Sunday, December 8th, 2019

The Failure of Prosecutorial Discretion and the Deportation of Oscar Martinez


"This Article is an account of my failed efforts to stop the forced deportation of Oscar Martinez and the lessons I learned from that experience.  My representation of Mr. Martinez centered on navigating the administrative process of requesting prosecutorial discretion from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials.  As a result of my experience with the process and what I have observed of others pursuing the same process, I have come across disquieting evidence of inconsistencies in the program and have concluded extensive changes to the process are necessary.  Sympathetic applicants, like Mr. Martinez, highlight the challenges in exercising prosecutorial discretion during the deportation process and the need for cultural and procedural reform of immigration policies.

I begin this Article with an account of how I came to represent Oscar Martinez, largely through the urging of his stepdaughter, Lorena Cintron and a description of Lorena and Mr. Martinez