Having grown up in Monmouth County, Freehold holds a special place in my heart. Not only did I use to work there at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, I also had a satellite office on Broad Street there for many years. Freehold is also home to many “illegal” aliens from Mexico. It is city whose undocumented population would obviously benefit from some sort of 245i type of legislative reform given that many people from Mexico cross over and enter without inspection, thereby rendering them ineligible to adjust under Section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The way things are moving, that type of legislation may still be far off. In the meantime, however, the new Morton Memo and the government’s putative agenda of prioritizing targets for removal may be good news. The new “policy” is certainly not a “backdoor amnesty”; however, it does signal a shift in ICE’s posture vis a vis non-criminal aliens who have been here for years and pose no danger to society other than being “illegal.” Prosecutorial discretion may be exercised favorably when considering people who have no criminal records; pose no threat to national security, or public safety; have been here for quite a while; and have US Citizen or LPR spouse, children, or parents. Some other categories that warrant consideration are those whose spouses are pregnant or nursing, and those who serve as primary caretakers of relatives suffering from serious illnesses or handicaps. There are, in fact, many factors laid out that fall within the ambit of prosecutorial discretion. Again, it cannot be overemphasized that this does not mean illegal aliens are in the clear. However, it does mean that under the appropriate circumstances, DHS may choose not to place “non-priority” aliens into removal proceedings.
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