Immigrants facing deportation are increasingly likely to have their cases dismissed because of mitigating factors such as having U.S. citizen children, according to an analysis by researchers at Syracuse University.
In fiscal year 2013, 8.5% of cases closed in immigration court listed “prosecutorial discretion” as the reason for dismissal, compared with 4.7% the previous year.
In some courts, at least 20% of case closures involved prosecutorial discretion. Of the roughly 35,000 cases closed in Los Angeles over the last two years, nearly 24% were prosecutorial discretion cases.
In Houston, however, only 1.7 % of immigration case closures were due to prosecutorial discretion. In New York City, the rate was 3.7%.
The tallies do not include cases closed in earlier stages, before reaching the courts.
“A high PD court closure rate may be a sign that inadequate review of cases is taking place before officials file an action in court seeking a removal order,” wrote researchers at Syracuse's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.