Immigrants are not aliens. Being undocumented is not illegal. And finally, our leaders in government agree. On May 27, 2021, a memorandum was issued to all Department of Homeland Security (DHS) attorneys nationwide, which issued guidance and directives in order to apply President Biden’s priorities for immigraiton enforcement.

This week I will be proving a breakdown of what this new immigration memo means to you. Today, I will answer the following:

What if I am in deportation proceedings? Will the new immigration enforcement memo help me win my case?

The answer is, “it depends.”

According to this new memo, ICE attorneys can consider dismissing cases for immigrants who have been longtime green card holders, are pregnant or elderly, have a serious health condition, or have been in the US from a young age. ICE attorneys also have broad consideration to take into account other mitigating factors, like whether the immigrant has strong family ties in the U.S., their work history, or other contributions to their community. Cases can also be dismissed if a defendant serves in the military or has a family member who does.

The memo itself states:

“In determining whether to exercise prosecutorial discretion, OPLA should consider relevant aggravating and mitigating factors. Relevant mitigating factors may include a noncitizen’s length of residence in the United States; service in the U.S. military; family or community ties in the United States; circumstances of arrival in the United States and the manner of their entry; prior immigration history; current immigration status (where lawful permanent resident (LPR) status generally warrants greater consideration, but not to the exclusion of other noncitizens depending on the totality of the circumstances); work history in the United States; pursuit or completion of education in the United States; status as a victim, witness, or plaintiff in civil or criminal proceedings; whether the individual has potential immigration relief available; contributions to the community; and any compelling humanitarian factors, including poor health, age, pregnancy, status as a child, or status as a primary caregiver of a seriously ill relative in the United States.”

This policy directive reintroduces a much-needed consideration of each immigrant’s mitigating circumstances and is a common-sense approach to address the growing immigration court backlog.

In light of these changes, if you are under an existing removal order, it is crucially important that you explore all available options by speaking with an Austin immigration lawyer. During your consultation, an immigration attorney will be able to gather the relevant facts and advise as to whether you have a good chance of getting your case dismissed or terminated, or if it is better for you to remain in deportation proceedings and move forward on an application for relief.

To speak with an experienced Austin immigration lawyer about the new enforcement policy memo or about deportation proceedings, please call today at (512) 215-4407, or contact the firm online, to learn more. Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Immigration Attorney

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