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Prosecutorial Discretion and the ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor

On June 10, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a final judgment vacating Secretary Mayorkas's September 30, 2021 memorandum, Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law (Mayorkas Memorandum). Accordingly, until further notice, ICE will not apply or rely upon the Mayorkas Memorandum in any manner.

What is Prosecutorial Discretion (PD)?

PD is the longstanding authority of a law enforcement agency charged to decide where to focus its resources and whether or how to enforce the law against an individual. As the exclusive representative of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in immigration removal proceedings before the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), ICE's Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) has the authority to exercise PD in the litigation of removal cases. In practice, PD allows OPLA attorneys to decide which cases to focus on and how they want to proceed in individual cases, such as agreeing to remove a case from the immigration court docket through dismissal or administrative closure, or agreeing to stipulations on issues such as relief, bond, or continuances. PD is authority, exercised by immigration officers, on a case-by-case basis, and does not create a right or entitlement for any noncitizen.

This page addresses many of the common questions that noncitizens in removal proceedings and their legal representatives may have regarding PD.

What is the current PD guidance?

On April 4, 2022, Principal Legal Advisor Kerry E. Doyle issued a memorandum to the OPLA workforce titled Guidance to OPLA Attorneys Regarding the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Laws and the Exercise of Prosecutorial Discretion (Doyle Memorandum), which will take effect on April 25, 2022. The Doyle Memorandum is consistent with DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas’ September 30, 2021 memorandum titled Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law, which took effect on November 29, 2021. Upon its effective date, the Doyle Memorandum rescinds OPLA’s prior PD guidance.

How does PD work?

OPLA attorneys will independently evaluate cases to determine whether to exercise PD. You (or your legal representative) may also submit requests for PD to OPLA. When OPLA receives a request for PD, OPLA will first evaluate whether your case is an enforcement priority, guided by Secretary Mayorkas’ September 30, 2021 Memorandum and the Doyle Memorandum. OPLA makes the priority designation on an individualized basis by reviewing all available information related to your case, weighing any mitigating and aggravating factors, and consistent with all legal obligations.

May I receive PD from OPLA?

Nonpriority Cases

If OPLA determines that your case is not a priority for enforcement — often referred to as a “nonpriority” — then OPLA will generally exercise PD. OPLA’s preferred method for exercising PD is opting not to file the Notice to Appear (NTA). For cases in which the NTA has already been filed, OPLA’s preferred method for exercising PD is moving to dismiss the removal proceedings without prejudice. OPLA may also, on a case-by-case basis, consider administrative closure, stipulations to part (such as to discrete issues or facts) or all your requests for relief, a continuance, a reduced bond amount, waiving appeal, or, in limited circumstances, a Joint Motion to Reopen, normally combined with a Motion to Dismiss.

Priority Cases

If OPLA determines that your case is a priority for enforcement, then OPLA will generally not agree to exercise PD by declining to file the NTA in your case, dismissing, terminating, or administratively closing proceedings. Even if your case is a priority, however, OPLA may still exercise other forms of PD, such as agreeing to stipulate to part (such as to discrete issues or facts) or all your requests for relief or a continuance.

Additionally, if OPLA has initially designated your case as a priority, you may present evidence in support of a request to change that priority designation. OPLA attorneys will also reassess an initial priority designation in your case if they learn of additional information that is material to whether your case is a priority. If the additional information supports a re-designation of your case’s priority status, then OPLA may determine that the earlier priority designation should be changed. OPLA will consider any evidence that you submit in support of your PD request. For additional instructions on what information you should submit with this request, see the How to Submit a PD Request section below.

Unrepresented Noncitizens

OPLA does not require your PD request to follow any strict format if you are unrepresented (or “pro se”). If you are unrepresented and your case is a nonpriority, then OPLA will also agree to one continuance by the immigration court before moving to dismiss proceedings so that you may find a lawyer or request a different form of PD than that which OPLA has chosen to offer.

OPLA welcomes assistance from the private immigration bar and pro bono groups to aid unrepresented noncitizens in the submission of PD requests.

Prosecutorial Discretion (PD) Requests for Certain Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Recipients with Orders of Removal or Deportation

Consistent with its PD practices, the ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) may consider filing a Joint Motion to Reopen and unopposed Motion to Dismiss without Prejudice for certain TPS recipients who have been ordered removed or deported from the United States and are seeking to apply (or have applied) for lawful permanent residence with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. More information on which cases of TPS recipients may be eligible for this type of PD can be found here.

If you believe you may be eligible for this type of PD, then you may submit a PD request to your local OPLA Field Location using the applicable local procedures available on OPLA’s How to Submit a PD Request page. OPLA’s Field Locations are aware that they may be receiving this type of PD request and are prepared to process these cases accordingly.

As indicated above, there is no fee to ask that OPLA consider your case for this potential exercise of PD, and you are not required to have a lawyer if you want to make a PD request directly with OPLA. However, you may consult with a legal representative of your choosing. And, while the government does not provide legal representation, a list of free or low-cost service providers is available here.

Solicitudes de Discrecionalidad Procesal (PD) para Ciertos Destinatarios del Estatus de Protección Temporal (TPS) con Órdenes de Remoción o Deportación

De acuerdo con sus prácticas de PD, la Oficina del Asesor Legal Principal (OPLA) de ICE puede considerar presentar una Moción Conjunta para Reabrir y una Moción sin oposición para Desestimar sin Perjuicio para ciertos beneficiarios de TPS a quienes se les ordenó retirar o deportar de los Estados Unidos y desean solicitar (o han solicitado) la residencia permanente legal con los Servicios de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de los EE. UU. Puede encontrar más información sobre los casos elegibles para los beneficiarios de TPS para este tipo de PD, aquí.

