Early this month, BuzzFeed News obtained an internal government memo relating to the exercise of prosecutorial discretion by immigration prosecutors. Dated August 15, 2017, the memorandum provides specific guidance to government attorneys who work for the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor ("OPLA"). These attorneys, who represent Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"), are charged with prosecuting deportation/removal cases in court and carrying out the Department of Homeland Security's enforcement priorities.
Also known as "PD," a Prosecutorial Discretion Request may be of help to certain individuals presently in removal proceedings before an immigration judge. Contrary to popular belief, this is not technically a form or application filed with the court. Rather, it is a request to Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") for an exercise of discretion to discontinue proceedings against you in order to focus its resources on more important priorities. No one is entitled to prosecutorial discretion as a right, and unfortunately, not everyone will qualify. The decision is made based upon a number of factors, both positive and negative, in evaluating whether you are a candidate for this.