Immigration Attorney - Orange County, California

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Immigration Case Closed Under Prosecutorial Discretion

10/6/2023 – We got a “win-win” result in immigration court today. Previously the primary attorney on the case submitted a request for prosecutorial discretion to the US government attorney. After several months and more than one court hearing, the US attorney finally agreed to dismiss the case under its authority to grant prosecutorial discretion.

Prosecutorial discretion is sometimes the best result one can hope for in a case, especially if the alien is unlikely to win their case in court. When the government agrees to the request or offers to close a case pursuant to prosecutorial discretion, it means that they will close the immigration case against the alien and stop the deportation proceedings against them. The dismissal is “without prejudice” to the government, so technically they can reinstitute proceedings against the alien at a later time, but that could be in the distant future (or not-so-distant if there is a reason to re-open). The alien does not get any immigration benefits from the dismissal; however, they will not have to keep fighting their case in court (and possibly lose). Many times, closing the immigration case gives the alien time to take advantage of other means of getting legal status. Other times, the government agrees to close the case precisely because the alien has qualified for some other relief, such as having an approved I-130, which, under the right circumstances, can lead to an adjustment of status with USCIS.

Lastly, this option for prosecutorial discretion occurs frequently with cases involving unaccompanied alien children who apply for asylum under the TVPRA or an alien child who applies for and receives Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) through state court proceedings and the USCIS (the I-360 special immigrant visa).

If you or anyone you know has an immigration court case and is an unaccompanied minor or a minor who may be eligible for SIJS (Special Immigrant Juvenile Status), please call my office to see if you qualify for these forms of relief.

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