How the Immigration System Works

The enforcement of immigration laws is a complex and hotly-debated topic. Learn more about the costs of immigration enforcement and the ways in which the U.S. can enforce our immigration laws humanely and in a manner that ensures due process.

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July 24, 2018

How long does it take to process an application for permanent residence in the United States, or a “green card?” You might be surprised by how difficult it is to find a reliable answer to this...

July 17, 2018

As thousands of asylum-seeking parents were separated from their children in recent months, the Trump administration actively portrayed them as law breakers who must be prosecuted and punished for...

July 3, 2018

Coinciding with the Fourth of July each year, naturalization ceremonies turn immigrants into new American citizens. This Independence Day, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will...

June 28, 2018

The Trump administration is quietly attempting to revamp the U.S. immigration system by circumventing Congress and changing the nation’s immigration policies through new federal regulations. The...

April 20, 2018

The United States has historically been viewed as a nation that welcomes refugees fleeing from violence and persecution in their home countries. Yet, the Trump administration recently reiterated...

March 29, 2018

Six months into fiscal year 2018, the Trump administration has admitted roughly 10,520 refugees, a number so low that it may be impossible to reach the 45,000 target set by the administration last...

March 21, 2018

Legal immigration and the number of foreigners visiting the United States has taken a serious hit within the last year, as the Trump administration makes changes to policies and procedures without...

November 9, 2017

The United States Armed Forces has long valued the contributions of immigrants—from the War of 1812 to the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, U.S.-born and immigrant soldiers have fought...

November 6, 2017

It has been well established for decades that the vast majority of immigrants are not criminals by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, immigrants who have committed no violent offense are often...

November 1, 2017

Americans value diversity and family. That is why our immigration system generally reflects those values. The U.S. diversity visa lottery, which was enshrined into law in 1990, was created to...

March 27, 2019

When the U.S. government orders that an immigrant in its custody must be deported, the person isn’t supposed to remain incarcerated for long. Yet the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) often...

March 15, 2019

Many of the country’s top immigration agencies operate in secret. This lack of transparency in how immigration laws are implemented, administered, and enforced has the potential to devastate the...

February 6, 2019

Speaking before Congress and the nation Tuesday evening, President Trump once again promised bipartisanship and instead delivered division. When it came to immigration, the president neither...

February 4, 2019

The Trump administration has slowed the processing of immigration benefit applications to a crawl, causing needless harm to immigrants, their families, and their employers. Under President Trump,...

January 23, 2019

New estimates of the undocumented population in the United States confirm a trend that has been apparent for several years: the number of people who become undocumented each year by overstaying...

December 11, 2018

On Monday night, the 60–day comment period for the Trump administration’s proposed public charge regulation drew to a close. More than 210,000 comments were submitted, with the majority of...

December 11, 2018
The American Immigration Council, with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, filed comments because a financial litmus test should never serve as a measure for who we welcome into our country.
December 3, 2018

Following Jeff Sessions’ resignation as Attorney General, President Trump named Matthew Whitaker to replace him—a move that has already inspired multiple lawsuits that contend the designation was...

November 21, 2018
The American Immigration Council announced today that it will focus on the critical need for access to an attorney when navigating the immigration system during its #GivingTuesday and year-end fundraising campaign starting November 27.
November 15, 2018

The Trump administration’s move to deport more people from the United States has come into sharp focus again as it targets some of the most vulnerable immigrants with its Notice to Appear (NTA)...

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