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Prosecutorial Discretion (PD) in Individual Immigration Cases

(502 reviews)

Produced on January 31, 2017

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$ 89 Immigration, Constitutional, and Public Interest In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

When the President, as head of the executive branch, takes an action to implement and enforce the laws passed by Congress, we sometimes call it an ‘executive action. In such instances, the President delegates that power to the appropriate executive agencies; in the context of immigration, the relevant agencies and offices are U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General. Decisions about how to enforce Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) are referred to as “prosecutorial discretion”, which is what it sounds like: the use of discretion to prosecute the laws.

Prosecutorial discretion therefore refers to the ability of an enforcement agency to decide how to do its job. For example, Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) only has the resources to fully enforce the immigration laws against a relatively small percentage of the immigration population that is in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Thus, when the ICE decides not to fully pursue enforcement in a particular case, it is favorably exercising discretion

The manner in which ICE carries out its duties is influenced by policy memorandum issued by its Director. Over the years, there have been numerous memos relating to how ICE should exercise its prosecutorial discretion. For instance, on whom should ICE focus its investigations? Who should ICE detain or allow to be admitted? Against whom should they initiate removal proceedings? Against whom should they seek removal orders?

This course, led by immigration attorney Matthew Blaisdell, seeks to provide attorneys with an understanding of the different points in the enforcement process at which they may advocate that ICE exercise its discretion in a favorable manner, as well as provide an idea of how a new President may take executive action to change the manner in which ICE exercises its discretion.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Understand situations the ICE may exercise its discretion while pursuing an enforcement action
  2. Identify situations where prosecutorial discretion not apply
  3. Discuss the current policies governing ICE prosecutorial discretion

  4. Define what information an attorney should gather in order to prepare a request to ICE to favorably exercise its discretion

  5. Address how attorneys may utilize prosecutorial discretion policies to become better advocates

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Matthew Blaisdell

Matthew Blaisdell, Esq.

Matthew Blaisdell is an attorney in Brooklyn, New York, with a full concentration in immigration law. He is the former Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Consumer Protection and Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee and currently serves on its Ethics Committee. He frequently writes and presents on these topics, and he has provided testimony to several cities considering legislation to protect immigrant consumers.

He also regularly provides trainings and lectures on topics related to practice management, prosecutorial discretion and advocating before various government agencies, immigration legislation and policies, constitutional issues, immigration options for youth and unaccompanied minors, LGBTQ immigration issues, immigration consequences of criminal activity, humanitarian forms of relief, and employment-based visas.

He received his juris doctor, as well as an LL.M in environmental law, from Pace Law School, and is a graduate of the New York City Environmental Law Leadership Institute (NYCELLI).


Franchesco F.

This was very good content!!!

Rufus W.

Very comprehensive

Patrick O.

Top notch in every sense.

Vida B.

Excellent course.

Kelly R.

Fantastic! Matthew Blaisdell is great!

richard b.

Good introductory course-dated.

Joe P.

thank you

Dana R.

Matthew Blaisdell's presentation was unusually good, I thought, and clear and full of information

Michele D.

Excellent. Kept politics out of it. To the point concise and informative .

Douglas F.

The presenter is obviously a brilliant attorney who is extremely adept at transferring his knowledge both orally and in writing to beginners in his area of practice.. He is without a doubt the finest CLE instructor I've come across in over 20 years of practice. I hope Lawline is able to to convince Matthew to do more presentations.

Mark L.

Excellent course. The instructor knew his topic and presented it well.

David L.

Very well done!

Lou Ann B.

Excellent speaker, written materials and presentation. A real pleasure to listen to!

Janet Lindsay R.

very good, very relevant

Ayisha R.

I enjoy each of these courses thoroughly.

Jay G.

Very effective and practical presentation of a specific topic of immigration law not covered in other immigration materials. Very knowledgeable speaker. only wish he had spent more time on the practical tips which were very informative .

Donald S.

Well done, recommend.

L Z.

Great. Esp practice tips

Todd L.

This particular attorney does a great job.

Linda R.

Very helpful, including the most recent changes and pending issues. 100%+

Darlene D.

This was excellent! I know I will utilize this information in a beneficial manner.

Joseph Z.

Excellent. I listened on my phone. Perfect

Richard F.

Knowledgeable, experienced hands-on presenter.

Julie A. B.

A well-organized, interesting, thoughtful, and thorough program.

Kathy A.

Really knowledgeable lecturer. GREAT slides and practice tips. This was really useful.

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