Si usted cree que puede ser elegible para este tipo de PD, puede enviar una solicitud de PD a su Ubicación de Campo local de OPLA utilizando el procedimiento local aplicable disponible en la página Cómo Someter una Solicitud de PDde OPLA. Las Ubicaciones de Campo de OPLA son conscientes de que pueden estar recibiendo este tipo de solicitud de PD y están preparadas para procesar estos casos según correspondan.

Como se indicó anteriormente, no se necesita pagar ninguna tarifa para solicitar que OPLA considere su caso para el posible ejercicio de PD, y no es necesario que tenga un abogado si desea realizar una solicitud de PD directamente con OPLA. Sin embargo, puede consultar con un representante legal de su elección. Y, aunque el gobierno no brinda representación legal, hay una lista disponible de proveedores de servicios gratuitos o de bajo costo aquí.

နိုင်ငံမှဖယ်ရှားရန်အမိန့် သို့မဟုတ် ပြည်နှင်ဒဏ်အမိန့်များရှိသည့် အချို့သော အကာအကွယ် ပေးထားသည့်အနေအထား (TPS) ရရှိထားသူများအပေါ် အရေးယူရန်မယူရန် ကိုယ်ပိုင်ဆုံးဖြတ်ခွင့် (PD) တောင်းဆိုချက်များ

အရေးယူရန်မယူရန် ကိုယ်ပိုင်ဆုံးဖြတ်ခွင့် (PD) အလေ့အထများနှင့်အညီ ဥပဒေရေးရာ အဓိက အကြံပေး (OPLA) ၏ ICE ရုံးသည် အမေရိကန် ပြည်ထောင်စုမှ ဖယ်ရှားရန် သို့မဟုတ် ပြည်နှင်ဒဏ် ပေးရန် အမိန့်ချမှတ်ခံထားရပြီး၊ အမေရိကန်ပြည်ထောင်စု နိုင်ငံသားခံယူမှုနှင့် လူဝင်မှုကြီးကြပ်ရေး ဝန်ဆောင်မှုများဌာန၌ တရားဝင် ရာသက်ပန်နေထိုင်ဖို့ လျှောက်ထားရန် ကြိုးပမ်းနေသည့် (သို့မဟုတ် လျှောက်ထားပြီးသည့်) အကာအကွယ်ပေးထားသည့် အနေအထား (TPS) ရရှိထားသူအချို့အတွက် အမှုပြန်ဖွင့်ပေးရန် ပူးတွဲတောင်းဆိုမှုပြုခြင်းနှင့် အမှုကို ကန့်ကွက်ချက်မရှိ ယာယီပယ်ချရန် စဉ်းစားနိုင်ပါသည်။ မည်သည့် TPS လက်ခံရရှိသူများ၏အမှုများမှ ဤ PD မျိုးနှင့် အကြုံးဝင်သည် ဟူသည့်အကြောင်း အချက်အလက်များကို ဤနေရာတွင် တွေ့နိုင်ပါသည်။

သင်သည် ဤ PD အမျိုးအစားအတွက် အရည်အချင်းပြည့်မီသည်ဟု ယုံကြည်ပါက၊ OPLA တောင်းဆိုမှုလုပ်ငန်းစဉ် PD စာမျက်နှာရှိ လုပ်ထုံးလုပ်နည်းများကို အသုံးပြု၍ ဒေသဆိုင်ရာ OPLA တွဲဖက်ထံသို့ PD တောင်းဆိုချက်ကို ရိုးရှင်းစွာ တင်ပြပါ။ ဒေသခံ OPLA ရုံးခွဲများက ၎င်းတို့သည် ဤ RFP တောင်းဆိုချက်ပုံစံကို လက်ခံရရှိနိုင်ပြီး အဆိုပါကိစ္စရပ်များကို လျော်ညီစွာ ကိုင်တွယ်ရန် ပြင်ဆင်နေကြောင်း အကြံပြုအပ်ပါသည်။

အထက်တွင်ဖော်ပြထားသည့်အတိုင်း OPLA သို့ PD အဆိုပြုချက်ကို အပြည့်အ၀ အခမဲ့တင်သွင်းနိုင်ပြီး PD တောင်းဆိုချက်ကို OPLA သို့တိုက်ရိုက်တင်ပြရန် ရှေ့နေတစ်ဦးကို ငှားရမ်းရန် သင့်တာဝန်မဟုတ်ပါ။ သို့သော် သင်နှစ်သက်ရာ အေးဂျင့်နှင့် တိုင်ပင်နိုင်ပါသည်။ ထို့အပြင်၊ အစိုးရက တရားဝင် ကိုယ်စားမပြုသော်လည်း၊ ဤနေရာတွင် ဝင်ရောက်ကြည့်ရှုနိုင်သော အခမဲ့ သို့မဟုတ် လျှော့စျေး ဝန်ဆောင်မှုပေးသည့် ဝန်ဆောင်မှုပေးသူများစာရင်း ရှိပါသည်။

Demann pou pwokirè a aji selon volonte l (Prosecutorial Discretion, PD) nan kad pousuit kont kèk benefisyè sitiyasyon pwoteksyon tanporè (Temporary Protected Status, TPS) ki anba yon lòd ekspilsyon oswa yon lòd depòtasyon

Konfòmeman avèk pratik li yo nan zafè PD, Biwo Konseye Legal Prensipal ICE (Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, OPLA) ka anvizaje depoze yon rekèt konjwent pou relouvri yon pwosedi ak yon rekèt pou anile yon pwosedi san prejidis ki pa jwenn opozisyon pou kèk kalite benefisyè TPS ki anba yon lòd ekspilsyon oswa anba yon lòd depòtasyon nan peyi Etazini e ki ta renmen aplike (oswa ki gentan aplike) pou rezidans pèmanan legal nan Sèvis Sitwayènte ak Imigrasyon peyi Etazini (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). W ap jwenn plis enfòmasyon sou kalite benefisyè TPS ki ka kalifye pou jan de PD sa a isit la.

