Enforcement

The immigration laws and regulations provide some avenues to apply for lawful status from within the U.S. or to seek relief from deportation.  The eligibility requirements for these benefits and relief can be stringent, and the immigration agencies often adopt overly restrictive interpretations of the requirements.  Learn about advocacy and litigation that has been and can be undertaken to ensure that noncitizens have a fair chance to apply for the benefits and relief for which they are eligible.  

Recent Features

All Enforcement Content

Publication Date: 
March 16, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of “aggravated felonies” under federal immigration law and the immigration consequences of being convicted of an “aggravated felony.”
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February 26, 2021
This fact sheet draws from original data gathered from hundreds of community-organizations around the country and provides a snapshot of the extent of available services that help migrants navigate...
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February 10, 2021
This report presents a historical overview of how U.S. Border Patrol has been steeped in institutional racism and has committed violent acts with near impunity since its founding nearly 100 years ago...
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January 28, 2021
This analysis of data provided by the federal government reveals that 83% of all nondetained immigrants with completed or pending removal cases attended all their hearings from 2008 to 2018.
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January 26, 2021
U.S. immigration agencies use a range of programs to deport—or remove—certain noncitizens from the United States. Under the Trump administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and two of...
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January 20, 2021
Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, the federal government has spent an estimated $324 billion on the agencies that carry out immigration enforcement.
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October 21, 2020
Sanctuary policies do not conceal or shelter unauthorized immigrants from detection. Here's what you need to know about these policies.
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September 30, 2020
This report identifies disruptions throughout the immigration system because of the COVID-19 pandemic and makes recommendations for improvements to the federal government’s response.
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January 2, 2020
This fact sheet describes the populations, duration, and conditions for noncitizens detained in the United States by department.
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September 13, 2019
This fact sheet gives a brief overview of the process individuals must undergo to seek release from immigration detention.
These Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seek records from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) about treatment of Haitian immigrants.
This FOIA lawsuit seeks to compel U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to provide information about the agency’s treatment of Haitian nationals detained at the Torrance Detention Facility.
This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeks to compel U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to publish information on its website about how the public can pay bonds and secure the release of a loved one from ICE detention.
Publication Date: 
March 28, 2022
In the amicus brief filed with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the Council argues that the exclusionary rule in criminal proceedings should apply to evidence related to identity, because it is an essential deterrent to ICE’s widespread racially discriminatory enforcement practices.
This FOIA lawsuit seeks records about Border Patrol activities at the Sandusky Bay Station located in northern Ohio to improve the public’s understanding of CBP’s enforcement practices at northern U.S. borders, including cooperation with local law enforcement.
This FOIA Lawsuit seeks to compel CBP to release information about its implementation of CBP One, an app designed to streamline interactions between CBP officers and travelers, including asylum seekers, that has raised concerns amongst advocates.
This FOIA lawsuit seeks to compel DHS and ICE to disclose the weekly reports ICE was required to produce about their enforcement activities and removals pursuant to the DHS’ January 20 and February 18 memos establishing new immigration enforcement priorities.
This FOIA suit seeks to compel ICE to release information about conditions, treatment, and outcomes in eight immigration detention facilities in the U.S. South.
Publication Date: 
September 10, 2021
In the amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court of Michigan, the Council and partners reject Calhoun County's position to withhold records that otherwise would be released under the Michigan state FOIA.
This FOIA requests effort seeks records on ICE reports about its enforcement activities, whether the people arrested by ICE fit into the DHS’s enforcement priorities, and information about instances when officers pursued enforcement actions against individuals who would not be considered priorities for immigration enforcement.
January 19, 2024

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a policy on January 12 calling for ICE personnel to wear body cameras in most situations when carrying out enforcement duties. According to...

January 18, 2024

Written by Chelsie Kramer, Texas State Organizer and Emma Winger, Deputy Legal Director  Texas is once again making national headlines after a woman and two children drowned in the Rio Grande...

December 13, 2023

The Biden administration signaled on December 12 that it is willing to make disastrous—and permanent—changes to asylum and immigration policy to obtain temporary military aid for Ukraine, Israel,...

