Generally speaking, prosecutorial discretion is the authority of an agency or official to decide what types of charges should be filed, if any, and how to handle or pursue each case. In immigration cases, prosecutorial discretion is the power of the federal government to decline to deport individuals in certain circumstances. More specifically, the government has the power to decline to place an individual in deportation proceedings, delay removal, or terminate removal proceedings altogether. It is this discretion that can land one immigrant in a detention center and place another back into his or her community with work authorization while his or her case is pending. Some of the factors that may cause the government to use prosecutorial discretion in immigration cases are the length of time that an individual has been in the United States, the ties of the individual to his or her community, the existence of family members in the United States. The federal government has increasingly focused its immigration enforcement efforts on immigrants who have committed crimes, rather than those immigrants with a complete absence of criminal behavior. Immigration authorities may exercise prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis, or on an agency-wide level based on certain policies. The exercise of prosecutorial discretion on a broader scale is often dependent on the political leanings of the current administration and the policies that they choose to implement. For example, at one point, USCIS opted to generally allow surviving spouses and children of deceased U.S. citizens to apply for deferred action, even though they no longer were eligible to seek permanent resident status. No matter whether prosecutorial discretion is a possibility in your case or not, we are here to help you during your deportation proceedings and avoid deportation. We are experienced California deportation defense lawyers who know immigration law and know how to effectively represent your interests in your deportation case. We will build a strong case for any and all defenses that are available on your behalf. Call our office today and learn what the attorneys of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., can do to help you and your family.