Si w panse ou gen dwa kalifye pou jan de PD sa a, ou ka depoze yon demann PD nan biwo OPLA lokal ou a nan suiv pwosedi lokal la ki disponib sou paj Kijan pou voye yon demann PD sou sitOPLA a. Biwo lokal OPLA yo gen tan konnen yo gen dwa resevwa jan de demann PD sa a epi yo pare pou yo egzamine ka sa yo.

Jan sa endike anwo a, pa gen okenn kòb pou peye pou mande OPLA egzamine demann PD ou a, lèfini ou pa oblije gen avoka pou depoze yon demann PD dirèkteman nan OPLA. Sepandan, ou gen posiblite pou konsilte yon reprezantan legal ou chwazi. Epitou, byenke gouvènman an pa bay moun reprezantan legal, ou ka jwenn yon lis prestatè sèvis ki gratis oswa ki bon mache isit la.

Requêtes de discrétion (PD) en matière de poursuites concernant certains bénéficiaires du statut de protection temporaire (TPS) faisant l'objet d'un ordre de renvoi ou d'expulsion

Conformément à ses pratiques relatives aux PD, le Bureau du conseiller juridique principal (OPLA) de l'ICE est susceptible d'envisager le dépôt d'une requête conjointe de réouverture et d'une requête sans opposition de rejet sans préjudice pour certains bénéficiaires de TPS ayant fait l'objet d'un ordre de renvoi ou d'expulsion des États-Unis et cherchant à demander (ou ayant demandé) la résidence permanente légale auprès des services de citoyenneté et d'immigration des États-Unis. Vous trouverez plus de détails sur les cas de bénéficiaires du TPS susceptibles de bénéficier de ce type de DP ici.

Si vous estimez être éligible à ce type de PD, vous pouvez soumettre une demande de PD à votre Bureau Local d'OPLA en utilisant la procédure locale applicable, accessible sur la page Comment soumettre une demande de PD d'OPLA. Les Bureaux Locaux d'OPLA sont conscients qu'ils peuvent recevoir ce type particulier de demande de PD et sont prêts à traiter ces cas en conséquence.

Comme mentionné ci-dessus, il n'y a pas de frais pour demander à l'OPLA de prendre en considération votre cas en vue de cet exercice potentiel d'un PD, et rien ne vous oblige à avoir un avocat si vous souhaitez faire une demande de PD directement avec OPLA. Toutefois, vous pouvez consulter un représentant légal de votre choix. Et, bien que le gouvernement ne fournisse aucune représentation juridique, une liste de prestataires de services gratuits ou à faible coût est disponible ici.

निष्कासन वा निर्वासनको आदेश पाएका अस्थायी संरक्षित स्थिति (TPS) प्राप्तकर्ताहरूको लागि अभियोजन विवेक (PD) अनुरोधहरू

PD अभ्यासलाई निरन्तरता दिदै प्रमुख कानुनी सल्लाहकार (OPLA) को आई सी ई कार्यालयले संयुक्त राज्य अमेरिकाबाट हटाइएका वा देश निकाला गरिएका निश्चित TPS प्राप्तकर्ताहरू जसले अमेरिकी नागरिकता को लागि कानुनी रुपमा स्थायी बसोबासको र अध्यागमन सेवाहरु को लागि आवेदन दिने (वा आवेदन दियिसकेका छन्) का लागि कुनै पूर्वाग्रह बिना नै पुन: खोल्नको लागि संयुक्त प्रस्ताव र अविरोध प्रस्ताव दर्ता गर्न विचार गर्न सक्छ। यस प्रकारको PD को लागि कुन TPS प्राप्तकर्ताहरू योग्य हुन सक्छन् भन्ने बारे थप जानकारी यहाँ पाउन सक्नुहुन्छ।

यदि तपाईं यस प्रकारको PD को लागि योग्य हुनुहुन्छ भन्ने विश्वास गर्नुहुन्छ भने, OPLA PD अनुरोध प्रक्रिया पृष्ठमा रहेको प्रक्रियाहरू प्रयोग गरी स्थानीय OPLA सम्बद्धलाई PD अनुरोध पेश गर्नुहोस्। स्थानीय OPLA शाखाहरूलाई सल्लाह दिइन्छ कि उनीहरूले यो RFP अनुरोध फारम प्राप्त गर्न सक्छन् र तदनुसार यी मामिलाहरू ह्यान्डल गर्न तयार छन्।

माथि उल्लेख गरिए अनुसार, यो OPLA मा PD प्रस्ताव पेश गर्न पूर्ण रूपमा स्वतन्त्र छ र OPLA लाई सीधै PD अनुरोध पेश गर्नका लागि वकिल नियुक्त गर्ने तपाईंको जिम्मेवारी होइन। यद्यपि, तपाईं आफ्नो रोजाइको एजेन्टसँग परामर्श गर्न सक्नुहुन्छ। र, यद्यपि सरकारले कानुनी प्रतिनिधित्व प्रदान गर्दैन, यहाँ पहुँचयोग्य निःशुल्क वा कम लागत सेवाहरू प्रदान गर्ने प्रदायकहरूको सूची छ।

