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.

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All Enforcement Content

Publication Date: 
February 16, 2012
What You Need to Know if Your State is Considering Anti-immigrant Legislation...
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February 6, 2012
By Michele Waslin The day that Alabama’s draconian anti-immigrant law...
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November 29, 2011
This paper describes the Secure Communities program, identifies concerns about the program’s design and implementation, and makes recommendations for the future of the program.
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November 29, 2011
The Secure Communities Program, which launched in March 2008, has been held out as a simplified model for state and local cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. This fact sheet lays out...
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November 9, 2011
Although key provisions of Alabama’s HB 56 are on hold while its constitutionality is being tested in the courts, evidence is mounting of the growing fiscal and economic impact of the new law. State...
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November 8, 2011
(Updated November 2011) - Arizona’s infamous anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, has spawned many imitators. In a growing number of state houses around the country, bills have been passed or...
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November 1, 2011
Turning Off the Water: How the Contracting and Transaction...
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October 19, 2011
Many political pundits, GOP presidential aspirants, and Members of Congress want to have it both ways when it comes to federal spending on immigration. On the one hand, there is much talk about the...
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October 6, 2011
One of the ugliest myths in the immigration debate is that immigrants are more likely to commit crime or pose a danger to society. Although studies repeatedly have shown that immigrants are less...
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September 12, 2011
The external borders of the United States matter to security, but how and in what ways is neither automatic nor obvious. The current assumption is that borders defend the national interior against...
We filed a FOIA request seeking statistical information, as well as policies and guidance, regarding Board of Immigration Appeals standards for issuing stays of removal. Because the government failed to respond, we're filing a lawsuit.
February 6, 2019
The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)—also commonly known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy—will put asylum seekers at grave risk of harm by forcing them to remain in Mexico pending their request for protection. Due to these concerns, immigration advocates submitted a letter to the government with first-hand testimonies of ten families attesting to the violence and harm–including rape, beatings, kidnappings, and ransom–they faced on the Mexican side of our southern border.
Publication Date: 
January 10, 2019

The American Immigration Council and the Immigrants’ Rights and Human Trafficking Program and Boston University School of Law filed an amicus brief in ACLU v. DHS, a Freedom of Information...

January 7, 2019

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) submitted a joint comment opposing the “Interim Final Rule: Aliens Subject to a Bar on Entry Under...

November 6, 2018
The Trump administration proposed new regulations undermining the 1997 Flores settlement agreement. If the proposed regulations are finalized, they would weaken protections for children and place them at greater risk of trauma and mistreatment.
September 18, 2018

The American Immigration Council and American Immigration Lawyers Association submitted a written statement to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and...

August 23, 2018

The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy led to not only to the forcible separation of thousands of children from their parents, but the extreme duress and coercion of...

This lawsuit seeks to compel U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to release records relating to CBP’s complaint process and actions taken in response to complaints made to CBP concerning its agents and officers since January 1, 2012.
July 31, 2018
The statement shares our analysis and research regarding the nation's asylum system and the obligations of the U.S. government to asylum seekers, as well as our deep concern around the administration's family separation policies and increased prosecution of migrants.
July 31, 2018
The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for a July 31, 2018 hearing on “Oversight of Immigration Enforcement and Family Reunification Efforts.”
October 26, 2022

The flights of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in September refocused attention on a phenomenon that had been unfolding for many months—the relocation of migrants by Republican governors...

October 18, 2022

Faced with rising numbers of Venezuelans coming to the border and seeking asylum, the Biden administration has initiated what could be its most extensive crackdown on migrants since taking office...

October 13, 2022

Legal service organizations have sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for preventing people jailed at four immigration detention centers from having meaningful access to their...

October 6, 2022

An appellate court recently ruled that California’s state law banning private prisons—including immigration detention centers—is likely unconstitutional. The decision is a significant blow to...

