Bipartisan politics has prevented meaningful reform to a system in dire need of solutions: Immigration. Meanwhile there are eleven million noncitizens with no valid immigration status who currently reside in the United States and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not have the necessary resources to effect their removal. DHS does have the authority through prosecutorial discretion to prioritize these cases and provide relief to individuals with compelling circumstances that warrant humanitarian consideration; nonetheless, DHS’s exercise of prosecutorial discretion is underutilized, inconsistently applied and lacks transparency. This Article suggests a remedy – that the immigration prosecutor’s role should redefined to be one more akin to criminal prosecutors with a concomitant obligation to seek justice. Others have argued that DHS prosecutorial discretion should be subject to notice and comment rulemaking and a presumption of judicial review. However, if prosecutorial discretion is to remain a solidly executive branch prerogative to counter legislation painted with too broad a brush (a defect of almost all legislation) and a mechanism to prioritize individuals for deportation, such as violent repeat criminal offenders, it should be shielded from rulemaking and a presumption of judicial review.
Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review
Erin B. Corcoran, "Seek Justice, Not Just Deportation: How to Improve Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Law," 48 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 119 (2014).