Border 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 Border Enforcement Content

Publication Date: 
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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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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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...
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December 17, 2015
These accounts reveal the dehumanizing conditions to which these women were subjected while in Border Patrol custody.
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June 10, 2015

Each year, the Border Patrol, a division of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), holds hundreds of thousands of people in detention facilities near the southern border that are...

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May 4, 2014
Of the 809 complaints of alleged abuse lodged against Border Patrol agents between January 2009 and January 2012, 97 percent resulted in “No Action Taken.” On average, CBP took 122 days to arrive at...
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April 28, 2014
The deportation process has been transformed drastically over the last two decades. Today, two-thirds of individuals deported are subject to what are known as “summary removal procedures,” which...
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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...
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.
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...

This request would show whether CBP is violating statutory protections intended for these youth.
August 5, 2020

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association submitted a comment opposing the regulation "Security Bars and Processing." 

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The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request demands records regarding all CBP deployments to U.S. cities during the protests of George Floyd's death.
July 17, 2020

The American Immigration Council joined a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security calling on the release of all families held at all three Immigration and Customs...

This lawsuit seeks to uncover information about the government’s troubling new practice of employing U.S. Custom and Border Protection officers to screen asylum seekers.
The Trump administration wants to increase its power to deport immigrants without a fair day in court through expedited removal. We’re suing.
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.
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...

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 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...

April 19, 2023

On Monday, April 17, the House GOP introduced its first comprehensive border bill of the 118th Congress. The bill comes after months of disagreement within the caucus surrounding legislative...

April 10, 2023

The Biden administration is yet again turning to the Trump playbook as it tries to slap together a border crackdown to succeed the end of the Title 42 “public health” order next month. The latest...

March 29, 2023

On Monday night, 39 migrants died, and another 27 were seriously injured, in a fire in a Mexican detention center in Ciudad Juarez. The migrants—most of them from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras...

March 24, 2023

Last week, a federal court in California issued a decision allowing asylum seekers and other plaintiffs to continue their legal challenge to the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” program, officially (...

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.
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.
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.
October 14, 2021
The American Immigration Council and 29+ organizations urged DHS—in a letter offering factual and legal recommendations on how to end the Migrant Protection Protocols—to fully and forcefully acknowledge the humanitarian and legal catastrophe caused by MPP.
September 2, 2021
A federal judge declared unlawful the U.S. government’s turnbacks of asylum seekers arriving at ports of entry along the U.S southern border. The court ruled that the United States is required by law to inspect and process asylum seekers when they present themselves at ports of entry, and condemned the practice of denying access to the asylum process through metering and similar practices.
September 1, 2021
Immigrant rights advocates released a statement after presenting oral arguments before U.S. District Court of the Southern District of California, where they urged the court to declare unlawful and permanently end the Trump-era turnback policy.
August 24, 2021
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to stay a ruling from a lower Texas court that would force the Biden administration to revive the Migrant Protection Protocols.
August 23, 2021
Immigration groups and judges urged the U.S. Supreme Court in an amicus brief to stay a Texas court ruling that would force the Biden administration to revive the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) – an illegal policy that forced asylum seekers to await their U.S. court dates in perilous conditions in Mexico.
August 19, 2021
A Texas judge blocked the Biden administration’s immigration enforcement priorities. The decision was issued in a case challenging ICE’s enforcement activities outside the scope laid out in the Feb. 18 enforcement memo.
Last modified: 
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...
May 10, 2023
The Biden administration announced the implementation of an asylum transit ban that will penalize asylum seekers who don’t apply for protection in other nations they transit through on their way to the United States.
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May 10, 2023
Publication Date: 
May 8, 2023
The American Immigration Council joined a coalition of 129 organizations calling for members of the House of Representatives to vote against an anti-immigrant border bill that would dismantle the U.S...
February 21, 2023
The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that will implement a new asylum transit ban—one of the most restrictive border control measures to date under any president.
May 3, 2023
The American Immigration Council released a new vision and blueprint for the border that highlights the need for a modern and functional system of humanitarian protection and border management in the United States.
The Council is seeking monetary damages on behalf of six asylum-seeking mothers and their children for the trauma they suffered when torn apart under the Trump Administration’s family separation policy.
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.
Last modified: 
January 30, 2023
Publication Date: 
August 27, 2021
The Council submitted an amicus brief explaining why ICE should release usable immigration data. The amicus brief was filed in a case where the ACLU is seeking information about how individuals are impacted by ICE enforcement practices.

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