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January 29, 2019

Midyear 2019: ABA urges U.S. attorney general to stop mass prosecutions of immigrants

House delegates urge the U.S. attorney general to reverse “zero tolerance” policies of mandatory and mass prosecution for immigrants alleged to have improperly entered the United States for the first time and to decide on a case-by-case basis whether to file criminal charges.   

Resolution 109A, sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section and the Commission on Immigration, also asks the federal judiciary and Congress to ensure that defendants in illegal entry cases have meaningful opportunities to talk to lawyers before entering a guilty plea. It also urges the attorney general to exercise prosecutorial discretion and refrain from prosecuting asylum seekers for the offense of illegal entry.