Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Dreams Deferred: Deferred Action, Prosecutorial Discretion, and the Vexing Case(s) of DREAM Act Students

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"In June 2011, with the release of what came to be known as the “Morton Memo,” there were developments in the issue of Deferred Action (DA) and the extent to which President Obama’s Administration would extend a form of prosecutorial discretion to DREAM Act students and others in the country without legal status. The Obama administration undertook a test-case review of pending immigration cases, with an eye toward freezing deportations of unauthorized residents who had no criminal records and then expanding the program of Prosecutorial Discretion nationwide. The plans were to favor the elderly, children who have been in the country more than five years, students who came to the U.S. under the age of 16 and were enrolled in a college degree program, and victims of domestic violence: their pending deportations could be put on hold under the test program, as low priority populations. In the predictable thermodynamics of immigration politics, however, there was