Enforcement

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.

Recent Features

All Enforcement Content

Publication Date: 
April 24, 2017

The last time the Border Patrol received a large infusion of money to hire thousands of new agents, cases of corruption and misconduct spiked in the agency. New hires were not sufficiently vetted...

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March 21, 2017
This fact sheet explains detainers, how they are used by federal and local enforcement, and the impact they have on immigrants.
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February 27, 2017
The provisions in the order pose serious concerns for the protection and due process rights of those currently residing in the United States, communities along the U.S-Mexico border, and vulnerable...
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January 25, 2017
This fact sheet includes changes resulting from the creation of the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) in 2014 and related legal decisions.
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December 21, 2016
Too often, some or all of a detainee’s belongings are lost, destroyed, or stolen by the immigration-enforcement agents entrusted with their care.
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August 31, 2016
This report examines what happens when “family detention” does not actually keep loved ones together and profiles the experiences of five asylum-seeking families who are divided by detention.
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August 18, 2016
This report reveals that individuals are frequently held for days and sometimes even months in holding cells in Border Patrol sectors along the U.S.’ southwest border.
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May 18, 2016
First-hand accounts from Central American women and their family members reveal the dangerous and bleak circumstances of life these women and their children faced upon return to their home countries...
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May 16, 2016

Over the past few years, thousands of children—many fleeing horrific levels of violence in Central America—have arrived at the U.S. border in need of protection. Most children are placed in...

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February 1, 2016
The unprecedented levels of crime and violence that have overwhelmed the Northern Triangle countries in recent years have produced a refugee situation for those directly in the line of fire, making...
U.S. Customs and Border Protection may have mistreated migrant children when implementing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention interim final rule that suspends people from entering the United States due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Given the agency’s history of civil and human rights abuses that have largely gone unchecked, and the possibility of continued deployments, there is an urgent need for further information about CBP’s participation in these law enforcement efforts.
Publication Date: 
October 22, 2020
The brief argues that DHS’ service practices for MPP tear sheets deny respondents their statutory right to notice of the time and place of their removal proceedings, their statutory right to a full and fair hearing, and, consequently, due process of law.
This Freedom of Information Act request seeks to uncover Customs and Border Protection’s actions and further expose its militarized response to the provision of humanitarian aid.
October 13, 2020
The American Immigration Council, the Immigration Defense Clinic at Colorado Law, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, submitted a comment in opposition to the Department of Homeland Security proposed rule on the "Collection and Use of Biometrics by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services."
September 30, 2020

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is attempting to permanently destroy records related to civil rights complaints against the agency, administrative and criminal investigations into...

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%.
This request would show whether CBP is violating statutory protections intended for these youth.
Publication Date: 
August 7, 2020
In the amicus brief, the Council and partners documented the reliance on these records by researchers and advocates to monitor and expose troubling practices.
June 9, 2023

An internal investigation into the death of a medically vulnerable eight-year-old girl after over a week in Border Patrol custody continues to reveal shocking negligence on the part of medical...

June 2, 2023

Usurping the role of the federal government, state legislatures in Florida and Texas have proposed multiple harmful immigration bills during this year’s legislative session. Several Florida...

May 24, 2023

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide a case that asks the Court to overturn Chevron v. National Resources Defense Council—an influential decision that requires courts to defer to federal...

May 19, 2023

One of the biggest concerns after the end of the Title 42 policy of mass expulsion at the U.S.-Mexico border was that large numbers of people would cross in the hours and days afterward. When the...

May 11, 2023

Back in February, when the Biden administration proposed a new regulation that would essentially restrict the vast majority of border crossers from qualifying for asylum, we broke it down with a...

May 9, 2023

With the pandemic-related expulsion policy “Title 42” set to expire May 11, the House GOP introduced its first large-scale border and immigration package on Monday. The bill combines three...

May 2, 2023

Title 42 – a policy that has allowed the U.S. government to expel border-crossers without giving them a chance to seek asylum – is expected to officially sunset next week. Federal courts prevented...

