Prosecutorial Discretion + Prioritization = Hope


Yesterday, the Obama Administration announced an (immigration) Prioritization Plan. Priority: enforcement of immigration laws against serious criminals who are a threat to our public safety, i.e. deporting them. Not a priority: approximately 300,000 pending immigration court cases for non-U.S. Citizens convicted of minor crimes or "simply" here in violation of our immigration laws. Potential: termination of the removal proceedings for the 300,000 with issuance/reissuance of work permits and a path to legalization. Amnesty? Not quite...yet.

The Prioritization Plan announcement falls on the heels of a related but unpublicized government announcement/memorandum on prosecutorial discretion of immigration violations. Trend: prosecution of "serious" immigration violators be they businesses engaged in the widespread employment of undocumented workers or individuals convicted of serious crimes; relief for those who are otherwise eligible but for previous immigration violations such as being ordered deported but never having left.

We are optimistic that refocused attention on our nation's immigration situation will bring about positive change. But, whether the Prioritization Plan is in fact the positive change that we need remains to be determined.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Richard Wilner, WILNER & O'REILLY, APLC | Attorney Advertising

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