Evidence that the Morton Memo on Prosecutorial Discretion is Being Applied

The recent memo by ICE Director John Morton outlining an expansive use of prosecutorial discretion appears to have already produced tangible results in sparing an illegal alien from deportation. A July 8 article in the Blade (“New hope for bi-national gay couples”) details a notification received from USCIS on July 6 that the government “…would no longer pursue deportation…” of a Venezuelan man who married a U.S. citizen in Connecticut and then applied for a green card. The green card had been denied because of the Defense of Marriage Act and deportation proceedings were begun. However, in May an immigration judge had halted the deportation proceedings following the issuance of an order by Justice Secretary Eric Holder vacating a deportation proceeding in a similar case.

The Blade coverage of this development states, “The notification …marks the first time ICE has administratively closed such proceedings against the spouse of a gay U.S. citizen.” The article goes on to cite “observers” who opined that “…the decision to close proceedings …could be related to a memo ICE issued on June 17 listing situations in which enforcement agents may decide to exercise prosecutorial authority…” to drop deportation efforts.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).

1 Comment

  1. avatar
    Margaret Paddock on

    This is crazy. Provide them all with enough water and food go return to where they came from.
    Illegal in America is fast becoming a mute word and will be dropped from the dictionary if this continues.
    If you are going to exempt on group of criminals then which group comes next?

    To preserve the laws of the land and protect all citizens – naturalized and those who followed immigration laws this special treatment needs to stop NOW.