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Mr.

Thomas Cioppa, District Director


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Department of Homeland Security
101 W. Congress Parkway
Chicago, IL 60605
November 18, 2014
Re: Request for Deferred Action for Undocumented Chicagoans
Dear Director Cioppa:
We write to you respectfully to request that you grant deferred action for a period of four years in
the favorable exercise of your discretion for the individuals listed below. These five individuals
have made significant contributions to their community, have families and strong connections to
the United States, and are not threats to public safety. They should not be considered priority for
removal and should be granted deferred action. As of November 18, 2014 all have made requests to
your office in this regard.
The President and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have the legal authority to exercise
discretion to prevent the deportation of these individuals.1 The agency has provided guidance
regarding its authority to exercise prosecutorial discretion.2 The Board of Immigration Appeals and
the courts have recognized that the agency has inherent discretion to enforce its laws.3 The
Supreme Court emphasized the federal governments broad discretion, which includes
immediate human concerns.4
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has the authority to grant deferred action as a
matter of prosecutorial discretion. USCIS has recognized its authority to grant Deferred Action to
individual requestors.5 In 2011, DHS issued a series of memos pursuant to its authority to exercise
prosecutorial discretion and outlined the factors to be considered.6 In October 2011, then Director
See Bo Cooper, General Counsel, INS, INS Exercise of Prosecutorial Discretion, (undated)
http://www.legalactioncenter.org/sites/default/files/docs/lac/Bo-Cooper-memo.pdf.
2 Doris Meissner Commissioner, Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion (Nov.17, 2000).
3 Both courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) have long recognized the agencys authority to
exercise prosecutorial discretion. See, e.g., Reno v. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Comm., 525 U.S. 471,
489-92 (1999) (finding that the INS retains inherent prosecutorial discretion as to whether to bring removal
proceedings); Matter of Yauri, 25 I&N Dec. 103, 110 (BIA 2009) (noting that DHS has prosecutorial discretion
over deferred action and citing cases); Matter of Bahta, 22 I&N Dec. 1381 (BIA 2000) (finding that the former
INS had prosecutorial discretion to decide whether to commence removal proceedings against a person
subsequent to IIRIRA).
4 Arizona v. United States, 132 S. Ct. 2492, 2499 (2012).
5 See e.g. USCIS, Standard Operating Procedures for Handling Deferred Action Requests at USCIS Field Offices,
Version 1.0 (Mar. 7, 2012), available at http://law.psu.edu/_file/Immigrants/FOIA_May_2013.pdf.
6 Morton, J. (2011 June 17) Policy Number: 10075.1. Memorandum. US Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, http://www.ice.gov/doclib/secure-communities/pdf/prosecutorial-discretion-memo.pdf.
6 Vincent, P. (2011 November 17) Memorandum. Case-by-Case Review of Incoming and Certain Pending
1

Alejandro Mayorkas, issued a memo stating that he was committed to creating a transparent and
consistent process for individuals to apply for deferred action with USCIS; thus recognizing the
agencys authority to grant requests for deferred action.7 Director Morton identified a number of
factors to be considered by DHS when determining whether to exercise its discretion; clarifying
that This list is not exhaustive and no one factor is determinative. The decisions should be based
on the totality of the circumstances.
USCIS Policy indicates that individual Deferred Action may make independent requests for
Deferred Action by mailing such requests or scheduling an INFOPASS appointment and hand
delivering them to the USCIS field office having jurisdiction over their place of residence.8 The
individuals who have filed request for deferred action are:

Ms. Dina De La Paz Alvayero-Centeno (A 200 815 633) is the mother of two U.S. citizen
children and partner to a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR). Dina fled gang harassment and
violence in El Salvador in 2009 at the age of 20. She was originally placed into deportation
proceedings when police in Texas handed her over to ICE while searching for the previous
tenants of where she resided. Dinas asylum case was denied in 2011 and subsequently
denied again on appeal in March 2013. Dina is currently awaiting a renewal of her stay of
removal that was originally granted in May of 2013. She filed a pro se request for deferred
action with the Chicago USCIS field office on November 18, 2014.

