Immigration Benefits and Relief

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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All Immigration Benefits and Relief Content

April 29, 2021
This report analyzes the most significant changes to the legal immigration system made by the Biden administration during its first 100 days in office, and makes recommendations to foster a fair and...
March 16, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of the most recent version of the Dream Act and similar legislative proposals.
February 5, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and prior attempts to dismantle the initiative, as well as its current status.
July 18, 2018
This fact sheet provides an overview of how USCIS calculates processing times and the concerns over the accuracy of these estimates.
October 28, 2016
This Fact Sheet provides background on the three- and ten-year bars and waivers, and explains the recent regulatory changes.
June 28, 2016
This fact sheet provides an overview of the lawsuits that have challenged expanded DACA and DAPA. It explains the legal claims, the court decisions, and the process.
April 11, 2016
This guide provides brief answers to common questions about United States v. Texas, including what is at stake in the case, how the litigation began, what the contested issues are, and the impact the...
February 1, 2016
DACA has helped its beneficiaries find employment and increase their earnings. But, even with better jobs, not all DACA beneficiaries in our study were able to afford tuition at four-year...
August 26, 2014
The President has the legal authority to make a significant number of unauthorized migrants eligible for temporary relief from deportation that would be similar to the relief available under the...
June 16, 2014
This week marks the two-year anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, first initiated by President Obama on June 15, 2012. This research brief presents current...
October 6, 2020

This document provides a summary of the Department of Homeland Security's September 25, 2020, Proposed Rule, "...

September 15, 2020
This new rule will increase the total number of people who are required to submit biometric data from 3.9 million currently to 6.07 million—an increase of more than 60%.
July 29, 2020

The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the House Committee on Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship for a July 29, 2020 hearing on "Oversight of U....

July 17, 2020

The American Immigration Council joined a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security calling on the release of all families held at all three Immigration and Customs...

May 12, 2020

The Council and the law firm WilmerHale filed a petition with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) challenging the requirement that asylum seekers...

January 3, 2020

The American Immigration Lawyers Association and American Immigration Council submitted the following comments in response to the above-referenced Notice and Request for Comments on the Department...

November 12, 2019

Under current U.S. immigration law, the immigration service must make a decision on work permit applications filed by asylum seekers within 30 days of their application. The Trump administration...

July 16, 2019
The statement highlights the Council’s concerns regarding systemic U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services delays in responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
This nationwide class action lawsuit challenges systemic delays in providing immigration files.
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.
May 19, 2021

This Practice Advisory provides a broad overview of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including how to make a FOIA request and how to appeal an inadequate response. It discusses the...

March 1, 2021
This Frequently Asked Questions document addresses the status of the case and explains options for first time asylum seekers applying for employment authorization.
November 2, 2020
This Practice Advisory addresses USCIS’ reversal of its longstanding policy of treating authorized travel by Temporary Protected Status holders as “parole” for adjustment or status.
June 29, 2020

On June 22, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a rule that removes the 30 day processing deadline for the adjudication of employment authorization document (EAD)...

October 22, 2019
This practice advisory provides a brief overview of administrative closure and explains the impact of that decision on the future availability of administrative closure, as well as on cases that are currently administratively closed.
October 4, 2019
This practice advisory summarizes the most common grounds raised by the government in motions to dismiss federal court agency adjudication delay lawsuits and outlines arguments that can be made in response.
September 10, 2018
This Practice Advisory provides a practitioner-focused overview of motions to continue a case in removal proceedings, from the basics of making the motion to advanced issues of jurisdictional bars to appellate review of continuances.
December 20, 2017
This practice advisory describes USCIS’ position and offers practical suggestions for filing asylum applications that USCIS is likely to reject for lack of jurisdiction.
September 5, 2017
This Practice Advisory is designed to assist attorneys in determining whether individuals seeking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals might be eligible for immigration benefits.
August 1, 2017
This Practice Advisory addresses some of the legal issues that may arise when noncitizens in removal proceedings seek to suppress evidence unlawfully obtained by Customs and Border Protection officers.
June 15, 2021

My name is Hali Calzadillas-Andujo and I’m originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. I first came to the United States with my mother and siblings when I was eight years old. I didn’t even know what it...

April 29, 2021

When President Biden took office, he inherited a legal immigration system that was teetering on the brink of collapse. Delays within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have reached...

March 25, 2021

By the end of the Trump presidency, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was all but destroyed. The former administration had attempted to end crucial protections for the hundreds of thousands of...

