Elissa Stiles Presents on Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Court at OBA Event

Elissa Stiles Presents on Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Court at OBA Event

Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Court

Elissa Stiles adds a unique dynamic to the realm of immigration law which has caused many people in her field to take notice, including those who serve on the Immigration Law Section of the Oklahoma Bar Association.

“She’s a very good lawyer who does a lot of litigation in immigration court which is unique,” said Immigration Law Section Chairperson Marco Hernandez Jr. “Elissa and I both attended law school together at the University of Tulsa, and she was always well prepared.”

Elissa Stiles’ passion and drive to vehemently fight for her clients in and out of the courtroom is a big reason why Hernandez Jr. and others on the Oklahoma Bar Association Immigration Law Section such as Benjamin Moser reached out to the standout Rivas & Associates immigration attorney to present at Wednesday’s Immigration Law Section CLE (Continuing Legal Education) event.

Stiles’ presentation is appropriately titled “Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Court.”

“The Oklahoma Bar Association reached out to me to present, and I felt this would be a good issue to cover because it is a big topic for immigration court practitioners right now,” Elissa Stiles said. “I love presenting at these events because it always deepens my knowledge and understanding, which hopefully enables me to not only help my clients but other attorneys who attend.”

Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Court Defined

Prosecutorial discretion in immigration court refers to the Department of Homeland Security’s authority to choose whether or not to take enforcement action against a person or group of people.

NOLO.com says “(u)nder U.S. immigration law, prosecutorial discretion (PD) refers to the power that U.S. immigration agencies (ICE, as well as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP)) have to discontinue working on a deportation case. Sometimes it simply means they don’t issue a Notice to Appear (NTA) in immigration court when they normally could.”

Prosecutorial discretion in immigration law is exercised in the U.S. for multiple reasons but primarily due to limited resources and budget concerns.

Under the Trump Administration, prosecutorial discretion greatly influenced policy changes implemented by the administration, including but not limited to the travel bans, the curtailment of refugee numbers, and the increase in “no-court” removals.  

Though the Trump Administration utilized prosecutorial discretion to remove immigrants or keep them out of the U.S., the Biden Administration’s use of prosecutorial discretion has been much more favorable toward immigrants. This includes preserving the security of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and more recently receiving the authority from the U.S. Supreme Court to end the “Remain in Mexico” policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

“The use of prosecutorial discretion in immigration court has been great recently,” Elissa Stiles said. “It’s been a win, win for everyone.”

A Determined Immigration Attorney Who Will Fight For You

Although it is reported that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a case backlog of 5.2 million with another 8.5 million pending, Elissa Stiles remains dedicated to her clients and educating herself on new litigation tactics which she can utilize in immigration court.

In addition to presenting at Wednesday’s Oklahoma Bar Association Immigration Law CLE event, Stiles and fellow Rivas & Associates attorney, Lorena Rivas traveled to New Orleans in 2021 to attend The 2021 Appellate Advocacy Seminar that focused on a number of issues one of which Stiles highlighted was arguing at the Appellate level, or in a court of appeals.

“Arguing at the Appellate level requires a lot of work and can be very intimidating because you’re facing a hot bench – dealing with a judge who is asking a lot of questions,” Elissa Stiles said. “To me, that was a big selling point of this seminar. All the panels were really strong, but I thought the best panel was the Supreme Court panel which really effectively covered some of the recent decisions by the Supreme Court and 5th Circuit that will set the foundation for future arguments.”  

Contact Rivas & Associates today to set up a personal consultation with Elissa Stiles.

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