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Southern California Public Radio
February 27, 2012

Is prosecutorial discretion leading to fewer deportation cases?
By Leslie Berestein Rojas

Are the prosecutorial discretion guidelines issued by the Obama administration last year having an effect on the number of deportation cases that the administration is pursuing? A new Syracuse University report suggests yes, federal immigration officials say no, and some lawmakers are calling “amnesty” nonetheless. First,the report: issued in recent days by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, the number of deportation proceedings begun in the nation’s immigration courts between October and December of last year (the first quarter of federal fiscal year 2012) “fell sharply to only 39,331 — down 33 percent from 58,639 filings recorded the previous quarter,” a drop of more than 10,000 cases filed. The report notes that since filings are typically lower at that time of year, the numbers were adjusted for seasonal drop-off. It continues: This substantial drop may have been caused by the steps needed to implement the June 17, 2011 agency directive on prosecutorial discretion or as the indirect effect of the review announced August 18, 2011 by the Administration of all pending Immigration Court cases. The objective of these twin initiatives was to better target enforcement resources on high priority cases.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2012
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