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Executive Action and Prosecutorial Discretion: A Resource Page

On June 20, 2014, President Obama stated “I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.” Yet it is still unclear when and what executive actions President Obama will take. Will his immigration legacy ultimately be remembered as an enforcement-driven enterprise, or one that uses the full force of executive branch authority to improve our badly broken system? The following resources discuss how the Administration can and should use executive authority and prosecutorial discretion to prioritize DHS's enforcement efforts on removing persons who are most dangerous to the country.

Background on Executive Action and Prosecutorial Discretion:

Legal Experts Weigh In:

Previous Memos on Prosecutorial Discretion:

  • Read an ICE Memo outlining when and how ICE officials should use prosecutorial discretion during immigration cases (June, 2011)
  • Read another ICE Memo guiding ICE officials on prosecutorial discretion in cases of victims of crimes, witnesses to crime and individuals pursuing legitimate civil rights complaints (June, 2011)

DHS Review of Immigration Cases:

Consequences of Eliminating Discretion:

Additional Background:

Relevant Blog Posts: