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Introduction prosecutorial discretion
jae wook LEE  (Homepage)
2016-07-05 19:49:48, 조회 : 520, 추천 : 131

Introduction

The term prosecutorial discretion is commonly used
        a) to describe the “wide latitude”
                i) that prosecutors have
                ii) in determining
                        A) when, whom, how, and even whether
                                I) to prosecute apparent violations
                                        (a) of the law.1

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and,
        a) later, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and
        b) its components

1) have historically described themselves
        a) as exercising prosecutorial discretion
                i) in the enforcement of federal immigration law,
                        A) which is largely contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA),
                                I) as amended.2


Some commentators have recently challenged this characterization

1) on the grounds that
        a) DHS enforces primarily civil violations, and
        b) some of its components cannot be said
                i) to engage in “law enforcement,”
                        A) as that term is conventionally understood.3

However,

even agencies
        a) that do not prosecute or engage
                i) in law enforcement

1) have been recognized
        a) as having discretion
                i) (sometimes referred to as enforcement discretion)
                ii) in determining
                        A) whether to enforce particular violations,4 and
2) immigration officers appear
        a) to have exercised such discretion
                i) in individual cases and
                ii) on a categorical basis
                iii) for decades.

For example,

the Kennedy Administration granted extended voluntary departure
        a) to persons from Cuba in 1960,5
        b) allowing many otherwise deportable Cuban nationals
                i) to remain in the United States
                        A) for an extended period,

1) while the George W. Bush Administration temporarily suspended employer sanctions
        a) on entities
                i) that employed unauthorized aliens
                ii) in areas
                        A) affected by Hurricane Katrina.6

The scope of prosecutorial discretion
        a) in immigration enforcement

1) has recently been of interest to Congress and the public
        a) due to certain initiatives
                i) of the Obama Administration.7


1 U.S. Dep’t of Justice, United States Attorneys’ Manual, §9-27.110(B) (2002), available at http://www.justice.gov/
usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/27mcrm.htm#9-27.110.
2 See, e.g., Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Prosecutorial and Custody Detention, Nov. 7, 2007, available at http://niwaplibrary.wcl.american.edu/reference/additional-materials/ immigration/enforcement-detention-and-criminal-justice/government-documents/Myers-Memo-Custody-Discretion-11-
7-07.pdf (“This memorandum serves to highlight the importance of exercising prosecutorial discretion when making administrative arrest and custody determinations for aliens who are nursing mothers.”); Doris Meissner, Commissioner,
INS, Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion, Nov. 7, 2000, available at http://niwaplibrary.wcl.american.edu/reference/ additional-materials/immigration/enforcement-detention-and-criminal-justice/government-documents/22092970-INS- Guidance-Memo-Prosecutorial-Discretion-Doris-Meissner-11-7-00.pdf [hereinafter “2002 INS Guidance”] (“This memorandum describes the principles with which the INS exercises prosecutorial discretion and the process to be
followed in making and monitoring discretionary decisions.”). INS was abolished in 2002, and most of its functions were transferred to the newly created Department of Homeland by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296).
3 See, e.g., Crane v. Napolitano, No. 3:12-cv-03247-O, Amended Complaint (filed N.D. Tex., Oct. 10, 2012), at ¶¶ 88-
89 (“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is not a law enforcement agency. A non-law-enforcement agency cannot exercise prosecutorial discretion.”): Robert J. Delahunty & John C. Yoo, The Obama Administration, the
DREAM Act, and the Take Care Clause, at 3, available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2144031
(noting that immigration laws are primarily enforced civilly).
4 See, e.g., Heckler v. Chaney, 470 U.S. 821, 831 (1985) (“[W]e recognize that an agency’s refusal to institute proceedings shares to some extent the characteristics of the decision of a prosecutor in the Executive Branch not to indict—a decision which has long been regarded as the special province of the Executive Branch, inasmuch as it is the Executive who is charged by the Constitution to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.’”).
5 See, e.g., Lynda J. Oswald, Extended Voluntary Departure: Limiting the Attorney General’s Discretion in
Immigration Matters, 85 MICH. L. REV. 152, 158 n.40 (1986).
6 U.S. Dep’t of Homeland Security, Press Release, Notice Regarding I-9 Documentation Requirements for Hiring
Hurricane Victims, Sept. 6, 2005, available at http://v2011.nilc.org/disaster_assistance/FINAL_I-9_Press_Release.pdf.
7 The Obama Administration has also cited prosecutorial discretion in abstaining from prosecutions for contempt of Congress and violations of the Controlled Substances Act relating to the possession of marijuana. See Letter from (continued...)


In 2011,

John Morton,
        a) then Director
                i) of U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE),

1) issued two memoranda
        a) addressing prosecutorial discretion,
        b) one of which identified ICE’s priorities
                i) for
                        A) the apprehension,
                        B) detention, and
                        C) removal
                                I) of aliens,8 and
        c) the other of which discussed
                i) how ICE personnel may exercise prosecutorial discretion
                        A) consistent with ICE’s enforcement priorities.9

Subsequently,

in June 2012,

then Secretary of Homeland Security
        a) Janet Napolitano

1) issued a memorandum
        a) “setting forth
                i) how,
                        A) in the exercise of [its] prosecutorial discretion,        
                        B) the Department ... should enforce the Nation’s immigration laws
                                I) against certain young people
                                        (a) who
                                                (i) were brought to this country
                                                        (A) as children and
                                                (ii) know only this country
                                                        (A) as home.”10

As implemented,

this initiative has come to be known
        a) as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
                i) (DACA).

Most recently,

ICE has directed its personnel
        a) to exercise discretion
                i) in “ensur[ing] that
                        A) the agency’s immigration enforcement activities do not
                                I) unnecessarily
                                II) disrupt the parental rights
                                        (a) of both
                                                (i) alien parents or
                                                (ii) legal guardians
                                                        (A) of minor children.”11

These initiatives have been challenged
        a) by some
                i) Members of Congress and
                ii) commentators
        b) on the grounds that
                i) they
                        A) are tantamount to “amnesty”
                                I) for unauthorized aliens and
                        B) are contrary to the President’s constitutional responsibility
                                I) to “take Care” that
                                        (a) the laws be enforced.12

In particular,

some Members have suggested that
        a) DACA exceeds the President’s authority
        b) because “it was issued
                i) after Congress
                        A) specifically
                        B) rejected legislation”—
                                I) the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors
                                        (a) (DREAM)
                                        (b) Act—
                                II)“embodying that policy.”13

In addition,

        a) several ICE agents and
        b) the State of Mississippi

1) filed suit
        a) in federal district court
                i) for the Northern District of Texas
        b) alleging that
                i) the DACA initiative
                        A) violates certain statutory requirements and
                        B) impinges upon Congress’s legislative powers,
                ii) among other things.14






(...continued)
James M. Cole, Deputy Attorney General, to John Boehner, Speaker of the House, June 28, 2012; Memorandum for Selected U.S. Attorneys from David W. Ogden, Deputy Attorney General, Investigations and Prosecutions in States Authorizing the Medical Use of Marijuana, Oct. 19, 2009; CRS Legal Sidebar, Obama Administration Will Not Challenge State Marijuana Laws That Do Not Undermine Federal Enforcement Priorities, by Brian T. Yeh and Todd Garvey, available at http://www.crs.gov/LegalSidebar/details.aspx?ID=664&Source=search.
8 John Morton, Director, ICE, Civil Immigration Enforcement: Priorities for the Apprehension, Detention, and
Removal of Aliens, Mar. 2, 2011, at 1-2, available at http://www.ice.gov/doclib/news/releases/2011/
110302washingtondc.pdf (aliens who have been convicted of crimes, are at least 16 years of age and participate in organized criminal gangs, are subject to outstanding criminal warrants, or “otherwise pose a serious risk to public safety” constituting the highest priorities for removal).
9 John Morton, Director, ICE, Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion Consistent with the Civil Immigration Enforcement Priorities of the Agency for the Apprehension, Detention, and Removal of Aliens, June 17, 2011, available at http://www.ice.gov/doclib/secure-communities/pdf/prosecutorial-discretion-memo.pdf [hereinafter “2011 DHS Guidance”].
10 Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children, June 15, 2012, at 1, available at http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/s1- exercising-prosecutorial-discretion-individuals-who-came-to-us-as-children.pdf.
11 U.S. ICE, Facilitating Parental Interests in the Course of Civil Immigration Enforcement Activities, No. 306-112-
002b, Aug. 23, 2013, available at http://www.ice.gov/doclib/detention-reform/pdf/
parental_interest_directive_signed.pdf.
12 See, e.g., “Does Administrative Amnesty Harm Our Efforts to Gain and Maintain Operational Control of the Border?” Hearing Before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, Oct. 4, 2011; “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Priorities and the Rule of Law,” Hearing Before the House Committee on the Judiciary, Oct. 12, 2011.
13 See, e.g., Testimony of Senator Michael S. Lee Before the House Committee on the Judiciary, “The Obama Administration’s Abuse of Power,” Sept. 12, 2012, at 5, available at http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/ Hearings%202012/Lee%2009122012.pdf; The Obama Administration, the DREAM Act, and the Take Care Clause, supra note 3, at 5 (noting that the DREAM Act, “in one form or other, has been before Congress since 2001”).




This report begins
        a) by discussing
                i) the sources of federal power
                        A) to regulate immigration and,
                        B) particularly, the allocation of power
                                I) between Congress and the President in this area.

It next addresses
        a) the constitutional and other foundations
                i) for the doctrine of prosecutorial discretion, as well as
        b) the potential ways
                i) in which prosecutorial discretion may be exercised
                        A) in the immigration context.

It concludes
        a) by addressing potential
                i) constitutional,
                ii) statutory, and
                iii) administrative
                        A) constraints
                                I) upon the exercise
                                        (a) of prosecutorial discretion.

The report does not address other aspects
        a) of discretion
                i) in immigration law,
        b) such as the discretion
                i) exercised
                        A) by immigration officers
                                I) in granting benefits (e.g., asylum), or
                        B) by immigration judges
                                I) in non-enforcement contexts (e.g., cancellation of removal).15


Federal Power to Regulate Immigration

The Constitution does not directly address the sources
        a) of federal power
                i) to regulate
                        A) which non- U.S. nationals (aliens) may
                                I) enter and
                                II) remain in
                                        (a) the United States, or
                ii) to establish the conditions
                        A) of their continued presence
                                I) within the country.

However,

several of the enumerated powers
        a) of the federal government

1) have been construed
        a) as authorizing such regulation.



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