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 Asylum Content

Publication Date: 
May 9, 2017
Detained asylum seekers encounter numerous challenges, including the following problems detailed in this report.
Publication Date: 
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...
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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...

Publication Date: 
May 21, 2014
This paper addresses these issues, summarizes the concerns and experiences of numerous advocates in the field, and concludes that the credible fear and asylum process poses obstacles for applicants...
Publication Date: 
February 1, 2005
The efficiency of the asylum program depends in large part on a fully staffed and adequately funded Asylum Corps that evaluates asylum claims thoroughly and expeditiously.
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...

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...

Publication Date: 
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 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...

March 29, 2023

The United States and Canada announced the expansion of their Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) last week during President Biden’s visit to Canada. Under U.S. law, a so-called “Safe Third...

March 15, 2023

The Biden administration announced on Monday that it would grant another year of temporary legal status for some Ukrainians who fled the Russian invasion for the United States before April 25,...

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 22, 2023

The Biden administration recently announced a proposed regulation that would all but eliminate access to asylum for the overwhelming number of asylum seekers who come to the United States via the...

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...

February 8, 2023

When asylum seekers arrive in the United States, so long as they are not rapidly deported or expelled, the government is generally supposed to issue them a “Notice to Appear” (NTA). This charging...

December 21, 2022

More than two and a half years after it began, the “public health” policy known as Title 42 may finally be nearing an end. On Monday, a coalition of GOP-led states submitted a last-ditch request...

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...

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.
March 24, 2022
The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) responded to today’s release of an interim final rule related to asylum procedures with concern. The rule is being published in draft form and is slated to take effect in 60 days, however additional public comment is being accepted for 60 days.
December 23, 2021
A federal court denied preliminary relief in a lawsuit challenging USCIS's extreme delays and failure to process work permit renewals for asylum seekers. The judge declined to order USCIS to process work permit renewal applications within the 180-day automatic extension of employment authorization.
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.
November 11, 2021
Five workers in the United States filed a nationwide class action lawsuit today challenging unlawful log-jam and extreme delays at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that have resulted in the government’s failure to process the work authorization renewals for asylum seekers.
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.
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.
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.
Last modified: 
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.
Last modified: 
May 3, 2023
Publication Date: 
May 3, 2023
America needs durable solutions. These concrete measures can bring orderliness to our border and modernize our overwhelmed asylum system.
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.
April 27, 2023
The Biden administration announced the establishment of refugee processing centers in Latin America. The announcement is a welcome development that acknowledges the expansion of access to humanitarian protections as an essential solution to a hemisphere-wide refugee crisis that has displaced over 20 million people.
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.
This case challenges the punitive practice of keeping asylum seekers in custody for weeks or months without access to credible fear interviews or bond hearings and the lack of basic procedural protections—like hearing transcripts and written decisions—in bond hearings, as well as whether asylum seekers must bear the burden of proof in bond proceedings.
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.

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