve your immigration issues.

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