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Immigration Law

ICE Guidance Regarding Civil Immigration Enforcement and Removal Policies and Priorities (May 27, 2021)

ICE, May 27, 2021

" ... Prosecutorial discretion is an indispensable feature of any functioning legal system. The exercise of prosecutorial discretion, where appropriate, can preserve limited government resources, achieve just and fair outcomes in individual cases, and advance the Department's mission of administering and enforcing the immigration laws of the United States in a smart and sensible way that promotes public confidence. In performing their duties, including through implementation of this memorandum, OPLA attorneys should remain mindful that "[i]mmigration enforcement obligations do not consist only of initiating and conducting prompt proceedings that lead to removals at any cost. Rather, as has been said, the government wins when justice is done." [fn3] As a result, they are both authorized by law and expected to exercise discretion in accordance with the factors and considerations set forth in the Interim Memorandum, the Johnson Memorandum, the Maher Memorandum, and in this guidance at all stages of the enforcement process and at the earliest moment practicable in order to best conserve prosecutorial resources and in recognition of the important interests at stake. ... 

Fn3: Matter of S-M-J-, 21 l&N Dec. 722, 727 (BIA 1997) ( en bane). In remarks delivered at the Second Annual Conference of United States Attorneys more than 80 years ago, Attorney General Robert H. Jackson said, "[n]othing better can come out of this meeting of law enforcement officers than a rededication to the spirit of fair play and decency that should animate the federal prosecutor. Your positions are of such independence and importance that while you are being diligent, strict, and vigorous in law enforcement you can also afford to be just Although the government technically loses its case, it has really won if justice has been done." Robert H. Jackson, The Federal Prosecutor, 24 J. AM. JUD. Soc'Y 18, 18-19 (1940)."