How the Immigration System Works

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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November 6, 2017

It has been well established for decades that the vast majority of immigrants are not criminals by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, immigrants who have committed no violent offense are often...

November 1, 2017

Americans value diversity and family. That is why our immigration system generally reflects those values. The U.S. diversity visa lottery, which was enshrined into law in 1990, was created to...

September 14, 2017

Following through on a directive from President Trump made during his first week in office, the State Department on Monday invoked a rarely-used law to impose visa restrictions on Cambodia,...

August 9, 2017

An immigration judge ordered the immediate release of a three-year-old immigrant child and his mother from a detention center in rural Pennsylvania on Monday, stating that it was one of the most...

August 7, 2017

The recent deaths of ten migrants who suffocated in the back of a tractor trailer as they were allegedly being smuggled into the United States has brought renewed attention to the grave risks...

July 28, 2017

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a unanimous decision on Monday holding that Massachusetts court officers may not arrest and detain immigrants based solely on a detainer. Although...

July 12, 2017

Men, women, and children fleeing persecution, grave violence, and even death arrive daily at Ports of Entry (POE) all along the U.S.-Mexico border and present themselves to U.S. Customs and Border...

July 10, 2017

A recent story from ProPublica has revealed an internal February 2017 memorandum authored by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to its employees about the implementation of recent Executive...

June 27, 2017

Over the past two decades, much of the immigration policy debate has focused on issues related to immigration enforcement. In fact, many argue that “enforcement first”—the notion that we must...

June 12, 2017

After debate rocked the Texas State Capitol, Governor Greg Abbott signed the controversial Senate Bill 4 (SB4) in May, which purports to ban sanctuary city policies and gives local police the...

December 11, 2018
The American Immigration Council, with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, filed comments because a financial litmus test should never serve as a measure for who we welcome into our country.
December 3, 2018

Following Jeff Sessions’ resignation as Attorney General, President Trump named Matthew Whitaker to replace him—a move that has already inspired multiple lawsuits that contend the designation was...

November 21, 2018
The American Immigration Council announced today that it will focus on the critical need for access to an attorney when navigating the immigration system during its #GivingTuesday and year-end fundraising campaign starting November 27.
November 15, 2018

The Trump administration’s move to deport more people from the United States has come into sharp focus again as it targets some of the most vulnerable immigrants with its Notice to Appear (NTA)...

November 8, 2018
The Trump administration revealed today a new interim final regulation that restricts access to asylum at the border, causing chaos and uncertainty for many seeking protection.
October 31, 2018

On Monday night, President Trump told reporters that he intended to end birthright citizenship and claimed that he could do so with an executive order. Birthright citizenship comes from the...

October 30, 2018
President Donald Trump said yesterday in an interview that he plans to sign an executive order to eliminate birthright citizenship, a principle enshrined in the U.S. Constitution that grants citizenship to any person born within the territory of the United States.
September 24, 2018

Over the weekend, the Trump administration took steps to radically transform a little-known provision of immigration law that could have an outsized impact on legal immigration. In proposed...

September 17, 2018

Each year on September 17, America marks Citizenship Day, an annual opportunity to reflect on the benefits and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. In years past, it was used as a day to...

August 20, 2018

The average wait time on a U.S. citizenship application was about five months in 2014. Today, the average time a green card holder will wait for their citizenship application to be processed by U....

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