Enforcement

Our legal system rests upon the principle that everyone is entitled to due process of law and a meaningful opportunity to be heard. But for far too long, the immigration system has failed to provide noncitizens with a system of justice that lives up to this standard. Learn about ways in which the immigration system could ensure that all noncitizens have a fair day in court.  

Recent Features

All Enforcement Content

Publication Date: 
December 18, 2013
In late June 2012, the Supreme Court struck down three provisions of Arizona’s SB 1070 and left a fourth vulnerable to future legal challenge. As has been well documented, the Court’s rejection of SB...
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December 10, 2013
This two-part series highlights the findings of the Migrant Border Crossing Study—a binational, multi-institution study of 1,110 randomly selected, recently repatriated migrants surveyed in six...
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August 1, 2013

On June 6, 2013, the House Judiciary Committee considered H.R. 2278, the “Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act,” commonly known as the SAFE Act. This...

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August 1, 2013
The Criminal Alien Program (CAP) is an expansive immigration enforcement program that leads to the initiation of removal proceedings in many cases. While CAP has existed in one form or another for...
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July 24, 2013
The House of Representatives and the Senate have embarked upon very different paths when it comes to immigration reform. On June 27, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill—...
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May 9, 2013
Since the last major legalization program for unauthorized immigrants in 1986, the federal government has spent an estimated $186.8 billion on immigration enforcement. Yet during that time, the...
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May 9, 2013
The Important Economic Relationship of Mexico and the United States Mexico is the United States’ third largest trading partner, after Canada and China, in terms of total trade in goods, while the U.S...
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April 2, 2013
Since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in 2003, its immigration-enforcement agencies—Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—have been...
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January 8, 2013
With roughly 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States, some question whether the nation’s immigration laws are being seriously enforced. In truth, due to legal and policy...
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December 12, 2012
The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Children Caught Up in the Child Welfare System One of the many consequences of an aggressive immigration enforcement system is the separation of children,...
This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeks to uncover information about the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP)—also known as the "Remain in Mexico" program.
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May 12, 2020
The American Immigration Council filed this amicus curiae brief in support of individuals who sought release from detention due to their significant risk of infection from COVID-19.
May 7, 2020
The complaint calls on oversight agencies to demand immediate action by ICE to help stop the spread of the coronavirus where social distancing is not possible, including:

The American Immigration Council filed a lawsuit after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) failed to timely respond to the Council’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The...

The Council filed a lawsuit to close the immigration courts and ensure due process.
March 23, 2020
This urgent letter from over 100 organizations expressing deep concern about the need for remote legal access and representation in immigration court and detention during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This request seeks information that will enhance the public’s understanding of steps ICE has taken to protect detained individuals from an outbreak of COVID-19.
March 17, 2020
The letter notes public health concerns related to COVID-19 for individuals in Immigration and Customs Enforcement's custody in El Paso, the need for the immediate release of individuals who are at high risk, and recommending steps to mitigate the crisis for this population.
March 6, 2020

153 legal representation, refugee assistance, faith-based, human rights, and community groups—including the American Immigration Council—sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security...

In December 2019, the National Archives approved a schedule for destruction of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) records which slates numerous categories of documents addressing...

March 17, 2023

In March 2020, the world came to an unfamiliar halt. The COVID-19 pandemic was no longer a looming and distant concern. Events rapidly fell off calendars, schools shuttered, and those who could...

March 10, 2023

State governments are leading the way on eliminating a blemish from their communities—immigration detention centers. As some state governments begin their legislative sessions, bills attempting to...

March 8, 2023

Written by Atenas Burrola, Pro Bono Manager and Crystal Massey, National Pro Bono Coordinator for the Afghan Project at the American Immigration Council The Biden administration is reportedly...

March 7, 2023

The Biden administration is reportedly planning to detain large numbers of immigrant families again this spring. This is part of the administration’s plan to replace Title 42 with a new policy...