طلبات السلطة الاستنسابية للادعاء لمتلقين معينين لـ"وضع الحماية المؤقت" (TPS) ممن صدر ضدهم أوامر بالإبعاد أو الترحيل

اتساقاً مع ممارسات السلطة الاستنسابية للادعاء، قد ينظر مكتب المستشار القانوني الرئيسي التابع لوكالة إنفاذ قوانين الهجرة والجمارك في تقديم التماس مشترك لإعادة طرح والتماس غير معترض عليه لصرف النظر دون تحييز لبعض المستفيدين من وضع الحماية المؤقتة الذين أُمر بإبعادهم أو ترحيلهم من الولايات المتحدة ويسعون إلى تقديم طلب (أو قاموا بتقديم طلب) للحصول على إقامة دائمة قانونية لدى دائرة خدمات الجنسية والهجرة الأمريكية . ويمكن الاطلاع هنا على مزيد من المعلومات عن الحالات التي يمكن أن تكون فيها الجهات المستفيدة من وضع الحماية المؤقتة مؤهلة للحصول على هذا النوع من طلبات السلطة الاستنسابية للادعاء.

إذا كنت تعتقد بأنك مؤهل لهذا النوع من السلطة الاستنسابية للادعاء، فعليك أن تقدم طلب للسلطة الاستنسابية للادعاء إلى مكتب المستشار القانوني الرئيسي الميداني المحلي الخاص بك باستخدام الإجراءات المحلية اللائمة المتاحة على صفحة " كيفية تقديم طلب للسلطة الاستنسابية للادعاء " التابعة لمكتب المستشار القانوني الرئيسي. وتدرك المواقع الميدانية التابعة لمكتب المستشار القانوني الرئيسي إمكانية تلقيها هذا النوع من الطلبات، وهي مستعدة لمعالجة هذه الحالات وفقاً لذلك.

وكما ذُكر أعلاه، لن يطلب مكتب المستشار القانوني الرئيسي أي رسوم للنظر في قضيتك فيما يتعلق بطلب السلطة الاستنسابية للادعاء، ولا يتطلب عليك أن يكون لديك محام إذا أردت تقديم طلب السلطة الاستنسابية للادعاء مباشرةً مع مكتب المستشار القانوني الرئيسي. لكن، يمكنك التشاور مع ممثل قانوني من اختيارك. وبينما لا توفر الحكومة تمثيلاً قانونياً، تتوفر هنا قائمة بمقدمي الخدمات المجانية أو منخفضة التكلفة.

How to Submit a Request for PD

You are not required to pay a fee when submitting a request for the exercise of PD. Additional guidance on how to submit requests for PD is available below.

Overview

OPLA attorneys will review cases during the normal course of business to determine whether and how to exercise PD. Consequently, you are not required to submit a PD request for OPLA to exercise PD in your case.

If you would like to submit a request for PD, you (or your legal representative) should first review DHS Secretary N. Alejandro Mayorkas’ September 30, 2021 memorandum titled Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law and Principal Legal Advisor Kerry E. Doyle’s April 3, 2022 memorandum titled Guidance to OPLA Attorneys Regarding the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Laws and the Exercise of Prosecutorial Discretion (Doyle Memorandum) to determine whether your case is a priority. Your PD request should be submitted on or after the effective date of the Doyle Memorandum, April 25, 2022, and conform to the instructions provided below.

OPLA does not charge a filing or application fee to receive, process, or consider PD requests. An attorney or legal representative may charge you a fee for helping to prepare your request for PD, but no part of that fee is paid to the U.S. Government. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review’s website includes additional information about how to report an attorney or legal representative who you suspect may be engaged in criminal, unethical, or unprofessional conduct. You may also report fraud by non-attorneys to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission or to your state Consumer Protection Office.

Priority/Nonpriority Cases

Nonpriority Cases

If you believe that your case is not an enforcement priority because, for example, you entered the United States before November 1, 2020, and you have never been arrested or convicted of a criminal offense, then your PD request should only contain the following information:

  1. A statement that you do not believe your case is an immigration enforcement priority; and
  2. Confirmation that you have no objection to your case being dismissed.

You do not have to submit additional information in support of your PD request if you do not believe that your case is a priority. However, the OPLA attorney reviewing your case may request additional information from you to assist them in deciding whether it is proper to exercise PD in your case.

If you are unrepresented (or “pro se”), you may wish to complete and submit this document in support of your request for PD. This document is not a requirement to be considered for PD, but OPLA has prepared it for the convenience of unrepresented noncitizens in particular.

Priority Cases and Cases Where Priority Designations Are Unclear

If you are uncertain whether your case meets an immigration enforcement priority or if it is clear to you that your case may be a priority because of, for example, your criminal history or date of entry into the United States, then your PD request should also contain information as outlined in the Doyle Memorandum, including:

  1. All supporting evidence addressing any positive or negative factors in your case;
  2. An explanation of why this information is relevant to whether your case is a priority; and
  3. Confirmation that you have no objection to your case being dismissed if your case is found not to be an immigration enforcement priority.

