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ICE Issues FAQ on Enforcement Priorities

ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) issued a FAQ on the Administration’s announcement regarding the re-focusing of immigration enforcement efforts and resources to high priority case. The process was created to allow ICE to focus efforts on the removal of undocumented individuals who threaten national security, public safety and are repeat immigration violators or fugitives. The FAQ further clarifies that the process will enhance border security since the government can reallocate its resources to preventing illicit travel and trade at the border. A working committee of federal agencies will review cases pending in the immigration and federal court and on a case-by-case basis determine which cases warrant prosecutorial discretion. Federal and immigration judges will rule on high priority cases and accelerate the removal of high priority undocumented individuals from the United States. Individuals who are the recipient of prosecutorial discretion, will be allowed to apply for work authorization and pay the required fees and work permit applications will be reviewed base on its merits. The FAQ’s reiterate that this is NOT an amnesty and individuals who will benefit from prosecutorial discretion will NOT obtain a green card. There is NO application process to obtain prosecutorial discretion and only individuals who are currently pending in immigration and federal court are eligible. Any individual who self surrenders to ICE will be placed in removal proceedings and will not be protected from removal from the US. More information can be found on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) website: http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=36705 and the ICE FAQ can be found at the following site: http://www.ice.gov/doclib/about/offices/ero/pdf/immigration-enforcement-facts.pdf.