U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently released a memorandum on next steps in the implementation of prosecutorial discretion and immigration enforcement priorities.
ICE said it has launched a comprehensive training program on the appropriate use of the June 2011 Prosecutorial Discretion Memorandum. Also, beginning in November, ICE agents nationwide have been reviewing all incoming cases in immigration courts. ICE said that the reviews are designed to identify the cases most clearly eligible or ineligible for a favorable exercise of discretion and are focused on cases appearing on the master calendar and cases that have not yet been filed in immigration court. The initial “test run” of this review of cases will end on January 13, 2012.
Also, beginning on December 4, 2011, ICE and the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched pilot programs in two jurisdictions to test-run a process for reviewing all cases pending in immigration courts. Over the course of six weeks, an intra-agency team of attorneys from ICE, USCIS, and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol will review the cases on the non-detained dockets in the Denver and Baltimore immigration courts based on the Prosecutorial Discretion Memorandum and guided by a set of more focused criteria. During that time, DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has agreed to shift judges from the non-detained docket in those jurisdictions to hear detained cases, to enhance processing of the latter.
At the end of the period, DHS will promptly review that data and other implementation outcomes and, where appropriate, consult with DOJ to determine, on an expedited basis, the best methods to implement these processes on an ongoing basis nationwide.
The announcement is available at http://www.ice.gov/doclib/about/offices/ero/pdf/pros-discretion-next-steps.pdf. The June 2011 Prosecutorial Discretion Memorandum is available at http://www.ice.gov/doclib/secure-communities/pdf/prosecutorial-discretion-memo.pdf.