Mitigating/Aggravating Factors

Positive or Mitigating Factors

Examples of positive or mitigating factors may include, but are not limited to: your current age, particularly if a minor or elderly; your age at the time you committed any criminal offenses; the length of time you have been in the United States; whether a mental condition contributed to your prior criminal conduct; whether you are receiving medical treatment in the United States and the nature of such treatment; whether you are the victim of crime or a witness, victim, or party in legal proceedings; the impact of removal on your family in the United States, such as loss of a provider or caregiver; whether you are eligible for humanitarian protection or other immigration relief; your or your relatives’ service in the military or other public service; the length of time since your last offense and evidence of rehabilitation; whether your conviction was vacated or expunged, or the underlying criminal activity decriminalized; whether you are pregnant, postpartum, or nursing; whether you are a lawful permanent resident, and for how long; whether circumstances of your arrest indicate improper discrimination or retaliation by law enforcement; and/or whether you are cooperating with federal, state, local, or tribal law enforcement.

Negative or Aggravating Factors

To assist OPLA in evaluating whether your case is a priority, it is important that all information relevant to potential negative or aggravating factors be provided, including but not limited to: the gravity of the offense and the length and nature of the sentence; the nature and degree of harm caused to the victim or community; the sophistication of the criminal offense; whether the offense involved a weapon; your prior criminal record; whether the victim was vulnerable, such as a child or elderly person; whether criminal conduct was of a sexual nature; whether the offense was committed in furtherance of a criminal street gang; and/or whether the criminal conduct resulted in harm to public health, including pandemic response efforts. A submission of supporting documents should also include: the length of time since the offense was committed; evidence of rehabilitation; evidence that you suffer from a mental condition that may have contributed to your criminal conduct; and whether your conviction was vacated or expunged.

Criminal Background Checks

As part of the PD review process, OPLA conducts a criminal history check in each case. OPLA will notify you or your legal representative if DHS does not have a record of your biometrics or fingerprints, and you may then be directed to submit a Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) fingerprint-based background check before a final PD decision can be made. If DHS has a record of your biometrics or fingerprints, you will not need to submit an FBI fingerprint-based background check.

OPLA Field Location Map and Email Addresses

Below are the email addresses for each OPLA Field Location that you (or your legal representative) should use when requesting PD or asking OPLA to review the priority decision in your case. Some OPLA Field Locations may prefer to receive PD requests via ICE eService. You (if you are unrepresented or “pro se”) or your legal representative may register for ICE eService here. If you have questions about how to submit a PD request, please contact your local OPLA Field Location.

