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 Asylum Content

October 6, 2020
This fact sheet provides an overview of withholding of removal, including the basics of seeking protection in the United States, eligibility requirements, the application process, and data on...
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.
June 11, 2020
Asylum seekers must navigate a difficult and complex process that can involve multiple government agencies. This fact sheet provides an overview of the asylum system in the United States, including...
January 29, 2020
This fact sheet explains the complicated interplay and application of protection and border processing policies.
November 23, 2019
This fact sheet provides basic information about three of these forms of protection: “U” visas for victims of crime, “T” visas for victims of severe forms of trafficking, and “self-petitions” under...
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.
August 16, 2018
This report presents findings from the first empirical analysis of asylum adjudication in family detention. Drawing on government data from over 18,000 immigration court proceedings initiated between...
May 9, 2017
Detained asylum seekers encounter numerous challenges, including the following problems detailed in this report.
May 18, 2016
First-hand accounts from Central American women and their family members reveal the dangerous and bleak circumstances of life these women and their children faced upon return to their home countries...
July 22, 2015

For decades, the U.S. refugee protection system has been a symbol of the nation’s generosity and openness to the world’s persecuted. Yet since Congress’ enactment of the Illegal Immigration Reform...

July 15, 2020
The American Immigration Council submitted these comments opposing bars to asylum proposed by the Trump administration.
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.
May 12, 2020

The Council and the law firm WilmerHale filed a petition with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) challenging the requirement that asylum seekers...

January 31, 2020

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association submitted an amicus brief in Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center v. Wolf, a case filed by the American...

January 23, 2020

The Trump administration has proposed amending regulations that affect asylum eligibility. If implemented, the regulations would shut America’s doors to many of those most in need of protection....

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.
November 21, 2019
The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the House Committee on Homeland Security for a November 19, 2019 hearing on the “Examining the Human Rights and Legal Implications of DHS’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy.”
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 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.

The American Immigration Council filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS) seeking information regarding the...

June 10, 2021

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is collecting DNA from asylum seekers at the border, recent media reports confirm. This is the latest expansion of DNA collection as part of a program initiated...

June 3, 2021

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on May 28 the creation of a new “Dedicated Docket” in immigration court for the claims of asylum-seeking...

April 28, 2021

The current situation at the U.S.-Mexico border has once again exposed the flaws of our country’s asylum system. On April 22, Senators Kyrsten Sinema and John Cornyn and Representatives Tony...

April 8, 2021

Only days after President Biden took office, some people were already declaring that the border was in a state of crisis. But recently released U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics reveal...

April 1, 2021

A group of Republican lawmakers recently introduced a slew of anti-immigration bills in the House of Representatives and Senate. The bills primarily target people’s rights to seek asylum in the...

March 23, 2021

The current situation at the U.S.-Mexico border—including the rise in immigrant children in U.S. government custody—has captured the nation’s attention in recent weeks. Much of the conversation...

March 9, 2021

Since 2013, the government has struggled to respond to increasing numbers of unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. After disastrous Trump administration policies left...

March 2, 2021

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced last week that it would make changes to two family detention centers in Texas that would result in families spending less time in detention...

February 12, 2021

The Trump administration sent over 70,000 people who came to the U.S border seeking asylum back to Mexico to wait for court hearings. This so-called “Migrant Protection Protocols” (“MPP”) program...

February 8, 2021

For more than 40 years, the law has guaranteed any person who is physically present in the United States a right to seek asylum. In 2019 the Trump administration attempted to effectively eliminate...

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 19, 2021
A federal court blocked nearly all of a Trump administration rule that would have drastically increased fees in immigration proceedings in which the government seeks to deport immigrants, many of whom are long-term residents of this country.
January 18, 2021
A federal court issued a temporary restraining order blocking the Trump administration’s latest attempt to prevent asylum seekers from accessing the U.S. asylum process.
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 10, 2020
The American Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Immigration Council urge the Biden administration to prioritize undoing of new rule that spells death for the asylum system
October 30, 2020
Children and immigration advocacy groups filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of Illinois against CBP requesting information about the agency’s implementation of the CDC rule suspending people from entering the United States due to the COVID 19 pandemic and its specific impact on unaccompanied migrant children fleeing harm and seeking protection in the United States.
September 8, 2020
Asylum seekers who have been turned back by U.S. Customs and Border Protection from ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border asked a federal court to permanently stop the Trump administration’s Turnback Policy and declare it unlawful.
August 26, 2020
Individuals in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody at the Otero County Processing Center filed a motion for preliminary injunction to stop ICE from denying detained individuals the ability to contact their lawyers and the outside world by phone.
August 6, 2020
A federal judge has granted class certification in Al Otro Lado v. Wolf, a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s policy of turning back asylum seekers at ports of entry. The ruling provides that the challenge to the Turnback Policy will continue on behalf of all asylum seekers along the U.S.-Mexico border who were or will be prevented from accessing the asylum process at ports of entry as a result of the government’s Turnback Policy.
July 8, 2020
The Trump Administration announced a soon-to-be-published proposed rule that would allow the Department of Homeland Security to ban people from seeking asylum in the United States solely because they traveled from or through a country under threat by a serious disease. For the first time, the Trump administration would also ban “withholding of removal,” a related form of protection that the Department of Justice has previously agreed in court it cannot eliminate without violating international law.
September 22, 2021

The Departments of State and Homeland Security announced recently that they will be accepting new applications for the Central American Minors (CAM) Program, created to process immigrant children...

September 22, 2021

The American Immigration Council joined 38 other civil rights organizations in urging President Biden to live up to his administration’s commitment to a...

September 21, 2021

Roughly 14,000 Haitians arrived at the border across from Del Rio, Texas in mid-September and walked across the Rio Grande to seek asylum. Many first left Haiti in 2010 following a devastating...

September 7, 2021

A federal court concluded Thursday that the U.S. government’s turning back of asylum seekers at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border—primarily through a practice called metering—not only...

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 25, 2021

The Supreme Court refused to block an order to reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. The decision comes after a Texas judge halted the government...

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 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.

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