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

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.

Click here to access American Immigration Council’s Prosecutorial Discretion and Executive Action: A Resource Page

Ruchi Thaker

Ruchi Thaker is New York City-based immigration attorney with extensive experience and excellent reputation for effective legal representation in simple and difficult immigration cases. I have experience in areas of deportation defense (criminal and non-criminal), federal court litigation, representation on appeals and motions with the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals, family-based immigration, asylum, naturalization, and consular processing.
Ruchi Thaker
Posted in Announcements, DHS.