DHS recent announcement to review immigration court cases is not an amnesty or path to lawful permanent residence.

There is a lot of confusion and misinformation regarding the Obama Administration’s recent announcement. The best course of action is to consult an immigration attorney; do not rely on what you are told by your friends, neighbors or coworkers.

Essentially DHS and DOJ will undertake a case-by-case review of all people currently in removal proceedings to ensure that those people fall within the government’s highest priorities for removal.  DHS Enforcement Priorities are as follows:  Priority #1 (e.g., foreign nationals who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety) being the highest priority and Priority #2 (e.g., recent illegal entrants) and Priority #3 (e.g., foreign nationals who are fugitives or otherwise obstruct immigration controls) being lower enforcement priorities.

Please note that the review process should not be construed as prohibiting DHS officers from apprehending, detaining, or removing foreign nationals who are unlawfully in the United States.

Moreover, the announcement on prosecutorial discretion DOES NOT mean that all people in removal proceedings will have their removal cases terminated or that all people in removal will be granted relief from removal (or a work permit).  Also, this is definitely NOT an amnesty. DHS will review removal cases to ensure that the government is focusing on high priority cases to better use its limited enforcement resources.   Removals will continue while the review process proceeds.

DHS directs that foreign nationals should not surrender themselves up to ICE in the belief that they will be granted prosecutorial discretion. Foreign nationals who surrender themselves to ICE in the mistaken belief that they will be granted prosecutorial discretion run a strong risk of being placed in removal proceedings and deported from the United States.

ICE has also published its FAQ on this topic. Click here <http://www.ice.gov/doclib/about/offices/ero/pdf/immigration-enforcement-facts.pdf> to see the FAQ on the ICE website.

 

 

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