Main Field Location Sub-Office Email Address for PD Requests Local Standard Operating Procedures
Atlanta   ICE-OPLA-ATL-PD@ice.dhs.gov Atlanta Local SOPs
  Charlotte ICE-OPLA-ATL-CLT-PD@ice.dhs.gov Atlanta Local SOPs
  Stewart ICE-OPLA-ATL-SDC-PD@ice.dhs.gov Atlanta Local SOPs
  Summit ICE-OPLA-ATL-SFB-PD@ice.dhs.gov Atlanta Local SOPs
Baltimore   ICE-OPLA-BAL-PD@ice.dhs.gov Baltimore Local SOPs
  Hyattsville ICE-OPLA-BAL-HYA-PD@ice.dhs.gov Baltimore Local SOPs
Boston   ICE-OPLA-BOS-PD@ice.dhs.gov Boston Local SOPs
  Hartford ICE-OPLA-BOS-HAR-PD@ice.dhs.gov Boston Local SOPs
Buffalo   ICE-OPLA-BUF-PD@ice.dhs.gov Buffalo Local SOPs
  Batavia ICE-OPLA-BUF-BTV-PD@ice.dhs.gov Buffalo Local SOPs
Chicago   ICE-OPLA-CHI-PD@ice.dhs.gov Chicago Local SOPs
  Kansas City ICE-OPLA-CHI-KAN-PD@ice.dhs.gov Chicago Local SOPs
Dallas   ICE-OPLA-DAL-PD@ice.dhs.gov Dallas Local SOPs
Denver   ICE-OPLA-DEN-PD@ice.dhs.gov Denver Local SOPs
  Salt Lake City ICE-OPLA-DEN-SLC-PD@ice.dhs.gov Denver Local SOPs
Detroit   ICE-OPLA-DET-PD@ice.dhs.gov Detroit Local SOPs
Detroit Local SOPs for Unrepresented Noncitizens
  Cleveland ICE-OPLA-DET-CLE-PD@ice.dhs.gov Detroit Local SOPs
Detroit Local SOPs for Unrepresented Noncitizens
El Paso   ICE-OPLA-ELP-PD@ice.dhs.gov El Paso Local SOPs
Honolulu   ICE-OPLA-HHW-PD@ice.dhs.gov Honolulu Local SOPs
Houston   ICE-OPLA-HOU-PD@ice.dhs.gov Houston Local SOPs
  Conroe ICE-OPLA-HOU-CON-PD@ice.dhs.gov Houston Local SOPs
Los Angeles   ICE-OPLA-LOS-PD@ice.dhs.gov Los Angeles Local SOPs
  Adelanto ICE-OPLA-LOS-ADE-PD@ice.dhs.gov Los Angeles Local SOPs
  Las Vegas ICE-OPLA-LOS-LVG-PD@ice.dhs.gov Los Angeles Local SOPs
  North Los Angeles ICE-OPLA-LOS-NLA-PD@ice.dhs.gov Los Angeles Local SOPs
  Santa Ana ICE-OPLA-LOS-SAA-PD@ice.dhs.gov Los Angeles Local SOPs
  Van Nuys ICE-OPLA-LOS-VNS-PD@ice.dhs.gov Los Angeles Local SOPs
Miami   ICE-OPLA-MIA-PD@ice.dhs.gov Miami Local SOPs
  Broward Transitional Center ICE-OPLA-MIA-BTC-PD@ice.dhs.gov Miami Local SOPs
  Krome ICE-OPLA-MIA-KSPC-PD@ice.dhs.gov Miami Local SOPs
  Puerto Rico & the U.S. Virgin Islands ICE-OPLA-MIA-PR-VI-PD@ice.dhs.gov Miami Local SOPs
Minneapolis-St. Paul   ICE-OPLA-SPM-PD@ice.dhs.gov Minneapolis-St. Paul Local SOPs
New Orleans   ICE-OPLA-NOL-PD@ice.dhs.gov New Orleans Local SOPs
  Jena ICE-OPLA-NOL-JNA-PD@ice.dhs.gov New Orleans Local SOPs
  Memphis ICE-OPLA-NOL-MEM-PD@ice.dhs.gov New Orleans Local SOPs
  Oakdale ICE-OPLA-NOL-OAK-PD@ice.dhs.gov New Orleans Local SOPs
New York City   ICE-OPLA-NYC-PD@ice.dhs.gov New York City Local SOPs
  Hudson Valley ICE-OPLA-NYC-IHV-PD@ice.dhs.gov New York City Local SOPs
  Varick ICE-OPLA-NYC-VRK-PD@ice.dhs.gov New York City Local SOPs
Newark   ICE-OPLA-NEW-PD@ice.dhs.gov Newark Local SOPs
  Elizabeth ICE-OPLA-NEW-ELZ-PD@ice.dhs.gov Newark Local SOPs
Orlando   ICE-OPLA-ORL-PD@ice.dhs.gov Orlando Local SOPs
Philadelphia   ICE-OPLA-PHI-PD@ice.dhs.gov Philadelphia Local SOPs
  York ICE-OPLA-PHI-YRK-PD@ice.dhs.gov Philadelphia Local SOPs
Phoenix   ICE-OPLA-PHO-PD@ice.dhs.gov Phoenix Local SOPs
Phoenix Local SOPs for Unrepresented Noncitizens
  Eloy ICE-OPLA-PHO-EDC-PD@ice.dhs.gov Phoenix Local SOPs
Phoenix Local SOPs for Unrepresented Noncitizens
  Florence ICE-OPLA-PHO-FLO-PD@ice.dhs.gov Phoenix Local SOPs
Phoenix Local SOPs for Unrepresented Noncitizens
  Tucson ICE-OPLA-PHO-TUC-PD@ice.dhs.gov Phoenix Local SOPs
Phoenix Local SOPs for Unrepresented Noncitizens
San Antonio   ICE-OPLA-SNA-PD@ice.dhs.gov San Antonio Local SOPs
  Harlingen ICE-OPLA-SNA-HLG-PD@ice.dhs.gov San Antonio Local SOPs
  Pearsall ICE-OPLA-SNA-STIPC-PD@ice.dhs.gov San Antonio Local SOPs
  Port Isabel ICE-OPLA-SNA-PIDC-PD@ice.dhs.gov San Antonio Local SOPs
San Diego   ICE-OPLA-SND-PD@ice.dhs.gov San Diego Local SOPs
  El Centro ICE-OPLA-SND-ELC-PD@ice.dhs.gov San Diego Local SOPs
  Otay Mesa ICE-OPLA-SND-OTM-PD@ice.dhs.gov San Diego Local SOPs
San Francisco   ICE-OPLA-SFR-PD@ice.dhs.gov San Francisco Local SOPs
  Sacramento ICE-OPLA-SFR-SAC-PD@ice.dhs.gov San Francisco Local SOPs
Seattle   ICE-OPLA-SEA-PD@ice.dhs.gov Seattle Local SOPs
  Portland ICE-OPLA-SEA-POO-PD@ice.dhs.gov Seattle Local SOPs
  Tacoma ICE-OPLA-SEA-TAC-PD@ice.dhs.gov Seattle Local SOPs
Washington, D.C.   ICE-OPLA-WAS-PD@ice.dhs.gov Washington, D.C. Local SOPs

PD Email Limited Data Security Waiver

Those engaging in email exchange with OPLA’s PD email addresses acknowledge and agree to a limited waiver of data security that shall only attach to the electronic service and transmittal of documents that may contain sensitive personally identifiable information (SPII). Senders to the email addresses should be aware, however, that ICE cannot ensure that information transmitted outside of the DHS network will remain secure during transmission. This waiver applies to both your receipt of information transmitted by ICE and the transmission of information from you to ICE. Please also be advised that (1) from the time information leaves the DHS network until receipt by your email system and (2) during the time that information is being transmitted by your email system to the DHS network, the information contained within the email, including but not limited to SPII, is not necessarily secure against interception. You are strongly encouraged to encrypt any documents containing SPII prior to sending it to OPLA via email and to send passwords under separate email. By participating in use of the PD email addresses, you expressly agree to assume the risk that SPII may be intercepted during transmission to or from the DHS network and, as a result, be obtained by or disclosed to third-parties.

Outreach Engagements

OPLA and the ICE Office of Partnership and Engagement are scheduling virtual town halls around the country for stakeholders to discuss OPLA’s PD guidance and address questions. The OPLA Field Locations also maintain local email addresses where you may submit PD requests. The email addresses are available in the How to Submit a PD Request section above.

Frequently Asked Questions about Prosecutorial Discretion under the Doyle Memorandum

Background

What is Prosecutorial Discretion (PD)?