April 26, 2023

Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the launch of CeBONDS, a new system people can use to pay bonds and secure the release of individuals in immigration detention....

April 21, 2023

With all eyes on the U.S.-Mexico border ahead of the end of Title 42 on May 11, Texas lawmakers are pushing to increase the state’s role in enforcing federal immigration laws—despite Supreme Court...

April 20, 2023

A family with a baby, waiting outside in the cold overnight. A pregnant woman, enduring the elements for multiple days. An Afghan who worked for the U.S. Army as a translator, hoping for food and...

June 28, 2022
At least 50 people were found dead yesterday in a tractor-trailer near Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. This tragedy appears to be the deadliest migrant-smuggling operation in U.S. history, following the deadliest year on record for the border.
April 1, 2022
The Biden administration announced today plans to end a border expulsions policy known as Title 42 by May 23. This policy allowed the U.S. government to turn people away at the U.S southern border over 1.7 million times in the past two years under the guise of protecting the country from COVID-19.
March 25, 2022
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it will close or scale back four detention facilities over concerns about conditions at those centers.
March 18, 2022
In a damning report citing unsafe and unsanitary conditions at the Torrance County Detention Facility in New Mexico released today by DHS's oversight body urged ICE to immediately remove and relocate people detained at the ICE immigration detention center located in Estancia, New Mexico.
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.
January 12, 2022
Immigration advocacy groups filed a FOIA lawsuit against ICE requesting ICE’s internal records on preapproval authorizations for enforcement actions against individuals who do not meet the criteria outlined in the Biden-Harris administration’s interim enforcement priorities.
December 21, 2021
The American Immigration Council filed a FOIA lawsuit against CBP requesting information about the agency’s implementation of CBP One— an app designed to help process individuals entering the United States including asylum seekers—that has raised concerns among immigration and privacy advocates.
November 30, 2021
Immigration advocacy groups filed a FOIA lawsuit against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requesting ICE’s internal reports on enforcement activities and removals under the Biden-Harris administration’s interim enforcement priorities.
October 29, 2021
The Biden administration announced that DHS will issue a new memo to formally terminate the Migrant Protection Protocols. It is an important step towards ensuring that the MPP program never returns.
October 15, 2021
The Biden administration announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security plans to revive and reimplement the Migrant Protection Protocols by mid-November. The Council believes that plans to restart the program is a betrayal of the president’s campaign promises and a sign that this administration is failing to reenvision border management and the way that we treat asylum seekers.
This lawsuit, filed on behalf of several individuals and the Farmworker Association of Florida, challenges Section 10 of Florida’s new anti-immigrant law, Senate Bill 1718.
July 13, 2023
Immigration advocacy groups filed a complaint with DHS' oversight bodies urging an investigation into the increased use and misuse of solitary confinement at the Denver Contract Detention Facility in Aurora, Colorado.
Last modified: 
July 12, 2023
Publication Date: 
July 13, 2023
The American Immigration Council and partners filed an administrative complaint with the with the Department of Homeland Security's oversight bodies urging immediate investigation into the misuse of...
This FOIA request seeks information on CBP’s treatment of asylum seekers and their access to inspection appointments scheduled via CBP One, revealing potential violations of their rights.
July 1, 2023
The Southern Poverty Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Florida, Americans for Immigrant Justice, and American Immigration Council have announced they will file a federal lawsuit challenging Florida’s draconian Senate Bill 1718, which goes into effect, July 1.
June 28, 2023
Newly analyzed government data exposes the discrepancy between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's actions and its own guidelines.
In 2021, the Biden administration issued policy guidance on how ICE should carry out immigration enforcement. This report is a breakdown of how ICE carried out these policies.
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.
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June 7, 2023
Publication Date: 
June 7, 2023
The American Immigration Council appeared before Congress to address the complicated reality of the application of immigration law at the border.
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June 2, 2023
Publication Date: 
December 9, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview on CBP One, a mobile app developed to streamline interaction between travelers and CBP officers at ports of entry using technology which includes GPS tracking and...

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