November 17, 2023

After weeks of uncertainty as to whether Congress would reach a deal to fund the government and avoid a shutdown, earlier this week Congress passed a continuing resolution bill which funds the...

November 2, 2023

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued its yearly Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor report, examining 131 countries’ efforts to abolish child labor in 2022 and the obstacles those...

October 25, 2023

On October 20, the Biden administration renewed its request for emergency supplemental funding for border management from Congress. This new $14 billion request represents more than a $10 billion...

October 20, 2023

Unless Congress can come to an agreement on the budget by November 17, the government will shut down, forcing tens of thousands of federal employees to work without pay and suspending vital...

October 6, 2023

Corruption within U.S. Custom and Border Protection’s workforce often has been hidden behind bureaucratic red tape. But what was once shrouded in mystery is now plainly available—on CBP’s own...

September 28, 2023

A recent Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision bars certain recently arrived noncitizens from becoming lawful permanent residents. In Matter of Cabrera-Fernandez, the BIA held that the...

September 21, 2023

Co-Authors: Emily Creighton and Tsion Gurmu In the summer of 2020, after George Floyd’s murder, racial justice protests took hold in cities throughout the country. The massive mobilization...

June 28, 2023
Newly analyzed government data exposes the discrepancy between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's actions and its own guidelines.
June 23, 2023
The U.S. Supreme Court held in an 8-1 decision that states do not have the authority to challenge the executive branch’s authority to establish enforcement priorities.
May 10, 2023
The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that will implement a new asylum transit ban—one of the most restrictive border control measures to date under any president.
May 10, 2023
The Biden administration announced the implementation of an asylum transit ban that will penalize asylum seekers who don’t apply for protection in other nations they transit through on their way to the United States.
May 3, 2023
The American Immigration Council released a new vision and blueprint for the border that highlights the need for a modern and functional system of humanitarian protection and border management in the United States.
April 18, 2023
The American Immigration Council responds to the new Menendez Plan which proposes humane and effective solutions for managing migration at the border.
April 10, 2023
Members of Congress, Faith Leaders, and Pediatricians Join Tens of Thousands of People Demanding Rescission of Biden Asylum Transit Ban.
February 21, 2023
The American Immigration Council responds to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on the implementation of a new asylum transit ban.
February 7, 2023
The American Immigration Council released new research, The Growing Demand for Healthcare Workers in Utah, which underscores the crucial role immigrants play in some of the state’s fastest growing and most in demand healthcare fields.
January 5, 2023
The American Immigration Council responds to new announced a series of border policy reforms, including a variant of President Trump's asylum "Transit Ban", from the Biden administration.
Publication Date: 
May 10, 2024
On May 9, 2024, the Department of Homeland Security announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, published here, that would allow asylum officers to reject a subset of asylum seekers earlier in the...
May 9, 2024
Civil rights groups filed a federal lawsuit today to block SF 2340, one of the worst, most far-reaching immigration laws ever passed in the state of Iowa.
We’re suing Iowa for a new law that criminalizes anyone who has reentered the state after being deported — including children — even if that person is now authorized to be in the U.S. This is the most extreme anti-immigrant law in the state’s history.
May 3, 2024

When someone crosses the border to seek asylum in the United States, they often first go through a credible fear interview (CFI). An asylum officer evaluates a person’s fear of returning to their...

May 1, 2024
The American Immigration Council and Welcoming America, two national nonprofits, are thrilled to announce that four communities were selected to receive Implementation Technical Assistance and Grant awards as part of Round V of the Gateways for Growth Challenge (G4G).
April 26, 2024

On April 19, forty minutes after the ostensible deadline to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Congress passed H.R. 7888, the Reforming Intelligence and...

Publication Date: 
April 16, 2024
The American Immigration Council sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives discussing the harmful impacts of a proposed amendment that would authorize intelligence agencies to conduct...
This nationwide class action lawsuit challenges systemic delays in providing immigration files.
April 9, 2024
A new civil rights complaint filed on behalf of a group of transgender and non-binary individuals describes the routine abuse they endured at an ICE detention center in Aurora, Colorado.
Publication Date: 
April 8, 2024
Parole under immigration law is very different than in the criminal justice context. In the immigration context, parole facilitates certain individuals’ entry into and permission to temporarily...

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