PD is the longstanding authority of an agency charged with enforcing the law to decide where to focus its resources and whether or how to enforce the law against an individual. PD is an indispensable aspect of any functioning legal system. The use of PD in the immigration context helps advance good government by reducing redundancies across DHS, achieves just and fair outcomes in individual cases, and advances the DHS mission of administering and enforcing the immigration laws of the United States in a smart and sensible way that promotes public confidence and reflects our nation’s values. In practice, PD allows the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) attorneys to decide how they want to proceed on an individual case, such as agreeing to remove a case from the immigration court docket through dismissal or administrative closure, or agreeing to stipulations on issues such as relief, bond, or continuances. PD is exercised on a case-by-case basis.

Why was a new PD memorandum issued?

On May 27, 2021, former Principal Legal Advisor John D. Trasviña issued the memorandum titled Interim Guidance to OPLA Attorneys Regarding Civil Immigration Enforcement and Removal Policies and Priorities (Interim Guidance). This memorandum was intended to provide instruction to OPLA attorneys on the exercise of PD pending further direction from DHS. Subsequent to this Interim Guidance, on September 30, 2021, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued the memorandum titled Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law (Mayorkas Memorandum), which took effect on November 29, 2021. These new guidelines clarified and finalized DHS’s civil enforcement priorities. On April 4, 2022, Principal Legal Advisor Kerry E. Doyle issued the memorandum titled Guidance to OPLA Attorneys Regarding the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Laws and the Exercise of Prosecutorial Discretion (Doyle Memorandum), which incorporates the Mayorkas Memorandum, rescinds the Interim Guidance, and updates and expands the exercise of PD by OPLA attorneys.

How is the Doyle Memorandum different from the Interim Guidance?

The Doyle Memorandum streamlines OPLA’s process for designating enforcement priorities and provides clearer parameters through which OPLA attorneys may exercise PD in individual cases. In general, any case designated as a nonpriority will be eligible for PD, including dismissal or administrative closure. OPLA’s preferred form of PD, however, will be dismissal of removal proceedings. Any case designated as a priority will generally not be considered for PD, but the noncitizen may seek reconsideration of the priority designation, particularly if there are emergent developments in the case.

OPLA attorneys will be actively reviewing cases to determine a noncitizen’s eligibility for PD during their normal preparation and handling of cases. As such, a noncitizen does not have to submit a request for PD to be considered for PD, though affirmative requests, particularly for cases not on the active docket or with imminent hearings, will be accepted. Noncitizens are encouraged to affirmatively request PD at the earliest possible stage in removal proceedings.

The Doyle Memorandum also expands the delegation of decision-making authority beyond the Chief Counsel (CC) to streamline the response time on the exercise of PD.

When does the Doyle Memorandum go into effect?

The Doyle Memorandum will take effect on April 25, 2022.

Applying PD

If a noncitizen believes his or her case was incorrectly designated as a priority, may the noncitizen seek reassessment...

If a noncitizen believes his or her case was incorrectly designated as a priority, may the noncitizen seek reassessment of the priority designation in order to be eligible for PD?

Yes. OPLA attorneys will continue to assess any emergent or previously unavailable evidence that may affect the designation of a noncitizen’s case. In addition, noncitizens may affirmatively request a reassessment of their priority designation, so long as the noncitizen provides the appropriate supporting evidence, including new or previously unavailable information, if applicable. See Doyle Memorandum at 9–10, 16.

Is PD in the forms of non-filing of an NTA, dismissal, or administrative closure of removal proceedings intended to be applied only to...

Is PD in the forms of non-filing of a Notice to Appear (NTA), dismissal, or administrative closure of removal proceedings intended to be applied only to nonpriority cases?

Yes. Before exercising PD in a case, OPLA attorneys must first evaluate a case to assess its priority designation under the enforcement priorities. PD will be reserved for nonpriority cases only, with limited exceptions. OPLA attorneys will generally litigate to completion all cases that are designated a priority. If a case is designated a nonpriority, then OPLA attorneys may exercise PD in those cases. OPLA’s preferred forms of PD for nonpriority cases are non-filing of the NTA, or, if removal proceedings have already been initiated, dismissal of the case. In certain circumstances, OPLA attorneys may consider other forms of PD, including administrative closure and stipulations to factual or legal issues. See Doyle Memorandum at 10.

Where a case is a priority, can the noncitizen still benefit from PD through the dismissal or administrative closure of his or her case?

No. OPLA attorneys will generally not agree to dismiss or administratively close a case that is determined to be a priority under the Mayorkas Memorandum. If, however, a CC or their designee determines that a noncitizen’s case is a priority, the noncitizen may still affirmatively request that the respective OPLA Field Location (OFL) reassess the priority designation. If the priority designation is changed to nonpriority, then the noncitizen would be considered for the favorable exercise of PD. See Doyle Memorandum at 10.

To be eligible for dismissal as a matter of discretion, must the noncitizen still satisfy one of the five categories outlined in...

To be eligible for dismissal as a matter of discretion, must the noncitizen still satisfy one of the five categories outlined in the Interim Guidance as warranting dismissal?

No. The Doyle Memorandum rescinded the Interim Guidance. Under the Doyle Memorandum, PD in the form of dismissal will, generally, be available to all nonpriority cases. See Doyle Memorandum at 10–12.

Do nonpriority cases require affirmative requests for PD to be dismissed as an exercise of PD?

Generally, no. OPLA attorneys may unilaterally move to dismiss cases that warrant dismissal under the Doyle Memorandum, with limited exceptions, including protecting the noncitizen’s statutory right to a hearing before the immigration court. See Doyle Memorandum at 10–12.

