D.A. Vance and 42 Law Enforcement Leaders File Amicus Brief Urging Department of Justice to Respect Prosecutorial Discretion on Immigration Matters


August 2, 2019

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. joined 42 state and local elected prosecutors and state attorneys general from across the United States in an amicus brief that urges the Department of Justice to respect prosecutorial discretion by continuing to defer to state and local prosecutors on decisions impacting immigration determinations.

“Overriding local prosecutorial determinations and attaching immigration consequences to convictions vacated for valid substantive or procedural reasons undermines transparency and a public sense of consistently applied legal principles, and therefore imperils public trust and perceptions of legitimacy,” the law enforcement leaders wrote.

“By disregarding state and local decisions, the federal system may undermine the legitimacy of all justice system actors, and accordingly threaten public safety,” they added.

D.A. Vance’s Collateral Consequences Counsel – the first in the nation – helps Assistant District Attorneys assess the immigration consequences of our plea and charging decisions, and advise on available dispositions which reduce or eliminate an individual’s risk of deportation. By doing so, our Office not only prevents unnecessary or unfair deportations, but also fosters collaboration between immigrant communities and law enforcement.

D.A. Vance also proudly supported the Protect Our Courts Act so that undocumented immigrants could feel safe coming to court and has been a vocal opponent to proposed “ICE raids” in New York City.

The amicus brief is available here.