Asylum

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 Asylum Content

Publication Date: 
June 5, 2024
On June 4, the Biden administration issued a presidential proclamation and an Interim Final Rule restricting access to asylum for people crossing into the United States without legal status. The...
Publication Date: 
May 10, 2024
On May 9, 2024, the Department of Homeland Security announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, published here, that would allow asylum officers to reject a subset of asylum seekers earlier in the...
Publication Date: 
February 1, 2024
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...
Publication Date: 
January 15, 2024
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...
Publication Date: 
January 12, 2024

Parole is an essential component of U.S. immigration law. It can be an important tool to manage the processing of migrants at U.S. borders; a powerful response to humanitarian crisis; and a way to...

Publication Date: 
December 12, 2023
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.
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...
Publication Date: 
May 3, 2023
America needs durable solutions. These concrete measures can bring orderliness to our border and modernize our overwhelmed asylum system.
Publication Date: 
May 25, 2022
The United States has long guaranteed the right to seek asylum to individuals who arrive at our southern border and ask for protection. But since March 20, 2020, that fundamental right has been...
Publication Date: 
March 4, 2022
This Council fact sheet provides an overview and analysis of border encounters and border apprehensions in 2021.
July 17, 2024
In June of 2024, the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) submitted a joint comment urging the Biden administration to rescind this IFR.
June 30, 2024
The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) submitted comments to a Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice proposed rule that would apply certain bars to asylum during asylum seekers' credible and reasonable fear screenings.
These Freedom of Information Act requests seek to uncover information about the FERM program, which places families enrolled on a fast track to deportations if they don’t pass credible fear interviews.
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...

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.
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.
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.
Records show how the USCIS’s response to the high volume of humanitarian parole applications contributed to the massive delays faced by Afghans.
These Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seek records from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) about treatment of Haitian immigrants.
Publication Date: 
March 22, 2024
The practice alert explains the scope of a class settlement agreement in Padilla v. ICE that provides protections for detained asylum seekers who face prolonged delays before receiving their credible fear interviews.
Publication Date: 
October 20, 2023
This practice advisory by the Council and partners provides an overview of the Niz-Chavez v. Garland decision and its impact on eligibility for cancellation of removal; eligibility for post-conclusion voluntary departure and broader applications of the decision.
Publication Date: 
November 24, 2022
This Practice Advisory provides information for filing a delay action in federal district court under the Mandamus Act and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) for an asylum applicant who is awaiting an interview or a final decision on their affirmative asylum claim. It discusses the required elements of a successful APA and mandamus actions and jurisdictional hurdles. The advisory also addresses asylum-specific case law and arguments, including USCIS’s use of the “Last-In, First-Out” processing and statistics showing the growing asylum backlog.
Publication Date: 
September 5, 2017
This Practice Advisory is designed to assist attorneys in determining whether individuals seeking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals might be eligible for immigration benefits.
Publication Date: 
December 1, 2015
The immigration courts’ unprecedented backlogs are creating procedural and substantive challenges for attorneys trying to comply with the One-Year Filing Deadline (OYFD) in asylum cases. This Practice Advisory discusses strategies and procedures for complying with the OYFD.
Publication Date: 
February 5, 2014
The American Immigration Council’s Practice Advisory, Employment Authorization and Asylum: Strategies to Avoid Stopping the Asylum Clock, has been updated to reflect extensive changes to the manner in which the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) determine an asylum applicant’s eligibility for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Publication Date: 
December 21, 2012
This Practice Advisory contains practical and legal suggestions for individuals seeking to return to the United States after they have prevailed on a petition for review or an administrative motion to reopen or reconsider to the immigration court or Board of Immigration Appeals.
July 23, 2024

As the country continues to dissect the ramifications from President Joe Biden’s decision to drop out of the presidential race, the attention has quickly shifted toward Vice President Kamala...

June 5, 2024

On June 4, President Biden issued a sweeping order under section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act claiming that allows him to “suspend the entry” of most migrants who cross the border...

