Skip to main content

Six Reasons Why Prosecutorial Discretion Can Be Your Best Friend in Immigration Court!

Going through the immigration removal process can be daunting and will likely cause many, many sleepless nights.  The same questions are often considered over and over again – what will happen if I am deported?  Will my family stay in the U.S.?  Will they return to my country with me?  If not, how will I support them?  How will they support themselves?  These are the questions that plague the individuals and family members of those going through this frightening process, often times having relatively little time to prepare for all of these life-changing decisions. 

So, what happens when the immigration judge tells you that you may not be eligible to file an application before the court to remain in the U.S. and you’re facing imminent removal, or an attorney informs you that you can file an application but you don’t have a very strong case?  There was a time when that often amounted to hoping for as much time in the U.S. as possible.  Now that we have the option of requesting Prosecutorial Discretion (PD) from the government attorneys for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, it has opened a new avenue of relief for our clients.  If the request is granted it basically means that you will be permitted to remain in the U.S. for an indefinite period of time.  To be clear – it is NOT the same as a green card, and there is NO guarantee that the government will approve the request.  So, make sure you are working with an experienced immigration attorney who can guide you through the requirements of this process.  Prosecutorial discretion should rarely be automatic in lieu of seeking other relief that may be available, but it can be a very good option for those cases that will be difficult to win in court, especially in Atlanta.

Here are the benefits of Prosecutorial Discretion:

1.      You won’t have to depart the United States – plain and simple.  Once Prosecutorial Discretion is granted, your file is closed and put on a shelf indefinitely.  It will only come off the shelf by the government if you do something wrong – so don’t commit any crimes!
2.      Since there is no final decision issued by the Immigration Judge on your case, there also is no denial – which means no appeal, no continued court proceedings, etc.  Less stress.
3.      If reform ever passes, your attorney can request that your case be taken off the shelf and placed back on the calendar so you can file for any eligible relief.
4.      Your case can also be placed back on the court calendar if you become eligible for relief such as filing for a green card through a family member – for example – you entered the U.S. with a visa, and your U.S. citizen child finally just turned 21!
5.      There may be changed circumstances in your life that would substantially strengthen the case that was put on the shelf to the point that your attorney advises you to now move forward with the application.
6.      And, the best part about Prosecutorial Discretion --- the court will NOT require you to withdraw the pending application, so even though the case is closed, you WILL remain eligible to renew your EAD card!  Of course that will allow you to also renew your driver’s license.

Please call me at 404.949.8151 with any questions about your removal proceedings and how to move forward!         


Popular posts from this blog

If You Are An Immigrant (even a US Citizen), Here Are 9 Things You Should Know

Are you a Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, Visa Holder, or an Undocumented Immigrant? We recommend you take the following steps to protect yourself in our current version of America.
The last couple of weeks have reminded immigrants, even naturalized U.S. citizens, that they were not born in the United States. Our office has received countless phone calls, emails, and social media messages from people worrying about what their family’s future in the United States holds.
Most people want to know what they can do now to protect themselves from what promises to be a wave of anti-immigration activity by the federal government. Trump's Executive Order on Interior Enforcement has some provisions that should make most Americans shiver.  We recommend the following actions for each of the following groups:
Naturalized U.S. citizens. In particular if you have a foreign accent, and you are traveling within 100 miles of any US Border (including the oceans), we strongly rec…

Why is USCIS Taking So Long to Renew DACA Work Permits?

If the calls to our office are any indicator, there are thousands of DACA recipients whose work permit applications were filed at least three months prior to expiration, who are still waiting for their renewed work permits.  Without renewed permits, these individuals lose the right to work legally, the right to drive, and may once again accrue unlawful presence.

The DHS published a notice in October 2014 advising DACA recipients that they could file their request for extension up to 150 days (5 months) prior to expiration.  As with all things government, very few of the DACA recipients, who tend not to frequent government websites, knew about the memo and many did not file so far before expiration perhaps thinking that extending a work permit was a like extending a drivers license, its is done in a few minutes.  As an experienced immigration lawyer will tell you, the USCIS does nothing quickly, and certainly does not worry that a person may lose their job or their driver's licens…
Si usted es inmigrante (incluso un ciudadano de los EE.UU.), aquí hay 9 cosas que usted debe saber.

¿Es usted un ciudadano estadounidense naturalizado, residente legal permanente, titular de una visa o inmigrante indocumentado? Le recomendamos que tome los siguientes pasos para protegerse de nuestra versión actual de América.
Las últimas semanas hemos recordado a los inmigrantes, incluso a los ciudadanos estadounidenses naturalizados, que no nacieron en los Estados Unidos. Nuestra oficina ha recibido innumerables llamadas telefónicas, mensajes de correo electrónico y mensajes de medios sociales de personas preocupadas por el futuro de su familia en los Estados Unidos.
La mayoría de gente quiere saber qué puede hacer ahora para protegerse de lo que promete ser una ola de actividad anti-inmigración por parte del gobierno federal. La orden ejecutiva de Trump sobre la aplicación de la ley interior tiene algunas disposiciones que deberían hacer temblar a la mayoría de los estadounidenses. …