Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 00050571 (posted May. 5, 2000)"
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE
APRIL 18, 2000
The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has the responsibility to
enforce our nation's immigration laws, provide immigrant benefits, and
naturalize new citizens. INS is aware of the call for some changes in the
current immigration law and believes that many of the issues raised are best
addressed through the legislative process. INS supports legislation that would
remove some of the harsh consequences that have resulted from enforcement of
changes made to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) in 1996.
In the interim, INS currently is preparing field guidance to address the use
of prosecutorial discretion when enforcing the INA and determining when to
place an individual in removal proceedings. In cases where prosecutorial
discretion may be warranted, INS reviews the individual facts and circumstances
before making a decision.
In cases where a non-citizen has voted, INS has discretion not to move
forward with removal proceedings and may naturalize the person if he or she is
otherwise eligible to become a citizen. Currently, INS is working on guidance
to the field on appropriate procedures for handling cases involving
naturalization applicants who may have been ineligible to vote when they voted.
– INS –