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DHS to Expand Prosecutorial Discretion – What Does This Mean For You?

Aug 23, 2011 | Announcements, DHS

On Thursday, August 18, 2011, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that the department is going to begin reviewing all 300,000 pending deportation/removal cases in federal immigration courts to determine which individuals meet specific criteria for removal and to focus on the agency’s “highest priorities.”

Click here to read the letter Secretary Napolitano wrote to Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), announcing the new DHS policy.

Sen. Durbin’s website lists how the new process will work.

This announcement does NOT create any new immigration laws! Beware of anyone who says otherwise.

Also, the DHS’ announcement should not be viewed as Obama Administration’s amnesty program!  American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) has issued a warning to be aware of people possibly trying to take advantage of the announcement to defraud immigrants by promising to apply for work permits or green cards.

According to the AILA warning:

Do NOT believe anyone who tells you they can sign you up for a work permit (Employment Authorization Document or “EAD”) or get you legal status based on the Secretary Napolitano’s August 18, 2011 announcement! Anyone who says that is not to be trusted! There is NO “safe” way to turn yourself in to immigration and there is NO guarantee that your case will be considered “low priority.” ANY person who comes into contact with immigration authorities may be arrested, detained or even removed.

Only a QUALIFIED IMMIGRATION LAWYER can evaluate your case and tell your about your rights.

Do NOT seek legal advice from a notario or immigration consultant.

Click here to read the warning issued by AILA (in English and Spanish), which explains what the DHS’ announcement means, what it does not mean, and who will be affected by the new policy.

Click here to read the American Immigration Council’s news release concerning the DHS’ announcement.


Ruchi Thaker