Rosi Carrasco has made a home for her family in Chicago for the past 20 years. She came to
the U.S. to reunite her two daughters with her husband, who had taken a job in Chicago. She
has supported her two daughters overcome the obstacles pursuing higher education as
undocumented immigrants who know are both college graduates. Rosi is a well known
immigrant rights organizer in Chicago, a board member of the Illinois Coalition for
Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and an organizer with Organized Communities Against
Deportations. Through counsel, she submitted an affirmative request for deferred action at
the Chicago USCIS field office on November 18, 2014

Anibal Fuentes (A 087 489 011) is a day laborer and father from the Albany Park
neighborhood in Chicagos northwest side. Last year, Anibal was placed into deportation
proceedings when immigrant agents conducted an operative his home in a multi-unit
apartment complex while looking for someone else. He was able to obtain a 6-month
extension to remain in the US in early March after garnering overwhelming support from
the immigrant and faith community. Anibal has since been awaiting to hear a response from
ICE as to whether he will be able to stay in the US with his wife and US citizen child. He has a
pending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals application, and filed a pro se request for
deferred action at the Chicago USCIS field office on November 18, 2014.

Cases. AILA Doc. 11111761 (Posted 11/15/11).


7 See Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Director, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, Response to
Recommendation 48, Deferred Action: Recommendations to Improve Transparency and Consistency in USCIS
Process, (Oct. 27, 2011), available at
http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Ombudsman%20Liaison/Responses%20to%20
Formal%20Recommendations/cisomb-2011-response-48.pdf.
7 Doris Meissner Commissioner, Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion (Nov.17, 2000).
8

See id. at p.3

Francisco Jasso Santoyo (A 200 778 683) is a father of three who has lived in the U.S. for
the past fifteen years. In 2011, immigration agents came to his house looking for his oldest
son who was eventually deported later that year. After pleading with the agents not to take
his son, ICE also placed Francisco into deportation proceedings. Francisco is currently
waiting for a response from ICE regarding his stay of removal petition to stop his
deportation. He filed a pro se request for deferred action at the Chicago USCIS field office on
November 18, 2014 via electronic mail.

Genoveva Ramirez Lagunas is a grandmother who has lived in the Chicagoland area for
the past 13 years. On her way home from work one night in early 2013, Genoveva was
turned over to ICE by Warrenville, IL police. She originally was placed in deportation
proceedings after being the passenger in a car that took a wrong-turn into Canada during a
family vacation. Genoveva is currently awaiting a renewal of her deferred action. Through
counsel, she filed a request for deferred action at the Chicago USCIS field office on
November 18, 2014.

Martin Unzueta is a long-time labor and immigrant rights organizer in the Chicagoland
area. He has lived in Chicago with his family for the past 20 years to provide a better
education for his two daughters and to start his own small business. He currently serves as
the Executive Director of the Chicago Community and Workers Rights (CCWR) organizing
and defending workers rights in the workplace. Through counsel, he submitted an
affirmative request for deferred action at the Chicago USCIS field office on November 18,
2014

The above individuals listed above cannot be considered priority for deportation, and it would be in
the public interest to grant them deferred action. Furthermore, granting them deferred action
would relieve economic hardships. As a people without legal status, these six individuals have been
limited as to employment opportunities they can pursue. A grant of deferred action would allow
them the peace of mind and assurance of being with their family, the ability to apply for
employment authorization based on economic hardship, and the opportunity to contribute to the
community in a manner commensurate with their qualifications and skills.9
We ask that you grant these 6 individuals request for deferred action for a period of four years to
allow them an opportunity remain in the U.S. with their families.
Thank you,
National Day Laborer Organizing Project &
Organized Communities Against Deportations

See 8 C.F.R. 274a.12(c)(14), making employment authorization available to individuals who


have been been granted deferred action