Detention

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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April 9, 2019

Asylum seekers are often imprisoned in immigration detention for weeks or months before they can ask a judge to release them, even though they’re entitled to bond hearings. But this injustice may...

March 27, 2019

When the U.S. government orders that an immigrant in its custody must be deported, the person isn’t supposed to remain incarcerated for long. Yet the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) often...

March 25, 2019

Over the past few months, a new trend has emerged at the U.S.-Mexico border: more families are crossing and presenting themselves to U.S. officials to ask for asylum. But even though the number of...

March 21, 2019

Immigrants with even minor, dated criminal convictions will now be placed in mandatory detention without the possibility of a bond hearing—even if they have already served their time and been...

March 15, 2019

Many of the country’s top immigration agencies operate in secret. This lack of transparency in how immigration laws are implemented, administered, and enforced has the potential to devastate the...

March 12, 2019

After weeks of tense negotiations, Congress averted a second government shutdown last month by reaching a bipartisan agreement on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget—a budget which gave President...

March 4, 2019

Nothing is more delicate or worthy of comprehensive care than a newborn. Yet, over the past several weeks, detention watchdogs and public health experts have noticed an alarming uptick in the...

February 13, 2019

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component agency U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have a long-standing and poor track record when it comes to transparency and...

January 31, 2019

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) drastically expanded its network of immigration jails in the last month by a startling 7 percent. ICE now holds about 48,000 individuals in its jails and...

January 18, 2019

Earlier this month, the Trump administration officially closed the doors of a “tent city” holding over 2,800 immigrant children in Tornillo, Texas. The closure comes after months of public...

July 2, 2020
A federal court has ruled that the failure of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to consider less restrictive settings before transferring unaccompanied immigrant youth to ICE detention on their 18th birthdays violates U.S. immigration laws.
June 29, 2020

Federal Judge Dolly Gee has ordered that children held for more than 20 days at U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) family detention centers must be released. The order was the latest...

May 27, 2020
The American Immigration Council's latest report examines major changes to the U.S. immigration system in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unique challenges the pandemic has created for noncitizens and government agencies.
May 19, 2020

When the Trump administration implemented mass family separation in 2018, the American public was outraged. Two years later, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is using a different...

May 12, 2020
The American Immigration Council filed this amicus curiae brief in support of individuals who sought release from detention due to their significant risk of infection from COVID-19.
May 7, 2020
The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association , through their joint initiative the Immigration Justice Campaign, filed an oversight complaint with the Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the Office of the Inspector General highlighting the experiences of individuals detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 7, 2020
ICE must stop transferring people—some of whom may already have COVID-19—across the country between detention centers.
May 7, 2020
The complaint calls on oversight agencies to demand immediate action by ICE to help stop the spread of the coronavirus where social distancing is not possible, including:

The American Immigration Council filed a lawsuit after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) failed to timely respond to the Council’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The...

May 4, 2020

A free phone call can mean the difference between a fair day in court and being deported to harm—or worse—for individuals held in immigration detention centers. Immigrants may not be able to meet...

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