How the Immigration System Works

The immigration laws and regulations provide some avenues to apply for lawful status from within the U.S. or to seek relief from deportation.  The eligibility requirements for these benefits and relief can be stringent, and the immigration agencies often adopt overly restrictive interpretations of the requirements.  Learn about advocacy and litigation that has been and can be undertaken to ensure that noncitizens have a fair chance to apply for the benefits and relief for which they are eligible.  

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All How the Immigration System Works Content

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...

May 30, 2017

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials unveiled their newest “overstay” estimates—the number of people from other countries who remain in the United States after their visas expire—at a...

January 6, 2017

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that beginning on January 4, 2017, it has changed how it posts processing times. Rather that listing weeks or months, it now...

September 7, 2016

When people think about immigration reform, they usually think about legalization, enforcement, and updating the legal immigration system. However, there are other upgrades to the immigration...

May 11, 2016

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is primarily a fee-funded agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Every two years they are required to review the fees they...

December 14, 2015

As we move through the 2016 presidential election cycle, the issue of immigration will continue to be a central topic of the debate. The United States is at a tipping point after more than two...

August 12, 2019
The Department of Homeland Security announced a new regulation that redefines who can be considered a “public charge” under immigration law. The new regulation will likely have a chilling effect on America’s family-based immigration system, drastically limiting who will be permitted into the United States.
July 16, 2019
The statement highlights the Council’s concerns regarding systemic U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services delays in responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
June 7, 2019

Applications for permanent residence and other immigration benefits are taking longer than ever to process. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency responsible for...

April 25, 2019

The White House issued a memo on Monday directing the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to provide recommendations to reduce visa overstays. The recommendations, which are expected within...

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 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...

February 6, 2019

Speaking before Congress and the nation Tuesday evening, President Trump once again promised bipartisanship and instead delivered division. When it came to immigration, the president neither...

February 4, 2019

The Trump administration has slowed the processing of immigration benefit applications to a crawl, causing needless harm to immigrants, their families, and their employers. Under President Trump,...

January 23, 2019

New estimates of the undocumented population in the United States confirm a trend that has been apparent for several years: the number of people who become undocumented each year by overstaying...

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