Humanitarian Protection

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.  

Recent Features

All Humanitarian Protection Content

October 20, 2021
The Council and partners urged ICE and USCIS in a letter to ensure timely credible and reasonable fear interviews at U.S. immigration detention centers.
October 15, 2021
The United States has long guaranteed the right to seek asylum to individuals who arrive at our southern border and ask for protection. But since March 20, 2020, that fundamental right has been...
October 6, 2021
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...
September 20, 2021
The United States has long been a global leader in the resettlement of refugees—and the need for such leadership remains enormous.
September 14, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of how Temporary Protected Status designations are made, what benefits TPS confers, and how TPS beneficiaries apply for and regularly renew their status.
August 23, 2021
Over the last two decades, the federal government increasingly has utilized the criminal courts to punish people for immigration violations. This overview provides basic information about entry-...
August 2, 2021
This Council fact sheet provides an overview and analysis of border encounters and border apprehensions in 2021.
June 8, 2021
The Council expressed concerns about the Biden administration's plans for a new type of expedited asylum proceedings.
May 7, 2021

The Council joined 356 other organizations, law school clinics, professors, law firms, and practitioners in urging Attorney General Merrick Garland to vacate Matter of A-B, Matter of...

March 8, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of a practice known as “metering” that has been used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to turn away thousands of people who come to ports of entry seeking...
August 23, 2021
This amicus brief urges the Supreme Court to stop the reinstatement of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), and halt the lower court's poorly reasoned and factually flawed decision.
August 18, 2021
This brief highlights the court's many factual errors about MPP in its decision to reinstate the program.
The Council filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s rule that would drastically increase fees across-the-board in high-stakes immigration proceedings.
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.
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.
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."
August 5, 2020

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association submitted a comment opposing the regulation "Security Bars and Processing." 

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July 29, 2020

The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the House Committee on Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship for a July 29, 2020 hearing on "Oversight of U....

July 21, 2020

The American Immigration Council signed on to a letter calling on Congress to demand greater transparency from Immigration and Customs Enforcement regarding Cameroonian and other Black...

June 30, 2021
This practice advisory by the Council and partners provides an overview of the Niz-Chavez v. Garland decision and its impact on eligibility for cancellation of removal; eligibility for post-conclusion voluntary departure and broader applications of the decision.
November 2, 2020
This Practice Advisory addresses USCIS’ reversal of its longstanding policy of treating authorized travel by Temporary Protected Status holders as “parole” for adjustment or status.
July 3, 2019
Immigration courts must continue to provide bond hearings to individuals fleeing persecution who enter the United States without inspection, are placed in expedited removal proceedings, and pass their credible fear interviews.
December 20, 2017
This practice advisory describes USCIS’ position and offers practical suggestions for filing asylum applications that USCIS is likely to reject for lack of jurisdiction.
September 11, 2017
This practice advisory addresses the TPS recipients who are most likely to benefit from Ramirez and Flores; other general categories of family and employment-based adjustment applicants who benefit from these two decisions; and options that may be available to TPS recipients who do not live within these two circuits.
September 5, 2017
This Practice Advisory is designed to assist attorneys in determining whether individuals seeking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals might be eligible for immigration benefits.
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.
March 18, 2015
This Practice Advisory, updated following the issuance of Secretary Johnson’s November 20, 2014 memorandum on Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants, explains what prosecutorial discretion is, who has authority to exercise it, and how it is exercised most often in immigration cases. It also suggests ways that attorneys can influence the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion by ICE, CBP and USCIS officers.
February 5, 2014
The American Immigration Council’s Practice Advisory, Employment Authorization and Asylum: Strategies to Avoid Stopping the Asylum Clock, has been updated to reflect extensive changes to the manner in which the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) determine an asylum applicant’s eligibility for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
December 21, 2012
This Practice Advisory contains practical and legal suggestions for individuals seeking to return to the United States after they have prevailed on a petition for review or an administrative motion to reopen or reconsider to the immigration court or Board of Immigration Appeals.
October 18, 2021

Two months after a federal court ordered the Biden administration to reinstate the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols (also known as “Remain in Mexico”), the administration announced that it...

October 8, 2021

In September, nearly 15,000 Haitians arrived near Del Rio, Texas seeking asylum in the United States. But rather than allowing them to seek protection, as is their right under United States law,...

September 24, 2021

Shocking images have emerged of Border Patrol officers on horseback charging toward Haitian immigrants in and around the border town of Del Rio, Texas. Thousands of Haitians have come to our...

September 22, 2021

The Departments of State and Homeland Security announced recently that they will be accepting new applications for the Central American Minors (CAM) Program, created to process immigrant children...

