Due Process and the Courts

The enforcement of immigration laws is a complex and hotly-debated topic. Learn more about the costs of immigration enforcement and the ways in which the U.S. can enforce our immigration laws humanely and in a manner that ensures due process.

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All Due Process and the Courts Content

Publication Date: 
June 11, 2012
In August 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would review more than 300,000 pending removal proceedings to identify low-priority cases meriting favorable exercises of...
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May 14, 2012
How Gaps in ICE's Prosecutorial Discretion Policy Affect Immigrants Without Legal Representation While the Obama administration’s has expanded use of prosecutorial discretion in immigration cases,...
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May 1, 2012
The report describes restrictions on access to legal counsel before DHS, provides a legal landscape, and offers recommendations designed to combat DHS’s harmful practices. It also addresses changes...
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April 1, 2012
Proportionality is the notion that the severity of a sanction should not be excessive in relation to the gravity of an offense. The principle is ancient and nearly uncontestable, and its operation...
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March 25, 2010
Years before the U.S. Supreme Court ended racial segregation in U.S. schools with Brown v. Board of Education, a federal circuit court in California ruled that segregation of school children...
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September 1, 2006
Access to an independent judiciary with the power to hold the government accountable in its dealings with individuals is a founding principle of the United States. In contrast, imagine a system...
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December 1, 2003
Children who travel unaccompanied to the United States experience not only the trauma of family separation and the frequently predatory behavior of the traffickers who bring them, but also harsh...
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August 13, 2020
This amicus brief in Niz-Chavez v. Barr urges the Supreme Court to reject the government’s practice of issuing notice of the time and place of a noncitizen’s removal proceedings in multiple documents over time, instead of in the initial Notice to Appear (NTA), as mandated by Congress.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, immigration courts have frequently closed without explanation or notice to the public. This Freedom of Information Act request seeks records on the government's response.
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...

The Council filed a lawsuit to close the immigration courts and ensure due process.
March 23, 2020
This urgent letter from over 100 organizations expressing deep concern about the need for remote legal access and representation in immigration court and detention during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Immigration Council filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) seeking information relating to the expansion and...

March 6, 2020

153 legal representation, refugee assistance, faith-based, human rights, and community groups—including the American Immigration Council—sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security...

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 29, 2020

The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship for a January 29, 2020, hearing on "Courts in Crisis:...

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February 27, 2019
This Practice Advisory provides legal and procedural arguments and strategies for attorneys representing noncitizens.
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December 21, 2018
The rationale underlying the Court’s decision, however, more broadly affects both ongoing and closed cases initiated by defective Notices to Appear. This practice advisory provides an overview of the Pereira v. Sessions decision and its impact on eligibility for cancellation of removal and post conclusion voluntary departure.
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September 10, 2018
This Practice Advisory provides a practitioner-focused overview of motions to continue a case in removal proceedings, from the basics of making the motion to advanced issues of jurisdictional bars to appellate review of continuances.
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December 20, 2017
This Practice Advisory addresses when the voluntary departure period runs and the events that cause automatic termination of a voluntary departure order; the serious consequences that result from failing to depart; and when these consequences do not apply.
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August 1, 2017
This Practice Advisory provides a general overview of motions to suppress, a tool used to prevent the introduction of evidence obtained by federal immigration officers in violation of the Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, and related provisions of federal law.
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August 1, 2017
This Practice Advisory discusses some of the legal issues that may arise when noncitizens in removal proceedings move to suppress evidence obtained through constitutional violations by state and local officers seeking to enforce immigration law.
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August 1, 2017
This Practice Advisory addresses some of the legal issues that may arise when noncitizens in removal proceedings seek to suppress evidence unlawfully obtained by Customs and Border Protection officers.
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September 26, 2016
This Practice Advisory discusses whether and how a person can get review of a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services decision in federal court if he or she did not appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The Advisory addresses the Supreme Court case Darby v. Cisneros, holding that a plaintiff is not required to exhaust non-mandatory administrative remedies in certain situations, and how it may apply to cases involving appeals to the AAO.
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September 14, 2016

This Practice Tip demystifies mandamus by explaining how and when to ask a court for this remedy when a client has been waiting too long for USCIS to make a decision.

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.
April 21, 2022

More than two years after visiting the Trump administration’s “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP) tent courts in Laredo, Texas, I returned to see how they had changed under the Biden...

