Immigration Benefits and Relief

The U.S. immigration system is complex and can be difficult to understand. These resources provide key data points, historical information, and background on hot topics in immigration. Learn the basics about immigration.

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All Immigration Benefits and Relief Content

Publication Date: 
September 30, 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.
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September 28, 2021
This fact sheet provides information on a provision called “registry” that allows certain non-citizens who are long-term residents of the United States, but who are either undocumented or present in...
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August 20, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of Documented Dreamers, explains how they can age out of immigration status at 21, and summarizes the current federal legislative proposals to protect them from...
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August 3, 2021
Immigration law is highly complex. Determining which non-citizens are “lawfully” or “unlawfully” present and whether they should be allowed to stay in the United States are complex matters which...
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August 2, 2021
This fact sheet from the Council provides an overview of how current immigration law allows certain undocumented immigrants to become Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) without first having to leave...
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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...
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March 16, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of the most recent version of the Dream Act and similar legislative proposals.
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July 18, 2018
This fact sheet provides an overview of how USCIS calculates processing times and the concerns over the accuracy of these estimates.
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October 28, 2016
This Fact Sheet provides background on the three- and ten-year bars and waivers, and explains the recent regulatory changes.
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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.
Faced with increasing reports from immigration lawyers of Employment Authorization Documents adjudication delays, the Council and several partners filed this lawsuit against USCIS and DHS.
This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit seeks to compel U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to disclose information about the massive delays in processing of applications for humanitarian parole filed for Afghan nationals who have not been able to travel to the United States.
This lawsuit challenges USCIS' unreasonable delay in processing naturalization applications that were filed in 2020 and has prevented applicants from becoming U.S. citizens.
The Council and partners filed a nationwide class action lawsuit to ensure timely renewal of work authorizations documents for asylum seekers.
September 7, 2021
This amicus brief addresses whether 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(B)(i) precludes judicial review over eligibility determinations for certain forms of discretionary relief from removal for non citizens.
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...

April 25, 2022
This practice advisory identifies who falls under the classification of “arriving noncitizens,” discusses the regulations delineating USCIS vs. EOIR jurisdiction over adjustment applications of arriving noncitizens in removal proceedings and suggests strategies to facilitate the adjustment of status of eligible parolees in removal proceedings before they are removed.
January 18, 2022
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.
June 30, 2021
This practice advisory by the Council and partners provides an overview of the Niz-Chavez v. Garland decision and its impact on eligibility for cancellation of removal; eligibility for post-conclusion voluntary departure and broader applications of the decision.
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.
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.
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 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.
November 1, 2022

While it seems like all eyes are on the states that could determine the outcome of this year’s midterm elections, it’s important to remember that the consequences of November 8 will extend beyond...

October 20, 2022

After months of waiting for decisions on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth are back to where they started—waiting...

October 11, 2022

On September 28, Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) introduced a bill in Congress that would allow millions of immigrants who have lived in the United States for many years to become Lawful Permanent...

October 7, 2022

Written by Jorge Loweree and Raul Pinto of the American Immigration Council More than a decade after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) first created the Deferred Action for Childhood...

September 13, 2022

The Biden administration is close to using all of the employment-based immigrant visas (green cards) allotted for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced...

September 9, 2022

Written by American Immigration Council staff Leani García Torres and Raul Pinto The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative provides certain young, undocumented immigrants with a...

August 30, 2022

Last week, the Biden administration published the final version of a regulation that seeks to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative and provide a modicum of...

July 28, 2022

Democrats in the House of Representatives have introduced a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for at least seven years to legalize their status. The...

July 11, 2022

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a new policy memorandum on July 1 that eliminated a barrier for many Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients and restored a pathway...

June 1, 2022

Thirteen U.S. lawful permanent residents filed a lawsuit to end the delay by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in processing their applications to become U.S. citizens. The...

December 5, 2022
In response to news of a new bi-partisan framework of immigration reform compromises from Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) —the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council issued the following statement.
October 5, 2022
While DACA will continue to temporarily remain in effect for renewals, the program is on tenuous ground as its legality is again tested before a Texas trial court hostile to immigrants.
August 24, 2022
The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomed newly published regulations that will offer more certainty for the DACA program and represent a positive step towards protecting some Dreamers.
May 25, 2022
Thirteen people waiting to become U.S. citizens filed a lawsuit challenging U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ unreasonable delays and failure to process U.S. naturalization applications filed in 2020.
January 19, 2022
President Biden announced a welcoming and inclusive vision for immigration in a legislative proposal and a series of executive actions signed on his first day in office. But one year into Biden’s presidency, his promises on immigration remain unfulfilled.
December 23, 2021
A federal court denied preliminary relief in a lawsuit challenging USCIS's extreme delays and failure to process work permit renewals for asylum seekers. The judge declined to order USCIS to process work permit renewal applications within the 180-day automatic extension of employment authorization.
November 11, 2021
Five workers in the United States filed a nationwide class action lawsuit today challenging unlawful log-jam and extreme delays at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that have resulted in the government’s failure to process the work authorization renewals for asylum seekers.
July 16, 2021
U.S. Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas ordered the Biden administration to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
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 5, 2022
In response to news of a new bi-partisan framework of immigration reform compromises from Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) —the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council issued the following statement.
October 5, 2022
While DACA will continue to temporarily remain in effect for renewals, the program is on tenuous ground as its legality is again tested before a Texas trial court hostile to immigrants.
Faced with increasing reports from immigration lawyers of Employment Authorization Documents adjudication delays, the Council and several partners filed this lawsuit against USCIS and DHS.
August 24, 2022
The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomed newly published regulations that will offer more certainty for the DACA program and represent a positive step towards protecting some Dreamers.
Last modified: 
June 30, 2022
Publication Date: 
June 30, 2022
The American Immigration Council and 102 other organizations urge the Department of Homeland Security paroled into the United States and give assistance in applying for protection to survivors of the...
This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit seeks to compel U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to disclose information about the massive delays in processing of applications for humanitarian parole filed for Afghan nationals who have not been able to travel to the United States.
May 25, 2022
Thirteen people waiting to become U.S. citizens filed a lawsuit challenging U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ unreasonable delays and failure to process U.S. naturalization applications filed in 2020.
This lawsuit challenges USCIS' unreasonable delay in processing naturalization applications that were filed in 2020 and has prevented applicants from becoming U.S. citizens.
November 1, 2022

While it seems like all eyes are on the states that could determine the outcome of this year’s midterm elections, it’s important to remember that the consequences of November 8 will extend beyond...

October 20, 2022

After months of waiting for decisions on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth are back to where they started—waiting...

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