How the Immigration System Works

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.

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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...

March 21, 2017
This fact sheet explains detainers, how they are used by federal and local enforcement, and the impact they have on immigrants.
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...

February 6, 2016
The statement shares our analysis and research regarding the children and families that have fled Central American violence to the United States.
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...

December 14, 2015

Americans pride themselves on belonging to a nation of immigrants. In fact, many Americans celebrate not only the traditions of the United States, but the traditions of the countries from which...

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