April 7, 2022

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a long-awaited memo on Sunday to guide ICE attorneys on exercising their prosecutorial discretion in immigration court. Authored by ICE’s...

March 9, 2022

President Biden has nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer on the United States Supreme Court. With nearly a decade as a federal judge, Judge Jackson’s...

February 15, 2022

Immigrants and their representatives will gain access to decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) that were not publicly available. As a result of a settlement of a lawsuit filed by the...

February 3, 2022

Immigration courts will soon take a big step into the digital age. On February 11, 2022, immigration attorneys, accredited representatives, and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lawyers, will...

January 20, 2022

When the Biden administration announced a new “dedicated docket” in immigration court for families seeking asylum at the border, many advocates raised concerns that the docket would forgo due...

December 17, 2021

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) issued a memorandum last month providing guidance to immigration judges about administrative closure—a critical tool for docket management and...

November 11, 2021

Research has long shown that access to a lawyer is one of the most important factors that determines whether an immigrant in removal proceedings will be able to remain in the United States. A new...

September 16, 2021

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday stayed a significant part of an earlier decision by the Northern District of Texas that would have blocked the implementation of the Biden...

September 2, 2021

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law in August that would allow the Cook County Public Defender to represent immigrants in the Chicago immigration court. The law is part of a movement to...

December 17, 2020
Judge William H. Orrick granted summary judgment in favor of two nationwide classes suing DHS, USCIS, and ICE for failing to timely produce the class members’ immigration files (A-Files). The court ordered the agencies to clear their backlogs by responding to the more than 40,000 thousand cases outstanding within 60 days.
November 12, 2020
The American Immigration Council, other immigrant rights organizations, and legal service providers filed a friend-of-the-court (or amicus) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court. The brief urges the justices to find that immigrants who seek humanitarian protection from removal should have access to bond hearings—instead of being subjected to mandatory detention.
October 30, 2020
A lawsuit filed against the EOIR—which oversees immigration courts—and the GSA seeks information on the expansion and creation of immigration adjudication centers, which were established as part of EOIR’s Strategic Caseload Reduction plan designed to accelerate removal proceedings at the expense of due process.
September 21, 2020
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States and champion of fairness and equality, died Friday in Washington, DC. The following statement is from Beth Werlin, executive director of the American Immigration Council:
September 14, 2020
A federal court has ruled that the Trump administration’s termination of Temporary Protected Status for more than 300,000 people living in the United States can continue.
September 11, 2020
It is not news that our nation is in an unprecedented moment where many of our democratic traditions and norms are being challenged. We have grown deeply concerned by the ongoing attacks on democracy that are unfolding before us.
August 26, 2020
Individuals in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody at the Otero County Processing Center filed a motion for preliminary injunction to stop ICE from denying detained individuals the ability to contact their lawyers and the outside world by phone.
August 4, 2020
The public has a right to know the safeguards that the government has in place to prevent the unnecessary illness and possible death of numerous individuals still reporting to work in immigration courts throughout the country.
June 23, 2020
A federal appeals court has ruled that a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s policy that sought to massively expand fast-track deportations without a fair legal process can continue. The court held that the lawsuit was properly brought, but rejected the claim that the administration had failed to follow the procedures provided under the Administrative Procedure Act.
June 5, 2020
The American Immigration Council has named experienced attorney and litigator Kate Melloy Goettel to be its legal director of litigation.
November 2, 2022

The American Immigration Council joined a team of nonprofits across the country to write a letter to Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Director Robin Dunn Marcos to express concern over lack of...

This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeks records from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) about its practice of moving up the date of immigrants’ individual hearings with little to no notice to their lawyers.
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.
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.
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.
June 30, 2022
The U.S. Supreme Court allows the Biden administration’s efforts to terminate the Migrant Protection Protocols—an illegal Trump-era policy that sent thousands of people seeking humanitarian protection to dangerous areas of Mexico to await their asylum hearings.
January 31, 2024

Immigrants are now far more likely to face the complexities of the immigration court system alone, without an attorney. As of December 2023, only 30% of immigrants with pending cases have secured...

January 18, 2024

A new memo issued last month by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) lays out improved guidelines for immigration court cases involving children. The memo is a welcome acknowledgment...

December 15, 2023

Families are complicated. Especially during the holidays, that’s something we can all agree on. But most of us can’t – or will never have to – imagine being forcibly separated from our closest...

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