March 18, 2021

The U.S. House of Representatives passed two immigration bills on March 18, signaling that Congress might finally enact major immigration reform for the first time in over three decades. These...

March 4, 2021

Individuals hoping to become a naturalized American citizen will take a different civics test beginning this week, as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reverts back to a previous...

January 22, 2021

On his first day in office, President Biden took significant steps towards undoing the harm of the Trump administration’s immigration policies—and reforming our punitive and inhumane enforcement...

January 8, 2021

This article is part of the Moving Forward on Immigration series that explores the future of immigration in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.  The Biden administration faces a...

January 7, 2021

This article is part of the Moving Forward on Immigration series that explores the future of immigration in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.  The Biden administration will soon...

December 7, 2020

A federal judge in New York has overturned the Trump administration’s latest effort to limit the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. DACA temporarily protects certain people...

December 1, 2020

The incoming Biden-Harris administration has announced its choice for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas. If confirmed, Mayorkas will represent several historic...

January 20, 2021
President Joseph R. Biden announced a welcoming and inclusive vision for immigration in a legislative proposal that provides a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who call the United States home.
December 24, 2020
The American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Law Center and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s new rule that drastically increases fees across-the-board in immigration proceedings.
December 17, 2020
Judge William H. Orrick granted summary judgment in favor of two nationwide classes suing DHS, USCIS, and ICE for failing to timely produce the class members’ immigration files (A-Files). The court ordered the agencies to clear their backlogs by responding to the more than 40,000 thousand cases outstanding within 60 days.
October 22, 2020
The proposal would negatively impact American colleges and universities and foreign students seeking a higher education degree in the United States and have long-term effects for the legal immigration system.
July 31, 2020
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services—the government agency that administers the country's legal immigration system—is expected to announce Monday major fee hikes for many immigration-related applications and petitions. The increased fees will impact people applying for U.S. citizenship and asylum, as well as American businesses hiring or retaining employees vital to our country’s recovery from a global health and economic crisis.
July 28, 2020
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released today a memo on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative that would deny all pending and future initial requests for DACA and reject all pending and future applications for advance parole absent exceptional circumstances. It would also shorten DACA renewals and the accompanying work authorization to one-year, rather than a two-year period.
June 18, 2020
The U.S. Supreme Court today blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a critical initiative that has offered deportation protection and work authorization to hundreds of thousands of young people who arrived in the United States as children.
May 27, 2020
The American Immigration Council's latest report examines major changes to the U.S. immigration system in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unique challenges the pandemic has created for noncitizens and government agencies.
April 16, 2020
The American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the law firms Van Der Hout, LLP, Joseph & Hall P.C., and Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC filed a nationwide class action lawsuit today challenging U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ pattern and practice of arbitrarily denying H-1B nonimmigrant employment-based petitions for market research analysts positions filed by businesses in the United States.
October 15, 2019
A federal court in San Francisco certified two nationwide classes of immigrants and attorneys claiming that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have a systemic pattern and practice of failing to provide access to immigration case records within deadlines set by the Freedom of Information Act. The case records, known as A-files, contain information about individuals’ immigration history in the United States. This is the first time a court has certified a class in a lawsuit alleging a pattern and practice of violating FOIA
June 15, 2021

My name is Hali Calzadillas-Andujo and I’m originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. I first came to the United States with my mother and siblings when I was eight years old. I didn’t even know what it...

May 19, 2021

This Practice Advisory provides a broad overview of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including how to make a FOIA request and how to appeal an inadequate response. It discusses the...

April 29, 2021

When President Biden took office, he inherited a legal immigration system that was teetering on the brink of collapse. Delays within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have reached...

April 29, 2021
This report analyzes the most significant changes to the legal immigration system made by the Biden administration during its first 100 days in office, and makes recommendations to foster a fair and...
March 25, 2021

By the end of the Trump presidency, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was all but destroyed. The former administration had attempted to end crucial protections for the hundreds of thousands of...

March 18, 2021

The U.S. House of Representatives passed two immigration bills on March 18, signaling that Congress might finally enact major immigration reform for the first time in over three decades. These...

March 16, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of the most recent version of the Dream Act and similar legislative proposals.
March 9, 2021
The American Immigration Council joined other organizations in urging U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to fully implement the provisions of the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act,...
March 4, 2021

Individuals hoping to become a naturalized American citizen will take a different civics test beginning this week, as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reverts back to a previous...

March 1, 2021
This Frequently Asked Questions document addresses the status of the case and explains options for first time asylum seekers applying for employment authorization.

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