September 21, 2021

Roughly 14,000 Haitians arrived at the border across from Del Rio, Texas in mid-September and walked across the Rio Grande to seek asylum. Many first left Haiti in 2010 following a devastating...

September 7, 2021

A federal court concluded Thursday that the U.S. government’s turning back of asylum seekers at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border—primarily through a practice called metering—not only...

September 2, 2021

Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have confirmed that 34 unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan currently in the United States were among the approximately 123,000...

August 25, 2021

The Supreme Court refused to block an order to reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. The decision comes after a Texas judge halted the government...

August 19, 2021

The Biden administration announced this week that it will propose a new rule to speed up the fair and humane processing of asylum claims of people arriving at the U.S. border. The issue has been...

August 18, 2021

Across centuries, Afghanistan has been a nation unconquerable. From the conquest of Alexander the Great to the United States military, insurgent forces have beat back the offensive from some of...

October 15, 2021
The Biden administration announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security plans to revive and reimplement the Migrant Protection Protocols by mid-November. The Council believes that plans to restart the program is a betrayal of the president’s campaign promises and a sign that this administration is failing to reenvision border management and the way that we treat asylum seekers.
October 14, 2021
The American Immigration Council and 29+ organizations urged DHS—in a letter offering factual and legal recommendations on how to end the Migrant Protection Protocols—to fully and forcefully acknowledge the humanitarian and legal catastrophe caused by MPP.
September 2, 2021
A federal judge declared unlawful the U.S. government’s turnbacks of asylum seekers arriving at ports of entry along the U.S southern border. The court ruled that the United States is required by law to inspect and process asylum seekers when they present themselves at ports of entry, and condemned the practice of denying access to the asylum process through metering and similar practices.
September 1, 2021
Immigrant rights advocates released a statement after presenting oral arguments before U.S. District Court of the Southern District of California, where they urged the court to declare unlawful and permanently end the Trump-era turnback policy.
August 24, 2021
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to stay a ruling from a lower Texas court that would force the Biden administration to revive the Migrant Protection Protocols.
August 23, 2021
Immigration groups and judges urged the U.S. Supreme Court in an amicus brief to stay a Texas court ruling that would force the Biden administration to revive the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) – an illegal policy that forced asylum seekers to await their U.S. court dates in perilous conditions in Mexico.
August 18, 2021
The Council and partner immigration groups and former immigration judges filed an amicus brief to stop the reinstatement of the Migrant Protection Protocols.
July 15, 2021
Attorney General Merrick Garland today restored immigration judges’ ability to administratively close deportation cases.
June 16, 2021
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced today that he is restoring a vital lifeline to victims of severe domestic violence, gang violence, and violence on account of family relationships.
March 23, 2021
The nation has turned its attention to the current situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, including the rise in immigrant children in U.S. government custody. Much of the conversation has focused on a supposed surge in arrivals under the Biden administration, but the current increase began well before President Biden took office.
October 20, 2021
The Council and partners urged ICE and USCIS in a letter to ensure timely credible and reasonable fear interviews at U.S. immigration detention centers.
October 19, 2021
The Council, AILA, and the Immigration Justice Campaign commented on the proposed creation of “Dedicated Docket” in immigration court to complete the claims of asylum-seeking families within 300 days...
October 18, 2021

Two months after a federal court ordered the Biden administration to reinstate the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols (also known as “Remain in Mexico”), the administration announced that it...

October 15, 2021
The Biden administration announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security plans to revive and reimplement the Migrant Protection Protocols by mid-November. The Council believes that plans to restart the program is a betrayal of the president’s campaign promises and a sign that this administration is failing to reenvision border management and the way that we treat asylum seekers.
October 15, 2021
The United States has long guaranteed the right to seek asylum to individuals who arrive at our southern border and ask for protection. But since March 20, 2020, that fundamental right has been...
October 14, 2021
The American Immigration Council and 29+ organizations urged DHS—in a letter offering factual and legal recommendations on how to end the Migrant Protection Protocols—to fully and forcefully acknowledge the humanitarian and legal catastrophe caused by MPP.
October 14, 2021
The Council and 30 other organizations sent a letter to DHS offering an assessment of the factual and legal bases for terminating the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program.
October 11, 2021
The American Immigration Council joins a coalition letter that calls on the Biden administration to terminate local detention contracts and halt all other efforts to expand the ICE detention system...
October 8, 2021

In September, nearly 15,000 Haitians arrived near Del Rio, Texas seeking asylum in the United States. But rather than allowing them to seek protection, as is their right under United States law,...

October 6, 2021
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...

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