Given OPLA’s limited resources, noncitizens who seek PD, including dismissal of their case, should still affirmatively request PD at the earliest stage possible. Requests for any form of PD made at a late stage in removal proceedings are discouraged, although late-emerging, material, and previously unavailable information, or materially changed circumstances pertinent to the exercise of discretion, will be taken into account. See Doyle Memorandum at 9.

If a noncitizen, whose case is a nonpriority, prefers to pursue relief before the immigration judge, can OPLA still move to dismiss proceedings?

Yes. OPLA attorneys may unilaterally move to dismiss nonpriority cases, with limited exceptions, even if the noncitizen prefers to seek relief in removal proceedings. See Doyle Memorandum at 10–12 (providing limited exceptions to OPLA’s authority to unilaterally move to dismiss). In such circumstances, the noncitizen may still file an opposition to OPLA’s motion to dismiss removal proceedings. The immigration judge would then decide whether to grant the motion. Where the noncitizen affirmatively advises the respective OFL of his or her preference to remain in removal proceedings in advance of OPLA’s filing of the motion to dismiss, the OFL will determine on a case-by-case basis whether to unilaterally seek dismissal or consider another form of PD.

For cases involving pro se noncitizens, OPLA attorneys will consult their CC or designee before unilaterally moving to dismiss removal proceedings. See Doyle Memorandum at 11.

Can OPLA agree to administrative closure of nonpriority cases as a form of PD in lieu of dismissal if a noncitizen prefers administrative closure?

Generally, yes, though OPLA’s preferred form of PD is dismissal. OPLA attorneys may, however, consider administrative closure, as well as other forms of PD, in consultation with their CC or designee on a case-by-case basis. OPLA attorneys may also consider unilaterally moving for administrative closure—such actions will be done in accordance with Matter of Avetisyan, 25 I&N Dec. 479 (BIA 1996) and Matter of W-Y-U, 27 I&N Dec. 17 (BIA 2017). See Doyle Memorandum at 12.

Do individuals requesting PD or being considered for PD need to submit criminal background information to OPLA?

As a general rule, no. Noncitizens who have previously had biometrics collected by DHS in relation to any application for relief will not be required to submit information documenting their criminal histories (or lack thereof). Noncitizens who have never had their biometrics collected by DHS will be required to submit an FBI fingerprint-based background check with their PD request or at the request of the reviewing OPLA attorney before a final PD decision can be made. As procedures for PD develop in the wake of the Doyle Memorandum, the submission of an FBI fingerprint-based background check with a PD request may facilitate a quicker final decision, even for those individuals who have previously had their biometrics collected by DHS.

Appeals

Will OFLs withdraw appeals in nonpriority cases?

OFLs will determine whether to withdraw an appeal that OPLA has already filed with the Board of Immigration Appeals on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with existing OPLA appellate guidance and procedures. See Doyle Memorandum at 14.

Can OPLA continue to reserve appeal in nonpriority cases?

Yes. OFLs may continue to reserve appeal on nonpriority cases, among other reasons, to ensure clear and fully reasoned decisions are issued by the immigration judge and to assist OPLA in determining whether an appeal is warranted. See Doyle Memorandum at 14.

Can OFLs continue to pursue appeals of immigration court decisions in nonpriority cases?

Yes. OFLs may continue to file an appeal of any decisions issued in a nonpriority case. The decision to pursue an appeal, however, will be judiciously made on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with existing OPLA appellate guidance and procedures. See Doyle Memorandum at 14.

Joint Motions to Reopen

Can OPLA attorneys agree to reopen a nonpriority case as a matter of PD?

OPLA attorneys will determine, on a case-by case basis and in accordance with local guidance and applicable law, whether to join a motion to reopen. OPLA attorneys may, in an exercise of PD, join a motion to reopen to allow a nonpriority case to proceed on an application for permanent or temporary relief outside of immigration court, as well as to pursue relief before the immigration court if such relief was not previously considered. Cases that can be reopened and dismissed for the consideration of new relief before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will be viewed most favorably for Joint Motions to Reopen. OPLA attorneys will, however, focus the government’s finite resources on litigating priority cases rather than relitigating previously completed cases. See Doyle Memorandum at 14–15.

Stipulations of Relief, Continuances, and Other Forms of PD

Can OPLA attorneys agree to a continuance or stipulate to relief or issues of fact and law as an exercise of PD in priority cases?

Yes. OPLA attorneys may continue to agree to exercise PD, such as agreeing to continuances and stipulating to issues or relief for all cases, including those that are designated a priority. The exercise of PD in the form of non-filing of the NTA, dismissal, or administrative closure, however, is reserved for nonpriority cases only. See Doyle Memorandum at 10.

Appearances

Does the current guidance allow for OPLA attorneys to elect not to appear at certain hearings before the immigration court?

Yes. OPLA attorneys may exercise discretion, on a case-by-case basis, by deciding not to appear for a hearing before the immigration court. This includes master calendar hearings. The respective OFL is solely responsible for decisions on whether to waive appearance at any given hearing in accordance with current guidance. See Doyle Memorandum at 15–16.

Bonds

Can OPLA attorneys stipulate to bond amounts and alternative conditions in priority cases?

Yes. OPLA attorneys may consider requests to stipulate to bond amounts and alternative conditions to detention in priority cases on a case-by-case basis, where the noncitizen is not subject to mandatory detention under the Immigration and Nationality Act, based on an analysis of the mitigating and aggravating factors in the case. See Doyle Memorandum at 15.

Updated: 06/24/2022