(Copied from AILA source)
Today, in a letter to Senator Dick Durbin and 21 other Senators, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced a new process for implementation of the June 17, 2011, prosecutorial discretion memorandum. The letter from Secretary Napolitano and a background two-pager are attached. AILA will be issuing a press release on the announcement. AILA was a part of a closed teleconference held by the White House earlier today on the announcement.
Durbin’s release provides important information regarding the announcement: http://durbin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=46e027e8-fe46-4b62-93e2-7b4c4ea48d2b.
White House Blog post regarding announcement as well: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/08/18/immigration-update-maximizing-public-safety-and-better-focusing-resources
Excerpt from Durbin’s press release: How the New Process will Work:
Under the new process, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) working group will develop specific criteria to identify low-priority removal cases that should be considered for prosecutorial discretion. These criteria will be based on “positive factors” from the Morton Memo, which include individuals present in the U.S. since childhood (like DREAM Act students), minors, the elderly, pregnant and nursing women, victims of serious crimes, veterans and members of the armed services, and individuals with serious disabilities or health problems. The working group will develop a process for reviewing cases pending before immigration and federal courts that meet these specific criteria.
On a regular basis, ICE attorneys will individually review every case scheduled for a hearing within the next 1-2 months to identify those cases that meet these specific criteria. These cases will be closed except in extraordinary circumstances, in which case the reviewing attorney must receive the approval of a supervisor to move forward. DHS will also begin reviewing all 300,000 pending cases to identify those that meet these specific criteria. These cases will be closed except in extraordinary circumstances, in which case the reviewing attorney must receive the approval of a supervisor to move forward. Individuals whose cases are closed will be able to apply for certain immigration benefits, including work authorization. All applications for benefits will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.