By: Lauren Graham Sullivan
Over a year ago, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it would focus its resources on the highest priority cases. This effort to implement new enforcement standards through the exercise of prosecutorial discretion (PD) had me doing back flips as I read the guidance addressed to all ICE directors, chief counsel, and field officers. This memo and the statements that followed signaled a change in the enforcement practices and priorities of ICE – the same agency that conducted factory raids in 2007 that resulted in the detention and deportation of breastfeeding mothers and other vulnerable populations.
As the months passed, I realized that the PD memos had less of an impact than I had hoped. Just last week, one of my pro bono attorneys reported that an ICE officer didn’t know about PD, and once informed, wrote a one-sentence response stating that ICE would “decline to exercise PD in [his] client’s case.” There was no discussion of the equities, which in this case
By: Allison Posner
CLINIC welcomes the Obama Administration’s August 18th announcement that the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice will be working together to re-assess and prioritize the hundreds of thousands of pending removal cases. In addition to providing temporary relief from imminent deportation to those individuals whose cases will be administratively closed, this interagency review will cut into the severe backlog that plagues our immigration court system, reducing the wait times for individual cases to be adjudicated.