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Prosecutorial Discretion

Prosecutorial discretion is the authority of a law enforcement agency or officer to decide whether to enforce the law in a particular case. In the immigration context, favorable exercises of prosecutorial discretion include grants of deferred action, stays of removal, and decisions to cancel or not issue a Notice to Appear (NTA). Since 2000, the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service and current DHS agencies have issued more than a dozen guidance memoranda addressing prosecutorial discretion. The LAC has issued a practice advisory suggesting ways that immigration attorneys can influence the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion by DHS, and filed an amicus brief relating to the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in a Ninth Circuit case.

Tell about your cases. We encourage attorneys who have requested favorable exercises of prosecutorial discretion to submit reports of their experiences by completing this survey.

CASES | ADVOCACY | RESOURCES

CASES

Vega Alvarez v. Holder, No. 08-71383 (9th Cir. amicus brief filed Feb. 25, 2011). The court requested that the parties submit supplemental briefs on the impact of the Morton Memo on civil immigration enforcement priorities on the continued prosecution of removal proceedings against the petitioners.Read more...

Toward A Better Life

Author:  Peter Coan

Coan's collection of 'new beginning' stories captures the spirit of new Americans.  Each story frames a different period of history but the drive, dreams, passion and pride of the subjects hasn't changed over time. Immigrants often leave so much behind in order to bring so much forward.  The author organized the stories by decade and included a background of each era.  With the perfect dose of history the book moves forward and the readers will feel like they get to know the storytellers. This book is the perfect companion to any educator who is teacing their students about immigration to the United States because it puts both the historic and contemporary issues of immigration into perspective.

Year released: 2011
Grades 7-Adult

Many states look to Arizona’s SB 1070 as a model for new immigration legislation

Published on Tue, Dec 28, 2010

State legislators in 25 states (see list below) planned to introduce SB 1070 clones in upcoming legislative sessions, according to Immigration Impact. Of course, not all — or even most — of these laws will pass. However, Republicans picked up the most seats in the modern era of state legislatures in 2010 — more than Republicans did in 1994 or Democrats in the post-Watergate wave of 1974. Republicans hold both houses and the governorship in fifteen states (sixteen including Nebraska’s unicameral legislature).

Published in the American Independent

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 4, No. 2

This issue covers the Supreme Court's decision to hear a fraud offense case, important developments in the Duran-Gonzales and surviving spouse class actions, updates on the Orozco and Matter of Silva-Trevino decisions, and outreach and resources related to the AG's ineffective assistance of counsel decision Matter of Compean.

Published On: Monday, February 2, 2009 | Download File

Northern California Celebrates America

2011 Winners Announced in Bay Area

Published on Wed, Jun 01, 2011

Angela Yang, 11, Pacifica resident and student in San Francisco, won with her story of an alien's first impression of the United States

Published in the Pacifica Patch

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 19

This issue covers "arriving alien" and parolee adjustments, court review of denied continuances, and in absentia motions to reopen from outside the United States.

Published On: Monday, October 30, 2006 | Download File

Unauthorized immigrants pay billions in taxes

Published on Mon, Apr 18, 2011

To mark the tax-filing deadline, the Immigration Policy Center released a report on Monday estimating that unauthorized immigrants paid $11.2 billion in state and local taxes last year, including $807 million in Florida.

The Florida total includes $69 million in property tax and $737 million in sales tax. Unauthorized immigrants also pay income taxes, but Florida has no state income tax.

The report compiled by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy estimated taxes by households headed by unauthorized immigrants in 2010.

"These figures should be kept in mind as politicians and commentators continue with the seemingly endless debate over what to do with unauthorized immigrants already living in the United States," said the Immigration Policy Center, a research group based in Washington. "In spite of the fact that they lack legal status, these immigrants -- and their family members -- are adding value to the U.S. economy; not only as taxpayers, but as workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs."

Some advocates for stricter immigration enforcement say that unauthorized foreign residents drain states and communities, in part by crowding schools and public health facilities. The report released Monday was designed to counter those complaints.

Researchers and politicians, meanwhile, continue to debate whether illegal immigration helps or hurts the economy of states like Florida. Immigrants pay taxes and provide labor while also tapping public resources.

Published in the Florida Sun Sentinel

Lawsuit on Visa Bulletin, Adjustment of Status

The class action lawsuit, which we prepared but ultimately did not have to file, argued that the government must comply with its own regulations and policies and accept the "green card" applications of tens of thousands of intending immigrants.

The Legal Action Center was poised to file a lawsuit on July 17, 2007 but because the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) resolved the issues, we did not have to file the suit. The LAC prepared the class action lawsuit, which alleged that the federal government's refusal to accept tens of thousands of applications for green cards (and discouragement of thousands of other workers from even applying) violated federal statutes, regulations and policies, as well as the U.S. Constitution. The suit would have argued that the government must comply with its own regulations and policies and accept the adjustment of status ("green card") applications. AILF is pleased that the DHS and DOS allowed intending immigrants to file applications for adjustment of status until and including August 17, 2007. They also allowed these applicants to pay the fee amounts that were in effect before the increase on July 30th, 2007.

LAC Welcomes Government Reversal on Permanent Resident Applications ("Green Cards") (July 19, 2007)

The Legal Action Center is pleased that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) have announced they will comply with their own regulations and policies and accept the "green card" applications of tens of thousands of intending immigrants. A class action lawsuit scheduled to be filed by the LAC on July 17, 2007 on behalf of all affected intending immigrants argued that the government must do exactly that. See the LAC's complaint. The LAC is gratified that the government accepted our arguments and belatedly is doing what it should have done in the first place.Read more...