Immigration and Customs Enforcement Dismissing Court Cases

by Michael Spychalski

A memo was issued at the end of June providing new guidance and asking U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to focus on apprehending terrorists and criminals as opposed to noncriminals. The memo claims that the Agency only has enough resources to remove approximately 400,000 aliens per year. This is less than four percent of the estimated illegal-alien population in the United States. The Agency’s top priorities are illegal immigrants who pose a danger to national security, public safety and border security.

The memo provides discretion to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to move to dismiss cases against non-recent aliens. Non-recent refers to someone who has been in this country more than two years. To terminate the case, the alien must not have a criminal record. Traffic offenses may be excluded. Those with one misdemeanor, depending on its nature, years ago with counterbalancing equities will also be considered by DHS for termination. Apparently, the limit is two misdemeanors. Aliens with a history of family violence, sexual crimes and DWIs will not be considered for termination. The recentness of the offenses will also be taken into consideration. DHS now has permission to stipulate to grants of relief, for instance, in very strong cancellation cases.

Immigration will also expedite cases involving I-130 petitions. Aliens who are detained and have petitions filed for them through spouses will have their cases adjudicated within 30 days. Non-detained aliens can have their petitions adjudicated in 45 days. However, immigration judges are not bound by this memo and can rule against termination.

This memo will definitely benefit aliens in proceedings. Different immigration courts and, more specifically, judges will handle these cases differently. The government will determine each case on a case-by-case basis. Anyone who feels they might qualify under this memo needs to call our office.

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