How to ask for prosecutorial discretion in detention or removal proceedings


In prosecutorial discretion matters, ICE posted “Frequently Asked Questions relating to the Executive Action on Immigration” on 6/17/15 encompassing a number of actions that persons being detained by ICE or in removal proceedings could initiate – that:

  • If a person feels that he or she is not an enforcement priority or otherwise merits an exercise of prosecutorial discretion when detained, he or she should contact the deportation officer at the facility. He or she may also call the ICE ERO (Enforcement and Removal Operations) detention reporting and information line at 1-888-351-5024 to make the request for prosecutorial discretion (M-F 8 AM-8 PM EST).
  • In removal proceedings, he or she should submit requests for prosecutorial discretion to the prosecutorial discretion email box of the ICE office of the Chief Counsel providing full name, “A” number, status of the case, and reasons for which he or she believes that he or she merits an exercise of prosecutorial discretion. The FAQs provide a link to the email boxes at
  • If otherwise subject to an ICE enforcement action, he or she should contact the ICE ERO field office responsible for handling the case. In case the inquiry is not resolved after contacting the ICE field office, case specific inquiries related to prosecutorial discretion may be directed to ICE will then coordinate with appropriate internal resources and communicate the resolution to the requester.

Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

Alan Lee, Esq. Alan Lee is a 30+ year practitioner of immigration law based in New York City holding an AV preeminent rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Director, registered in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, on the New York Super Lawyers list (2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-2015), and recognized as a New York Area Top Rated Lawyer. He was awarded the Sidney A. Levine prize for best legal writing at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1977 and has written extensively on immigration over the past years for Interpreter Releases, Immigration Daily, and the ethnic newspapers, World Journal, Sing Tao, Pakistan Calling, Muhasba and OCS. He has testified as an expert on immigration in civil court proceedings and was recognized by the Taiwan government in 1985 for his work protecting human rights. His article, "The Bush Temporary Worker Proposal and Comparative Pending Legislation: an Analysis" was Interpreter Releases' cover display article at the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference in 2004; his 2004 case in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Firstland International v. INS, successfully challenged INS' policy of over 40 years of revoking approved immigrant visa petitions under a nebulous standard of proof (its value as precedent, however, was short-lived as it was specifically targeted by the Bush Administration in the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004); and his 2015 case, Matter of Leacheng International, Inc., with the AAO set nation-wide standards on the definition of “doing business” for multinational executives and managers to gain immigration benefits.

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