Border 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 Border Enforcement Content

Publication Date: 
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...
Publication Date: 
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...
Publication Date: 
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.
Publication Date: 
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.
Publication Date: 
September 6, 2019
The fact is that building a fortified and impenetrable wall between the United States and Mexico is unnecessary, complicated, ineffective, expensive, and would create a host of additional problems.
Publication Date: 
March 7, 2018
Enforcement of U.S. immigration laws has historically been guided by policies that emphasize prioritization. However, this practice has largely been abandoned since the inauguration of President...
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September 19, 2017
Mexican migrants suffer a host of violations, abuses, and ill treatment while in the custody of U.S. immigration authorities.
Publication Date: 
August 2, 2017
This report raises more concerns about misconduct throughout Border Patrol sectors and shows Customs and Border Patrol has made little progress in its efforts to improve accountability.
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...

The requested records will shed light on CBP's practices with respect to granting and extending humanitarian parole and the agency's determinations regarding which addresses to include on immigration paperwork.
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.
Publication Date: 
August 23, 2021
This amicus brief urges the Supreme Court to stop the reinstatement of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), and halt the lower court's poorly reasoned and factually flawed decision.
Publication Date: 
August 18, 2021
This brief highlights the court's many factual errors about MPP in its decision to reinstate the program.

What is CBP One and why is it concerning?

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched a new app that can be downloaded on mobile devices called CBP One. According to the agency, CBP One...

This Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeks to uncover information about the databases and systems that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies use in immigration enforcement.
The Council filed multiple Freedom of Information Act requests to unearth the systems that the government uses in immigration enforcement and the data it collects.
The Council and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality have launched an investigation into the abusive practices of CBP officers and cooperation with local law enforcement in Ohio.
This Freedom of Information Act lawsuit calls on CBP to release records documenting the agency’s aggressive and militarized response to the provision of humanitarian aid.
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,...

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 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 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...

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...

August 10, 2023

On April 8, a family came to the San Ysidro port of entry in Tijuana and asked to be let into the United States to seek asylum. The husband’s arm was bleeding. He’d been shot. The cartel that had...

July 28, 2023

On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that the Biden administration’s asylum transit ban was illegal and should be vacated. The ruling isn’t in effect yet – it was delayed for 14 days and may be...

June 29, 2023

The end of the COVID-19 public health emergency back in May meant an end to Title 42. That policy, grounded in an obscure public health law, was put in place by the Trump administration in March...

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.
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.
November 15, 2022
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan issued a decision vacating and ending Title 42, more than two and a half years after the purported public health policy went into effect.
October 13, 2022
The American Immigration Council alongside responded to the Biden Administration’s announcement of a parole program to protect some Venezuelan nationals with ties to the U.S., expansion of Title 42 to expel Venezuelans who cross the border without prior authorization, and nearly 65,000 added visas under the H-2B program.
September 30, 2022
The warden of a privately run detention facility in West Texas Center—which very recently held detained individuals for U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement—was arrested and charged with manslaughter for shooting two migrants, killing one, in Sierra Blanca, Texas
July 7, 2022
In a dangerous defiance of federal authority over immigration law, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order declaring an "invasion” at the border and authorizing the Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety to return migrants into custody for violations of federal law and then transport them to a border port of entry.
June 30, 2022
The U.S. Supreme Court allows the Biden administration’s efforts to terminate the Migrant Protection Protocols—an illegal Trump-era policy that sent thousands of people seeking humanitarian protection to dangerous areas of Mexico to await their asylum hearings.
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.
Last modified: 
February 1, 2024
Publication Date: 
January 7, 2022
Under the “Migrant Protection Protocols”, individuals who arrive at the southern border and ask for asylum (either at a port of entry or after crossing the border between ports of entry) are given...
Last modified: 
January 18, 2024
Publication Date: 
January 12, 2024
The Council, along with the ACLU National Prison Project and the Texas Civil Rights Project, led efforts to oppose U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) proposal to destroy records of medical...
Last modified: 
December 12, 2023
Publication Date: 
July 22, 2019
Expedited removal is a process by which low-level immigration officers can quickly deport certain noncitizens who are undocumented or have committed fraud or misrepresentation.
October 17, 2023
The American Immigration Council and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit to compel the Biden administration to release information on its new policy of turning back people who request asylum without first obtaining an appointment via the government’s CBP One smartphone app.
Last modified: 
September 20, 2023
Publication Date: 
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...

August 10, 2023
El miércoles, un grupo de solicitantes de asilo presentó una petición para bloquear la política ilegal de la administración Biden de rechazar a las personas que buscan asilo en los puertos de entrada a lo largo de la frontera con Estados Unidos.
August 10, 2023
On Wednesday a group of asylum seekers moved to block the Biden administration’s unlawful policy of turning back people seeking asylum at ports of entry along the southern border.
This lawsuit challenges the federal government’s border-wide policy and practice of turning back asylum seekers without a CBP One appointment at ports of entry.

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