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.