Enforcement

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.

Recent Features

All Enforcement Content

August 1, 2006
Benjamin Johnson, Director of the Immigration Policy Center, discusses the futility of an enforcement-only approach to immigration reform and the need for a more comprehensive strategy to deal with...
April 10, 2006
The U.S. government's efforts to stem undocumented immigration by fortifying the U.S.-Mexico border have increased the profitability of the people-smuggling business and fostered greater...
February 1, 2006
Most of the border-enforcement and immigration-reform proposals currently being considered in Washington, DC, are not comprehensive or adequate solutions to the issue of undocumented immigration. The...
September 1, 2005
A proper understanding of the causes of international migration suggests that punitive immigration and border policies tend to backfire, and this is precisely what has happened in the case of the...
August 1, 2005
The current crisis of undocumented immigration to the United States has its roots in fundamental misunderstandings about the causes of immigration and the motivations of immigrants. A growing body of...
April 1, 2005
New proposals for more fencing and Border Patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexico border may only perpetuate an unsuccessful and counterproductive policy that does not effectively enhance national...
November 1, 2004
U.S. immigration policy is based on denial. Most lawmakers in the United States have largely embraced the process of economic “globalization,” yet stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that increased...
October 1, 2004
Over a thousand noncitizens face indefinite detention in the United States on the basis of a meaningless legal technicality.
May 1, 2004
In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S. government began a campaign of aggressive immigration enforcement targeted at Muslims, Arabs and South Asians. Rather than first...
December 1, 2003
In the hours following the deadly terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States government took the extraordinary step of sealing U.S. borders to traffic and trade by grounding all...
July 19, 2019

Since the mid-1980s, immigration courts have operated the Institutional Hearing Program (IHP). The program is designed to quickly deport people serving criminal sentences. Despite how long it’s...

July 18, 2019

While members of Congress were struggling to reach a bipartisan deal in February in order to end the government shutdown, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) quietly expanded its...

July 16, 2019

People fleeing persecution who arrive to the United States at the southern land border may no longer be able to seek asylum. As of Tuesday, these asylum seekers will instead be denied protection...

July 15, 2019

After word got out about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) plans to conduct widespread raids across the country on Sunday, ICE agents appeared to scale back their plans. The...

July 3, 2019

Attorney General William Barr announced in April 2019 plans to eliminate bond hearings for immigrants who pass an asylum screening interview after entering the United States. This would have...

July 1, 2019

The Trump administration’s approach to immigration enforcement is seriously impacting noncitizens and citizens around the country. A new report by the American Immigration Council highlights how...

June 26, 2019

New government documents show that family separations continue—despite the Trump administration’s claims to the contrary. Documents uncovered through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request...

June 17, 2019

Since 2004, a band of humanitarian aid workers organized by community and faith groups have trekked through remote areas of the Arizona desert between the United States and Mexico. They often...

June 12, 2019

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is not following its own policies—and hundreds of men and women who have served in our military are getting deported for minor offenses due to the...

March 13, 2015
Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, a class action lawsuit was filed by three immigration attorneys and eleven noncitizens challenging U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) nationwide practice of failing to timely respond to requests for case information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). FOIA gives an individual the right to access information that the federal government possesses about him or her within 20 business days of making the request.
January 27, 2015

Washington, D.C.—Recently, the U.S.

November 18, 2014

Washington D.C. - Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced plans to close the detention facility in Artesia, New Mexico, where it detains mothers and children.

August 1, 2014

Washington D.C. – The American Immigration Council, American Civil Liberties Union, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Public

July 9, 2014
The American Civil Liberties Union, American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel, and K&L Gates LLP today filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of children who are challenging the federal government's failure to provide them with legal representation as it carries out deportation hearings against them.
May 15, 2014

Washington D.C. - Understanding the complexities of immigration law and its intersection with criminal law is not easy.

March 31, 2014

Washington D.C. – Today the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a new report that makes a range of false claims about deportation data.

March 26, 2014

An alliance of immigration advocacy groups announces the launch of HoldCBPAccountable.org, a website that catalogues lawsuits and admini

December 22, 2013

Washington, D.C.—The American Immigration Council welcomes today’s ruling from U.S. District Judge Richard M.

August 2, 2013

Washington, DC – Yesterday, a U.S.

January 7, 2020

Update: On January 15, federal Judge Peter Messitte issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the Trump administration from enforcing its executive order giving state and local...

January 3, 2020

Many New Yorkers had a reason to celebrate on December 16, as they were permitted to apply for a driver’s license for the first time, even if they lacked permanent immigration status. Now, thanks...

The Migrant Protection Protocols—also known as Remain in Mexico—raises alarming safety and due process questions. However, the government has kept information on how the program is being implemented.
January 2, 2020
This fact sheet describes the populations, duration, and conditions for noncitizens detained in the United States by department.
December 17, 2019

Government officials were aware of the harm family separation would cause and were critical of the practice years before the Trump administration established it as an official policy. Advocates...

December 16, 2019

A recent federal court ruling in California could allow hundreds of thousands of immigrants currently and previously detained by private prison companies to demand compensation and damages for...

December 11, 2019
As U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has expanded immigration capacity across the country in recent years, the number of people held in its facilities with actual criminal records...
December 10, 2019
The rate at which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained pregnant women increased 52% during the first two years of the Trump administration, according to a Government Accountability...
December 5, 2019

Attorney General Sessions’ orders to prioritize prosecuting people for immigration-related offenses in 2017 and 2018 put a significant strain on law enforcement across the border, diverting...

December 4, 2019

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—the agency responsible for systematically separating thousands of migrant families in the summer of 2018—lacked the technology or mechanisms to record and...

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