What happens when an applicant for naturalization is eligible, but also subject to removal because of a crime committed outside the statutory period? If it is determined that the application will be held in abeyance pending the outcome of removal proceedings, is there a process for evaluating prosecutorial discretion? Would an offer to withdraw the N-400 application be a favorable factor in the consideration for prosecutorial discretion?
USCIS has said that its policy is to refer an applicant for naturalization who is removable to a prosecutorial discretion panel. All factual and legal circumstances of the applicant’s case are considered. Adjudication of the naturalization application is held a decision is made to issue or not to issue the Notice to Appear (NTA). If the NTA is issued, the naturalization adjudication continues to be held until the removal proceedings have concluded. Withdrawing an N-400 would remove the case from the panel’s consideration process.