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Englewood, OH – In a new Medium post, Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar and the Director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights at Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law. and the author of Beyond Deportation: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases, writes about the ongoing deportation case ofFatiha Elgharib. Fatiha has lived in Ohio for more than two decades, serves as primary caregiver to a United States citizen suffering from Down Syndrome and other medical problems, and faces imminent deportation on November 27.
Sivaprasad Wadhia is a national expert on prosecutorial discretion and the residual harms of the widely discredited Bush-era “Special Registration” program targeting Muslim men and boys based entirely upon their religion.
As Sivaprasad Wadhia explains:
Enter Fatiha’s case: the heartbreaking intersection of the near-sighted and ill-advised NSEERS program; and Trump’s immigration policies. The heartbreak is not limited to NSEERS but to this administration’s misuse of prosecutorial discretion in Fatiha’s case.
For decades the administration has used a form of prosecutorial discretion called “deferred action” to protect mothers like Fatiha who have lived in the United States for several years and serve as primary caregivers to children born here.
Prosecutorial discretion refers to a decision by the Department of Homeland Security to enforce or not enforce the immigration law against a person. In a world of limited enforcement dollars and cases involving multiple equities like long term residence, the use of prosecutorial discretion in the immigration system is inevitable.
Deferred action data from 2016 reveals that most deferred action cases processed and granted were for medical reasons. Having studied thousands of deferred action cases throughout my research, it is without question that someone like Fatiha who is herself a long-time resident, without a criminal history and caring a for United States citizen child with Down Syndrome should be protected through formal relief or in the alternative a deferred action. The Department of Homeland Security has the authority and the responsibility to use discretion wisely and judiciously at every stage of the immigration enforcement process.
“If the regular lesson is that “two wrongs do not make a right” I might conclude that “two wrongs” (NSEERS and potential deportation) adds to a broken immigration system while needlessly separating a family who call America home.”
Read her entire post here.
According to Lynn Tramonte, Director of America’s Voice Ohio:
Families across Ohio and Michigan are being cruelly separated by ICE Detroit Field Office and Director Rebecca Adducci. They are implementing a heartless policy of mass deportation, starting with people who have lived here for decades and have American kids. This makes no sense. If deported, Fatiha will join the ranks of Jesus Lara, Pedro Hernandez-Ramirez, and many others – caring parents all – and her children will join their families in missing them beyond words. There is still time to prevent this injustice – if Detroit ICE is listening and able to care.