October 5, 2022

Late last week, detention center warden Michael Sheppard and his twin brother Mark Sheppard were arrested after allegedly shooting into a group of 13 migrants, killing one and seriously injuring...

September 23, 2022

The Republican governors of Texas, Arizona, and now Florida are playing a cynical political game with the lives of migrants—including many asylum seekers fleeing persecution. Officials in these...

September 22, 2022

Written by Joseph Meyers, Staff Attorney at the National Immigration Project A group of immigrant advocacy organizations filed an amicus brief in United States v. Texas last week, in which they...

September 7, 2022

There is no doubt that fentanyl is a major problem inside the United States. Over the last decade, rising availability of fentanyl has caused a spike in overdose deaths across the nation. In 2021...

September 6, 2022

Border Patrol agents in Arizona have been confiscating and not returning the turbans worn by Sikh asylum seekers as part of their religion. Immigrant advocates and members of Congress have pointed...

August 18, 2022

As midterm election season heats up, House Republicans on the “American Security Task Force” have produced a new framework for what they say is a plan to “secure the border.” Despite the claim of...

June 23, 2020
A federal appeals court has ruled that a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s policy that sought to massively expand fast-track deportations without a fair legal process can continue. The court held that the lawsuit was properly brought, but rejected the claim that the administration had failed to follow the procedures provided under the Administrative Procedure Act.
May 27, 2020
The American Immigration Council's latest report examines major changes to the U.S. immigration system in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unique challenges the pandemic has created for noncitizens and government agencies.
May 14, 2020
The American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Human Rights Watch, and the law firm Winston & Strawn LLP filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Northern District of California today to compel the release of records about the US Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program.
May 7, 2020
The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association , through their joint initiative the Immigration Justice Campaign, filed an oversight complaint with the Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the Office of the Inspector General highlighting the experiences of individuals detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 28, 2020
Today’s Court decision denying the emergency temporary restraining order in NIPNLG, et al., v. EOIR, et al., is deeply disappointing. This lawsuit was brought against the Executive Office for Immigration Review and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to protect the health of immigration attorneys, immigrants, and the public from the impact of dangerous and unconstitutional policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 22, 2020
President Donald Trump signed an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States. The order applies to many individuals currently outside the United States who do not yet have immigrant (permanent) visas.
April 8, 2020
Immigration groups moved for an emergency temporary restraining order against the Executive Office for Immigration Review and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in order to protect the health of immigration attorneys, immigrants, and the public from the impact of dangerous and unconstitutional policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 31, 2020
A federal court in Arizona allowed five asylum-seeking mothers and their children who were torn apart under the Trump administration’s family separation policy to move forward with a lawsuit against the United States for the cruel treatment and anguish U.S. immigration agencies inflicted on them. The court denied the government’s motion to dismiss the case.
March 27, 2020
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has upheld a ruling blocking a Trump administration policy that categorically denies bond hearings to asylum seekers. The case is Padilla v. ICE.
March 23, 2020
In a letter calling for prioritizing the health and safety of government employees, detained individuals, and their legal representatives amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, together with the National Immigrant Justice Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and more than 100 other organizations, urged the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to immediately authorize the robust and automatic use of remote options for immigration court appearances and attorney-client meetings.
This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeks information on a $10 million appropriation made to improve legal access in detention.
July 19, 2023

At the direction of Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida has made it a felony to transport a person into the state who hasn’t been inspected by immigration authorities. Effective July 1, driving a broad...

July 17, 2023
Legal organizations filed a federal lawsuit challenging Florida’s new anti-immigrant law, Senate Bill 1718.
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 14, 2023

“If I spoke too loudly, solitary. If I climbed on top of a table to get a guard’s attention, solitary. If I had suicidal thoughts, solitary. When the guards would tease me about being deported...

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.
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.
Publication Date: 
July 11, 2023
This fact sheet provides an overview of the wide range of programs that provide alternatives to detention (ATDs) and run the gamut from no governmental intervention to extensive surveillance and...
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.

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