Examining the Jewel (or a Precious Form) of Prosecutorial Discretion
This chapter provides a detailed analysis of “deferred action,” one of the most precious forms of prosecutorial discretion. Once a person is granted deferred action, he or she is eligible to apply for work authorization and remain in the United States in legal limbo. This chapter details how victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes have long used deferred action as a tool for protection from deportation. This chapter analyzes thousands of deferred-action cases processed by the immigration agency over a forty-plus-year period. Most of the data examined in this chapter was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Finally, given the extent to which deferred action has been applied using specific humanitarian criteria and operated as a benefit to the person who receives it, this chapter considers whether deferred action should be subject to notice and comment rulemaking.
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