May 13, 2024

On May 9, the Biden administration proposed a rule that would allow asylum officers to consider and impose certain restrictions or “bars” to the initial asylum screening process at the border....

May 3, 2024

When someone crosses the border to seek asylum in the United States, they often first go through a credible fear interview (CFI). An asylum officer evaluates a person’s fear of returning to their...

March 1, 2024

For decades, the Catholic nonprofit Annunciation House has worked to support migrants in El Paso, Texas. It’s provided shelter, food and services to countless people who have just arrived in the...

February 22, 2024

A report released this month by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) found that refugees and asylees have generated tens of billions of dollars more in local, state, and federal...

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,...

December 1, 2023

Members of the U.S. Senate are currently negotiating a deal to continue funding the federal government next year, as well as providing military aid to Ukraine But the cost could be the federal...

November 20, 2023

When asylum seekers come to the United States, they want to work—but an outdated immigration statute is making that more difficult than it needs to be. After filing an asylum application, asylum...

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...

June 5, 2024
The U.S. government needs to be able to quickly and fairly sort out migrants who have a valid asylum claim, but instead of investing in U.S. ports of entry, immigration courts, or more options for legal migration, the order focuses on harsh and arbitrary turnbacks.
May 9, 2024
Civil rights groups filed a federal lawsuit today to block SF 2340, one of the worst, most far-reaching immigration laws ever passed in the state of Iowa.
February 5, 2024
On Sunday night, a bipartisan group of senators released the “Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024." Jeremy Robbins, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, responds to this controversial legislation that faces an uncertain future.
November 27, 2023

Inhumane practices. Open-air detention sites. Family separations.

November 16, 2023
The American Immigration Council and over 100 business organizations, including chambers of commerce and trade associations, want Congress to remove the present obstacle to asylum applicants acquiring work permits swiftly.
October 13, 2023
On October 13, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California will hear arguments in Al Otro Lado and Haitian Bridge Alliance v. Mayorkas, a federal lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s unlawful policy of turning back people seeking asylum without a CBP One appointment.
September 20, 2023
The Council responds to the Biden Administration's announcement that it will be extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuelans who arrived in the United States before July 31, 2023.
May 10, 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 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.
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.
July 23, 2024

As the country continues to dissect the ramifications from President Joe Biden’s decision to drop out of the presidential race, the attention has quickly shifted toward Vice President Kamala...

July 17, 2024
In June of 2024, the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) submitted a joint comment urging the Biden administration to rescind this IFR.
June 30, 2024
The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) submitted comments to a Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice proposed rule that would apply certain bars to asylum during asylum seekers' credible and reasonable fear screenings.
June 5, 2024

On June 4, President Biden issued a sweeping order under section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act claiming that allows him to “suspend the entry” of most migrants who cross the border...

Publication Date: 
June 5, 2024
On June 4, the Biden administration issued a presidential proclamation and an Interim Final Rule restricting access to asylum for people crossing into the United States without legal status. The...
June 5, 2024
The U.S. government needs to be able to quickly and fairly sort out migrants who have a valid asylum claim, but instead of investing in U.S. ports of entry, immigration courts, or more options for legal migration, the order focuses on harsh and arbitrary turnbacks.
May 13, 2024

On May 9, the Biden administration proposed a rule that would allow asylum officers to consider and impose certain restrictions or “bars” to the initial asylum screening process at the border....

Publication Date: 
May 10, 2024
On May 9, 2024, the Department of Homeland Security announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, published here, that would allow asylum officers to reject a subset of asylum seekers earlier in the...
May 9, 2024
Civil rights groups filed a federal lawsuit today to block SF 2340, one of the worst, most far-reaching immigration laws ever passed in the state of Iowa.
May 3, 2024

When someone crosses the border to seek asylum in the United States, they often first go through a credible fear interview (CFI). An asylum officer evaluates a person’s fear of returning to their...

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