Detention

Our legal system rests upon the principle that everyone is entitled to due process of law and a meaningful opportunity to be heard. But for far too long, the immigration system has failed to provide noncitizens with a system of justice that lives up to this standard. Learn about ways in which the immigration system could ensure that all noncitizens have a fair day in court.  

Recent Features

All Detention Content

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 23, 2018
Deportations of parents and family members have serious consequences that affect children and extend to communities and the country as a whole.
May 1, 2018
Over the last two decades, the federal government increasingly has utilized the criminal courts to punish people for immigration violations. This overview provides basic information about entry-...
September 19, 2017
Mexican migrants suffer a host of violations, abuses, and ill treatment while in the custody of U.S. immigration authorities.
May 9, 2017
Detained asylum seekers encounter numerous challenges, including the following problems detailed in this report.
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.
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.
December 17, 2015
These accounts reveal the markedly dehumanizing conditions to which these women were subjected while in Border Patrol custody.
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...

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...

July 31, 2018
The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for a July 31, 2018 hearing on “Oversight of Immigration Enforcement and Family Reunification Efforts.”
The American Immigration Council filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with ICE and CBP on October 13, 2017, seeking data on enforcement actions and outcomes since January 2016. With this data, the Council will be able to assess who is being targeted for removal and what the consequences are of the current enforcement framework.
This lawsuit seeks to compel government agencies to produce documents regarding family separation policies.
June 4, 2018

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association filed an administrative complaint with the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), the Office of the...

The requests ask for policies, guidelines, or procedures followed or used by immigration enforcement regarding the treatment of pregnant individuals in custody and any system used to track and monitor pregnant detainees.
The requests ask for policies, guidelines, or procedures followed or used by the governmental agencies to address the processing and treatment of families at the U.S.-Mexico border and specifically, the separation of adult family members from minor children and the criminal prosecution of adult family members.
This lawsuit challenges the actions of immigration judges in Charlotte, North Carolina who have refused to conduct bond hearings for people who properly file bond motions with the Charlotte Immigration Court.
October 13, 2017

The American Immigration Council, in collaboration with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, filed an amicus brief in Crespin v. Evans.  The amicus brief argued that the pre-final...

This case stems from Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) decision to bar Caroline Perris, a full-time legal assistant with the Dilley Pro Bono Project (DPBP), from entering the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.
October 25, 2016
The American Immigration Council, in collaboration with the American Immigration Law Association, filed an amicus brief in the case Jennings v. Rodriguez, calling for the Court to overturn Demore v. Kim and end mandatory detention.
February 21, 2017

This Practice Advisory addresses the coming expansion of expedited removal, who likely will be impacted, and possible ways to challenge an expedited removal order. The National Immigration Project...

June 1, 2008

This Practice Advisory offers a short introduction to habeas corpus, addressing when and how a petitioner may file a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the immigration context.

August 16, 2018

In the wake of the government separating thousands of asylum-seeking families, the Trump administration has scrambled to reunite families. In place of family separation, the administration is...

August 10, 2018

When the Trump administration began prosecuting migrant families and separating thousands of children from their parents, many in the administration predicted this would significantly deter...

July 27, 2018

The court-imposed deadline of July 26 for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reunite families separated at the southern border has passed. So far, over 1800 children have been released...

July 26, 2018

The House Appropriations Committee passed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill that provides the agency with its budget for Fiscal Year 2019, which begins October 1, 2018. The...

July 23, 2018

The cost of the Trump administration’s family separation policy continues to skyrocket. In order to finance its self-made crisis, the administration has dipped into funds that were reserved for...

July 19, 2018

Among the many questions presented by the separation of immigrant families at the border is whether detained parents are being coerced into signing paperwork ensuring their deportation. Without...

July 16, 2018

President Trump wasted no time after assuming office in signing three executive orders which fundamentally changed the nature of immigration enforcement in the United States: Border Security and...

July 11, 2018

After being order last month by a federal judge to reunite the thousands of children it had separated from their parents under the “zero tolerance” policy, the Trump administration said it would...

July 10, 2018

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) consistently fails to conduct adequate inspections of its detention facilities or to follow up on recommended corrections at facilities that are...

July 2, 2018

Hundreds of thousands of marchers gathered on June 30, 2018 to protest the Trump’s administration policy of family separation. Activists organized nearly 800 marches in all 50 states, from major...

August 16, 2018
As government officials and policymakers weigh the potential expansion of family detention, this report reveals how detention impacts asylum-seeking families and their claims for protection.
July 26, 2018
"The government’s failure to comply with the court order to reunify the thousands of separated children and parents confirms the administration’s utter disregard for the humane and fair treatment of families coming to our country in search of protection."
July 9, 2018
Leaders of several immigrant and human rights organizations were invited for the first time under the Trump administration to meet with Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.
June 27, 2018
The lawsuit asks the court to compel the agencies to produce family separation documents in response to FOIA requests submitted in April.
June 20, 2018
President Donald Trump signed an executive order today to try to stem criticism of his family separation policy. He has offered an unacceptable alternative: imprisoning mothers and fathers with their children.
June 4, 2018
The complaint, filed on behalf of individuals who are and were detained at the Aurora facility, highlights the ways in which weak, insufficient medical practices threaten the health and well-being of detainees and directly impact their ability to pursue their immigration and asylum claims.
May 7, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan announced today that the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security will be stepping up prosecutions of individuals along the southern border—likely resulting in the criminalization of asylum seekers and more family separation.
May 3, 2018
Through this request, the organizations seek more information regarding the treatment of pregnant individuals held in Immigration and Custom Enforcement custody and any system used to track and monitor pregnant detainees.
March 29, 2018
The practice of detaining pregnant women is inhumane and unsafe.
January 18, 2018
The lawsuit challenges the practice of three of the four sitting immigration judges in the Charlotte Immigration Court who refuse to conduct bond hearings—even though they are required to do so—and are consequently prolonging the detention of bond-eligible individuals for several weeks.
August 16, 2018

In the wake of the government separating thousands of asylum-seeking families, the Trump administration has scrambled to reunite families. In place of family separation, the administration is...

August 16, 2018
As government officials and policymakers weigh the potential expansion of family detention, this report reveals how detention impacts asylum-seeking families and their claims for protection.
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...
August 10, 2018

When the Trump administration began prosecuting migrant families and separating thousands of children from their parents, many in the administration predicted this would significantly deter...

July 31, 2018
The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for a July 31, 2018 hearing on “Oversight of Immigration Enforcement and Family Reunification Efforts.”
July 27, 2018

The court-imposed deadline of July 26 for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reunite families separated at the southern border has passed. So far, over 1800 children have been released...

July 26, 2018

The House Appropriations Committee passed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill that provides the agency with its budget for Fiscal Year 2019, which begins October 1, 2018. The...

July 26, 2018
"The government’s failure to comply with the court order to reunify the thousands of separated children and parents confirms the administration’s utter disregard for the humane and fair treatment of families coming to our country in search of protection."
July 23, 2018

The cost of the Trump administration’s family separation policy continues to skyrocket. In order to finance its self-made crisis, the administration has dipped into funds that were reserved for...

July 19, 2018

Among the many questions presented by the separation of immigrant families at the border is whether detained parents are being coerced into signing paperwork ensuring their deportation. Without...

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