For Immediate Release
December 6, 2010
Washington D.C. - Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases Reading the Morton Memo: Federal Priorities and Prosecutorial Discretion by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Professor and Director of the Center for Immigrants' Rights at the Dickinson School of Law of Pennsylvania State University. On June 30, 2010, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), John Morton, issued a memo to the agency that reflected the Obama administration's intent to focus removal efforts on serious offenders. The "Morton Memo" potentially marks a new phase in the enforcement of immigration law. Moreover, the memo gives us insight into the Obama administration's approach to prosecutorial discretion in immigration enforcement.
A close reading of the Morton Memo reveals that it is likely to be subject to multiple interpretations, offering some guidance but little clarity for handling the hundreds of thousands of decisions made annually by ICE agents regarding the arrest, detention, and removal of individual immigrants. This report explains the key provisions of the Morton Memo, points out its strengths and weaknesses, and offers recommendations for additional guidance that should be issued to fulfill the promise of reform suggested in the memo itself.
To read the report in it's entirety see:
To view the Legal Action Center's practice advisory addressing DHS's prosecutorial discretion see:
* Prosecutorial Discretion: How to Get DHS to Act In Favor of Your Client (LAC, Practice Advisory, November 30, 2010)
For more information contact Wendy Sefsaf at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-507-7524.
The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), established in 2003, is the policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational national conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.
The Legal Action Center strives to increase the accountability of government agencies that administer the immigration laws and to ensure these laws are interpreted and implemented in a way that honors fundamental constitutional and human rights. The LAC engages in impact litigation, appears as amicus curiae (friend of the court) before administrative tribunals and federal courts in significant immigration cases on targeted legal issues, and has long worked to protect the right to counsel for noncitizens facing removal from the United States.
Divisions of the American Immigration Council.