Immigration Lawyer / Immigration Attorney

Phone

(206) 488-9030

Introduction

Certain individuals can avoid deportation as a result of the government’s interest in conserving resources. Prosecutorial Discretion is prevalent in all government agencies. It is the authority of law enforcement officers, prosecutors and others to apply the law while taking into consideration limited resources. In the immigration context, the attorney general may set guidelines for whom its officers should put their greatest effort into deporting, and who should be permitted to stay in the United States in some fashion.

In July of 2011, DHS issued a memo specifying what factors are most important for its agents and attorneys to consider when applying their discretion to commence immigration proceedings and close immigration proceedings that have already begun. If you are already in immigration proceedings, and the prosecutor believes that you deserve a favorable exercise of discretion, then the prosecutor will agree to administratively close your case. Administrative Closure does not mean that the government is giving you legal status. However, it does mean that the government will no longer attempt to deport you absent some negative action by you in the future like criminal activity, terrorism or other actions that deem you no longer fit for prosecutorial discretion.

Process and Filing Fees

After removal proceedings have commenced, you will need to gather information pertaining to your request such as Birth Certificates or LPR documentation showing that you have a child, parent or wife with legal status, medical records, school records, military records, criminal history. You then submit your request for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion to the Chief Counsel, Assistant Chief Counsel or other designated person or trial attorney at DHS.

If the person designated to handle your case does not agree to grant administrative closure then you must continue your immigration court proceedings until the immigration judge grants or denies any requests for asylum, cancellation of removal, and other forms of relief. If your request for prosecutorial discretion is granted, and you have complied with fingerprinting and other identification procedures, then your case is administratively closed and you no longer have to go to immigration court. You will not obtain legal status if your case is closed. Your case when “administratively closed” will simply be taken off the court’s calendar. You or DHS may ask to have your case put back in front of the court at any time should either party desire to do so.

There is no filing fee for prosecutorial discretion in immigration court.

The Morton Memo provides a list of factors to be considered. The following list is not exhaustive 1) your length of stay in U.S., 2) your education in the U.S., 3) you or your family’s military service, 4) your criminal history, 5) your immigration history, 6) whether or not your family members have legal status in the United States, 7) whether or not you are the care-taker for a U.S. Citizen with serious illness, mental or physical disability

If your case is considered low priority, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may exercise discretion. This means they may permit you to stay in the U.S, or at least stop trying to remove you.

Conclusion

If you are in removal proceedings and meet any of the above factors, please contact out office to discuss having your case administratively closed. The closing of cases upon a grant of prosecutorial discretion varies greatly. Policy regarding the exercise of prosecutorial discretion changes and often your personal circumstances change as well. If you have applied once and not been granted discretion, you may want to make the request again.