In light of the Obama administration’s recent executive order that went into effect January 5, 2015, you may qualify to take prosecutorial discretion (PD), also commonly known as “freezing your case.” The executive order states that individuals with a criminal history who haven’t committed a felony or a “significant misdemeanor” and who entered the U.S. before January 1, 2014 are not considered to be an “enforcement priority.” In other words, if you fit this description, the U.S. government does not desire to deport you.
If your case is currently in immigration court, the BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals), or at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals or any other federal circuit court, it’s very important that you immediately consult with an expert immigration attorney like Sassoun A. Nalbandian, lead attorney for Nalbandian Law to discuss if seeking prosecutorial discretion is the right choice in your situation.
Understand the Pros and Cons of Freezing your Case
With prosecutorial discretion, you will be able to enjoy these advantages:
- You will continue to obtain annual employment authorization.
- You will not be at risk for deportation or denial of your case.
- You will live and work freely in the U.S. until there is a change in the US immigration laws.
- Freezing your case isn’t permanent. If you decide to proceed with your case for appeal any time after freezing your case, you have the right to ask the court to re-calendar your case. Please note that in order to go forward with your asylum or court case, you have to have very strong facts on your side; otherwise, PD is typically a safer option for you, especially if your spouse and children are already with you here in the U.S.
Prosecutorial discretion has its disadvantages, too:
- You won’t be able to have your case heard by an immigration judge while your case is frozen.
- Your status will be in limbo (undecided) until there is a change in immigration law or until you have another way of obtaining residency such as marrying a U.S. citizen.
- You will not be able to travel outside the United States while your case is administratively closed.
Don’t Risk Deportation by Hiring an Inexperienced Lawyer!
Due to the complexity of Prosecutorial Discretion cases and the serious ramifications of making such a decision, we strongly advise you to seek the advice of an expert immigration attorney like Sassoun A. Nalbandian of Nalbandian Law. Call for an expert consultation today – (818) 244-0310 or contact us online. We will steer you on the right path and will always advise you as to what is the best option for you.