Enforcement

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 Enforcement Content

Publication Date: 
April 24, 2017

The last time the Border Patrol received a large infusion of money to hire thousands of new agents, cases of corruption and misconduct spiked in the agency. New hires were not sufficiently vetted...

Publication Date: 
March 21, 2017
This fact sheet explains detainers, how they are used by federal and local enforcement, and the impact they have on immigrants.
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February 27, 2017
The provisions in the order pose serious concerns for the protection and due process rights of those currently residing in the United States, communities along the U.S-Mexico border, and vulnerable...
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January 25, 2017
This fact sheet includes changes resulting from the creation of the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) in 2014 and related legal decisions.
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December 21, 2016
Too often, some or all of a detainee’s belongings are lost, destroyed, or stolen by the immigration-enforcement agents entrusted with their care.
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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.
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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.
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May 18, 2016
First-hand accounts from Central American women and their family members reveal the dangerous and bleak circumstances of life these women and their children faced upon return to their home countries...
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May 16, 2016

Over the past few years, thousands of children—many fleeing horrific levels of violence in Central America—have arrived at the U.S. border in need of protection. Most children are placed in...

Publication Date: 
February 1, 2016
The unprecedented levels of crime and violence that have overwhelmed the Northern Triangle countries in recent years have produced a refugee situation for those directly in the line of fire, making...
This Freedom of Information Act lawsuit calls on CBP to release records documenting the agency’s aggressive and militarized response to the provision of humanitarian aid.
Publication Date: 
February 12, 2021
The Council submitted this declaration in support of the ACLU's defense of the Biden Administration's moratorium on deportations. This declaration explains how the removal and detention system works.
Publication Date: 
November 12, 2020
The amicus brief in Pham v. Guzman Chavez urges the Supreme Court to find that the pre-final order detention statute applies to detained noncitizens with prior removal orders who have meritorious claims for a form of humanitarian protection known as withholding of removal.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection may have mistreated migrant children when implementing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention interim final rule that suspends people from entering the United States due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Given the agency’s history of civil and human rights abuses that have largely gone unchecked, and the possibility of continued deployments, there is an urgent need for further information about CBP’s participation in these law enforcement efforts.
Publication Date: 
October 22, 2020
The brief argues that DHS’ service practices for MPP tear sheets deny respondents their statutory right to notice of the time and place of their removal proceedings, their statutory right to a full and fair hearing, and, consequently, due process of law.
This Freedom of Information Act request seeks to uncover Customs and Border Protection’s actions and further expose its militarized response to the provision of humanitarian aid.
October 13, 2020
The American Immigration Council, the Immigration Defense Clinic at Colorado Law, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, submitted a comment in opposition to the Department of Homeland Security proposed rule on the "Collection and Use of Biometrics by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services."
September 30, 2020

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is attempting to permanently destroy records related to civil rights complaints against the agency, administrative and criminal investigations into...

June 29, 2023

The end of the COVID-19 public health emergency back in May meant an end to Title 42. That policy, grounded in an obscure public health law, was put in place by the Trump administration in March...

June 27, 2023

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in U.S. v. Texas, which allows the Biden administration to resume its implementation of guidelines for immigration enforcement within the...

June 15, 2023

Florida officials think the federal government must detain everyone – or virtually everyone – who arrives at the U.S.-Mexico border without a visa. And it is using the courts to try to make that...

June 15, 2023

Over the last two years, the House GOP has become increasingly vocal about their disagreements with the Biden administration on immigration and border policy. In recent weeks, this disagreement...

June 9, 2023

An internal investigation into the death of a medically vulnerable eight-year-old girl after over a week in Border Patrol custody continues to reveal shocking negligence on the part of medical...

June 2, 2023

Usurping the role of the federal government, state legislatures in Florida and Texas have proposed multiple harmful immigration bills during this year’s legislative session. Several Florida...

May 24, 2023

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide a case that asks the Court to overturn Chevron v. National Resources Defense Council—an influential decision that requires courts to defer to federal...

May 19, 2023

One of the biggest concerns after the end of the Title 42 policy of mass expulsion at the U.S.-Mexico border was that large numbers of people would cross in the hours and days afterward. When the...

May 11, 2023

Back in February, when the Biden administration proposed a new regulation that would essentially restrict the vast majority of border crossers from qualifying for asylum, we broke it down with a...

May 9, 2023

With the pandemic-related expulsion policy “Title 42” set to expire May 11, the House GOP introduced its first large-scale border and immigration package on Monday. The bill combines three...

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.
June 28, 2022
At least 50 people were found dead yesterday in a tractor-trailer near Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. This tragedy appears to be the deadliest migrant-smuggling operation in U.S. history, following the deadliest year on record for the border.
April 1, 2022
The Biden administration announced today plans to end a border expulsions policy known as Title 42 by May 23. This policy allowed the U.S. government to turn people away at the U.S southern border over 1.7 million times in the past two years under the guise of protecting the country from COVID-19.
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.
March 18, 2022
In a damning report citing unsafe and unsanitary conditions at the Torrance County Detention Facility in New Mexico released today by DHS's oversight body urged ICE to immediately remove and relocate people detained at the ICE immigration detention center located in Estancia, New Mexico.
January 19, 2022
President Biden announced a welcoming and inclusive vision for immigration in a legislative proposal and a series of executive actions signed on his first day in office. But one year into Biden’s presidency, his promises on immigration remain unfulfilled.
January 12, 2022
Immigration advocacy groups filed a FOIA lawsuit against ICE requesting ICE’s internal records on preapproval authorizations for enforcement actions against individuals who do not meet the criteria outlined in the Biden-Harris administration’s interim enforcement priorities.
December 21, 2021
The American Immigration Council filed a FOIA lawsuit against CBP requesting information about the agency’s implementation of CBP One— an app designed to help process individuals entering the United States including asylum seekers—that has raised concerns among immigration and privacy advocates.
November 30, 2021
Immigration advocacy groups filed a FOIA lawsuit against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requesting ICE’s internal reports on enforcement activities and removals under the Biden-Harris administration’s interim enforcement priorities.
October 29, 2021
The Biden administration announced that DHS will issue a new memo to formally terminate the Migrant Protection Protocols. It is an important step towards ensuring that the MPP program never returns.
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...
February 13, 2024
On Tuesday, February 13, 2024, the House Republican majority chose to continue efforts to impeach the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, holding another vote which passed, 214 to 213.
February 7, 2024

The “Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024” was released on February 4. For months, a bipartisan group of senators negotiated the compromise bill, which proposes...

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...

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...
January 23, 2024

Buoy barriers with chainsaw devices in the Rio Grande river. Coils of concertina wire along the riverbank. Armored Humvees blocking access roads. Piles of dirt rendering gates unusable. Governor...

January 19, 2024

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a policy on January 12 calling for ICE personnel to wear body cameras in most situations when carrying out enforcement duties. According to...

January 18, 2024

Written by Chelsie Kramer, Texas State Organizer and Emma Winger, Deputy Legal Director  Texas is once again making national headlines after a woman and two children drowned in the Rio Grande...

Publication Date: 
January 18, 2024
The Council, along with the ACLU National Prison Project and the Texas Civil Rights Project, led efforts to oppose U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) proposal to destroy records of medical...
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...

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