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Showing posts from June, 2012

Prosecutorial Discretion in Removal Proceedings

Prosecutorial discretion has been a major part of the immigration debate going back at least to the infamous Morton Memo from the Summer of 2011. In truth, the concept is anything but new.

Prosecutorial discretion is the ability of law enforcement officers, prosecutors and others to make decisions about how to best apply the law they are charged with enforcing while also taking into account the resources of their respective law enforcement agencies. Prosecutorial discretion is common throughout the U.S. criminal justice system. A great example is when a police officer stops someone for speeding but decides to issue a warning in lieu of an actual ticket.

Immigration is no different. While immigration agents and trial attorneys have had various options in determining whether or not to place individuals in removal proceedings for some time, and concepts such as deferred action, stays of removal and administrative closure have been around for years, prosecutorial discretion in the imm…

FAQ on President Obama’s Announcement of Deferred Action for Immigrant Youth

On Friday, June 15, 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its sub-agencies, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), announced a new policy of deferred action for immigrant youth.

In a nutshell, the government has chosen to focus its enforcement resources away from individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children and focus those resources elsewhere.

Like most new immigration policies, this has generated several questions from the general public, those who might qualify for benefits and attorneys.

Isn’t this just amnesty?

This is not amnesty, it is an enforcement priority. DHS made an informed decision about which classes of immigrants to pursue for deportation based on the agency’s limited resources. It should be made clear that this is deferred action.

In other words, the government has decided to defer taking any deportation action against thi…

Nathan Bogart Interviewed by KCTV5-Kansas City

With the announcement yesterday of the Obama administration's shift in deportation policy, Inform US Citizens contributor Nathan Bogart was given the opportunity to speak about the issue with Kansas City's local CBS affiliate, KCTV5: Below, feel free to check out the president's announcement again:

At Inform U.S. Citizens, we fully support any and all positive steps forward with regards to the rights and safety of immigrants in the United States. The president's announcement carries with it the potential to significantly reduce the fear and uncertainty millions face everyday. At the same time, we will continue to advocate for not only "policy changes" and smart enforcement measures, but also substantive legal reform that provides a legitimate pathway to citizenship for this exceptional group of Americans.

One Small Step for Immigration, One Giant Leap for DREAMers

In a stunning turn of events, the Obama administration has announced its intention to grant deferred action to many individuals brought to the United States as children, known by many as DREAMers because of their potential eligibility in the event the federal DREAM Act were ever to be passed. Deferred action is a a choice on the part of the government to delay the removal of an individual. It is a form of prosecutorial discretion, and does not confer lawful immigration status, at least not in the same sense as lawful permanent residence, citizenship, temporary protected status, etc. Individuals receiving deferred action are eligible to receive employment authorization valid for the period of deferred action, which in this case is two years. In a memo released today, and accessible here, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established the following criteria for any individuals who consider applying: The individual must have come to the U.S. prior to turning 16 years old;…