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.

Recent Features

All Detention Content

Publication Date: 
July 13, 2023
The American Immigration Council and partners filed an administrative complaint with the with the Department of Homeland Security's oversight bodies urging immediate investigation into the misuse of...
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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...
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May 3, 2023
America needs durable solutions. These concrete measures can bring orderliness to our border and modernize our overwhelmed asylum system.
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August 9, 2022
This fact sheet provides an explanation on how noncitizens may find themselves facing deportation from the country, how the removal proceeding may look, what types of relief can be sought after a...
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May 16, 2022
This fact sheet describes the organizational structure of immigration detention oversight, the standards by which detention centers are governed, where to file complaints regarding ICE detention, and...
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November 29, 2021
The Institutional Hearing Program permits immigration judges to conduct removal proceedings for noncitizens serving criminal sentences in certain correctional facilities.
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August 23, 2021
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-...
Publication Date: 
June 24, 2021
Deportations of parents and family members have serious consequences that affect children and extend to communities and the country as a whole.
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May 20, 2021
This report analyzes the Biden administration's 100 days progress in reforming immigration enforcement and recommendations for how to best move forward.
Publication Date: 
February 26, 2021
This fact sheet draws from original data gathered from hundreds of community-organizations around the country and provides a snapshot of the extent of available services that help migrants navigate...
The American Immigration Council filed requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to learn about the process migrants go through after they are interdicted by U.S. Coast Guard personnel.
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.
This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeks information on a $10 million appropriation made to improve legal access in detention.
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.
This Lawsuit seeks to compel ICE to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and publish bond processing procedures that must be followed to obtain the release of individuals in detention.
Publication Date: 
January 30, 2023
The Council submitted an amicus brief explaining why ICE should release usable immigration data. The amicus brief was filed in a case where the ACLU is seeking information about how individuals are impacted by ICE enforcement practices.
This lawsuit challenges ICE's policies that have made it extremely difficult—and in many cases impossible—for people in immigration detention to access their attorneys.
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.
This FOIA lawsuit seeks to compel U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to provide information about the agency’s treatment of Haitian nationals detained at the Torrance Detention Facility.
This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeks to compel U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to publish information on its website about how the public can pay bonds and secure the release of a loved one from ICE detention.
Publication Date: 
December 13, 2022
Our comprehensive guide on obtaining detention records provides a brief overview of FOIA requirements, information about the types of records government agencies possess, tips about how to request those records, and an overview of what to expect after submitting the request.
Publication Date: 
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.

July 18, 2024

Written by Juan Avilez, Policy Associate for State and Local Initiatives and Raul Pinto, Deputy Legal Director  Texas’ SB4 set the tone for the national discourse around immigration enforcement....

June 28, 2024

Written by Raul Pinto & Laila Khan Approximately one year ago, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched Cash Electronic Bonds (CeBONDS), a web portal with the stated intent...

March 15, 2024

By Tsion Gurmu, Legal Director at the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Raul Pinto, Deputy Legal Director of Transparency The main way in which the public can access information about what...

March 13, 2024

Six years ago, a man came to the U.S./Mexico border with his five-year-old daughter, looking for safety in the United States.   At home, a rival political faction had been making death threats...

March 8, 2024

By Kate Melloy Goettel and Juan Avilez  A Texas law that allows local law enforcement to arrest migrants, state court judges to issue removal orders, and state officials to remove migrants to...

February 2, 2024

The Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (OIG) published a report last month finding that nearly one-third of medical procedures performed on immigrants in U.S...

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,...

September 28, 2023

A recent Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision bars certain recently arrived noncitizens from becoming lawful permanent residents. In Matter of Cabrera-Fernandez, the BIA held that the...

September 8, 2023

“There should be no private prisons, period, none, period. And we are working to close all of them.” Those are the words of President Joe Biden in April 2021, when he was called out by immigrant...

August 17, 2023

On Thanksgiving Day 2017, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrested Kamyar Samimi—a lawful permanent resident with a decade-old conviction for drug possession—and sent him...

April 9, 2024
A new civil rights complaint filed on behalf of a group of transgender and non-binary individuals describes the routine abuse they endured at an ICE detention center in Aurora, Colorado.
March 19, 2024
SB4 is cruel, inhumane, and clearly unconstitutional.
March 19, 2024
A new report sheds light on Border Patrol's use of racial profiling when targeting Latinos in northern Ohio.
July 13, 2023
Immigration advocacy groups filed a complaint with DHS' oversight bodies urging an investigation into the increased use and misuse of solitary confinement at the Denver Contract Detention Facility in Aurora, Colorado.
January 5, 2023
The American Immigration Council responds to new announced a series of border policy reforms, including a variant of President Trump's asylum "Transit Ban", from the Biden administration.
December 8, 2022
The Council alongside other advocates has filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to compel U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to publish on its website guidelines and procedures explaining how the agency processes bonds for the release of individuals in detention.
October 13, 2022
Several legal services organizations filed a lawsuit today against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for unlawfully preventing attorneys from communicating with immigrants detained in four detention facilities in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and Arizona.
September 30, 2022
The warden of a privately run detention facility in West Texas Center—which very recently held detained individuals for U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement—was arrested and charged with manslaughter for shooting two migrants, killing one, in Sierra Blanca, Texas
September 8, 2022
A federal court approved a settlement agreement in a lawsuit challenging the unlawful detention of unaccompanied children who turn 18 in U.S. government custody and are transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities.
March 25, 2022
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it will close or scale back four detention facilities over concerns about conditions at those centers.
July 18, 2024

Written by Juan Avilez, Policy Associate for State and Local Initiatives and Raul Pinto, Deputy Legal Director  Texas’ SB4 set the tone for the national discourse around immigration enforcement....

June 28, 2024

Written by Raul Pinto & Laila Khan Approximately one year ago, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched Cash Electronic Bonds (CeBONDS), a web portal with the stated intent...

The American Immigration Council filed requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to learn about the process migrants go through after they are interdicted by U.S. Coast Guard personnel.
April 9, 2024
A new civil rights complaint filed on behalf of a group of transgender and non-binary individuals describes the routine abuse they endured at an ICE detention center in Aurora, Colorado.
March 19, 2024
SB4 is cruel, inhumane, and clearly unconstitutional.
March 19, 2024
A new report sheds light on Border Patrol's use of racial profiling when targeting Latinos in northern Ohio.
March 15, 2024

By Tsion Gurmu, Legal Director at the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Raul Pinto, Deputy Legal Director of Transparency The main way in which the public can access information about what...

March 13, 2024

Six years ago, a man came to the U.S./Mexico border with his five-year-old daughter, looking for safety in the United States.   At home, a rival political faction had been making death threats...

March 8, 2024

By Kate Melloy Goettel and Juan Avilez  A Texas law that allows local law enforcement to arrest migrants, state court judges to issue removal orders, and state officials to remove migrants to...

Publication Date: 
February 23, 2024
Immigration policy experts and legal service providers developed the following recommendations with the goal of improving public access to information that Congress has required U.S. Immigration and...

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