Prosecutorial Discretion: A Statistical Analysis

Immigration Policy Center
Date of Publication: 
June, 2012
Source Organization: 
American Immigration Council

In August 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would review more than 300,000 pending removal proceedings to identify low-priority cases meriting favorable exercises of prosecutorial discretion. While the case-by-case review remains ongoing, figures relating to the first 290,000 cases have disappointed immigrant advocates. By June 2012, slightly more than seven percent of cases have been found eligible for administrative closure--only a few dozen of which involved immigrants being held in detention. As the review process has expanded, the number of immigrants being found eligible for administrative closure has steadily decreased.

Relative to the number of immigrants who ordinarily prevail in removal proceedings, the number likely to avoid removal as a result of the case-by-case review process is comparatively small. This fact sheet provides background information about the case-by-case review process and a statistical assessment of those figures.  

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Immigration Policy Center. (2012). Prosecutorial Discretion: A Statistical Analysis. Immigration Policy Center: Washington, D.C. Retrieved from