The following guidance was provided by the Department of Homeland Security to ICE Attorneys reviewing the CBP, USCIS, and ICE cases before the Executive Office for Immigration Review.
On August 18, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security announced a review of all administrative removal cases pending before and incoming to the Executive Office for Immigration Re-view (EOIR) of the Depart-ment of Justice. The purpose of the review is to identify those cases that reflect a high enforcement priority for the Department of Homeland Security. This review covers all CBP, USCIS, and ICE removal cases, whether the cases are before immigration judges or the Board of Immigration Appeals. The review to which this guidance applies shall focus on the criteria laid out in Section II, but nothing in this guidance should be construed to prohibit or discourage the consideration of all of the factors laid out in the June 17, 2011 Prosecutorial Discre-tion Memorandum.
II. Criteria for review
The following removal cases are enforcement priorities for the Department of Homeland Security and should generally be pursued in an accelerated manner before EOIR. These cases involve an alien –
– who is a suspected terrorist or national security risk;
– who has a conviction for: a felony or multiple misdemeanors; illegal entry, re-entry, or immigration fraud; or a misdemeanor violation involving; violence, threats, or assault, sexual abuse or exploitation, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, flight from the scene of an accident, drug distribution or trafficking, or other significant threat to public safety;
– who is a gang member, human rights violator, or other clear threat to public safety;
– who entered the country illegally or violated the terms of their admission within the last three years;
– who has previously been removed from the country;
– who has been found by an immigration officer or immigration judge to have committed immigration fraud; or
– who otherwise has an egregious record of immigration violations.
The following cases are generally not enforcement priorities for the Department of Homeland Security and should be carefully considered for prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis to avoid unnecessary diversion of resources from the enforcement priorities identified above. These cases involve an alien –
– who is a member in good standing of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States, an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States, or the spouse or child of such a member or veteran;