March 3, 2023

Florida made headlines last year as it passed a law allowing Governor Ron DeSantis to spend up to 12 million dollars to transport migrants out of Florida. DeSantis used over $1 million of that...

February 28, 2023

In January and February of this year, the Biden administration announced new policies to process individuals seeking asylum at ports of entry at the U.S.-Mexico border. A key component of these...

February 27, 2023

The New York Times has published a horrifying investigation into the exploitation of children who migrated to the United States as unaccompanied minors. The investigation by Hannah Dreier finds...

February 17, 2023

In December 2022, the Supreme Court stepped in to keep Title 42 (the pandemic health policy that has allowed the United States to carry out over 2.5 million expulsions since March 2020) in effect...

February 10, 2023

In January, Republicans took control of the House of Representatives. After a lengthy fight over the Speaker of the House resolved, the new majority wasted no time in holding multiple hearings on...

February 10, 2023

Nearly 1,000 children separated from their families at the southern border by the Trump administration remain separated to this day, according to a Biden administration fact sheet released on...

June 21, 2021
The American Immigration Council filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against DHS and its two primary immigration enforcement agencies requesting information about the obscure network of databases, information systems, and data sharing methods that are largely shielded from public view.
May 28, 2021
The Biden administration disclosed today a $54.2 billion budget request for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2022. The request is is deeply disappointing and a missed opportunity to set immigration enforcement in the United States on a new path.
May 20, 2021
A new American Immigration Council report examines the Biden administration’s approach to the U.S. system of immigration enforcement during its first 100 days in office.
May 18, 2021
The Council and Black Alliance for Just Immigration filed 10 FOIA requests to uncover what is happening inside immigration detention facilities and how ICE treats incarcerated Black immigrants in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
March 23, 2021
The nation has turned its attention to the current situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, including the rise in immigrant children in U.S. government custody. Much of the conversation has focused on a supposed surge in arrivals under the Biden administration, but the current increase began well before President Biden took office.
March 1, 2021
A new publication provides a snapshot of the extent of available services that help migrants navigate the complexities of the U.S. immigration system.
February 11, 2021
A group of 120 legal and medical services and advocacy organizations sent a letter to the White House and Department of Homeland Security, asking the Biden administration to review the cases of thousands of people who remain in immigration detention, and release those who do not fall within the enforcement priorities detailed in the DHS enforcement priorities memo that took effect February 1.
January 27, 2021
Newly released government records reveal U.S. immigration agencies' efforts in 2019 to rapidly deport thousands of people from the United States through the little-known Electronic Nationality Verification program.
January 7, 2021
Immigrant rights advocates moved for a temporary restraining order to block the Trump administration’s latest attempt to circumvent an earlier court order prohibiting the government from applying an asylum ban to people whom U.S. Customs and Border Protection had previously turned away from ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border.
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 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...

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September 20, 2023
The American Immigration Council appeared before Congress to address the economic contributions of immigrants in the U.S. and the American economic system.
Protestors raise their hands in solidarity outside of the Fifth Police Precinct in Minneapolis in response to the death of George Floyd
Our new, joint report shows that CBP often got involved in policing protests without being asked by city or state officials, and that its actions went beyond its supposed mandate to protect federal property.
September 19, 2023

The American Immigration Council joined 45 other organizations in calling on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Citizenship and...

September 14, 2023

Since President Biden took office, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been escalating both rhetoric and action in response to a rise in migration across the Rio Grande. Right now, challenges to his...

September 8, 2023

“There should be no private prisons, period, none, period. And we are working to close all of them.” Those are the words of President Joe Biden in April 2021, when he was called out by immigrant...

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September 7, 2023
The Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association comment on DHS's Interim Final Rule on its plan to electronically serve bond-related notifications to obligors to release immigration...
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August 22, 2023
This practice advisory looks into the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court issued in Pugin v. Garland, 143 S. Ct. 1833 (2023). This immigration decision addressed the generic definition of the obstruction of justice aggravated felony ground at 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(S).

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