Humanitarian Protection

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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All Humanitarian Protection Content

January 10, 2020
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-...
January 8, 2020
The United States has long been a global leader in the resettlement of refugees—and the need for such leadership remains enormous.
November 23, 2019
This fact sheet provides basic information about three of these forms of protection: “U” visas for victims of crime, “T” visas for victims of severe forms of trafficking, and “self-petitions” under...
July 22, 2019
Expedited removal is a process by which low-level immigration officers can quickly deport certain noncitizens who are undocumented or have committed fraud or misrepresentation.
January 9, 2019
This fact sheet estimates the likely numbers of workers with TPS from these three countries, broken down by the states in which they reside and the industries in which they are employed.
August 16, 2018
This report presents findings from the first empirical analysis of asylum adjudication in family detention. Drawing on government data from over 18,000 immigration court proceedings initiated between...
October 23, 2017
This fact sheet provides information about TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti.
May 9, 2017
Detained asylum seekers encounter numerous challenges, including the following problems detailed in this report.
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...
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 (FOIA) lawsuit seeks to uncover information about the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP)—also known as the "Remain in Mexico" program.
May 12, 2020

The Council and the law firm WilmerHale filed a petition with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) challenging the requirement that asylum seekers...

January 31, 2020

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association submitted an amicus brief in Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center v. Wolf, a case filed by the American...

January 23, 2020

The Trump administration has proposed amending regulations that affect asylum eligibility. If implemented, the regulations would shut America’s doors to many of those most in need of protection....

The Migrant Protection Protocols—also known as Remain in Mexico—raises alarming safety and due process questions. However, the government has kept information on how the program is being implemented.
November 21, 2019
The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the House Committee on Homeland Security for a November 19, 2019 hearing on the “Examining the Human Rights and Legal Implications of DHS’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy.”
This lawsuit seeks to uncover information about the government’s troubling new practice of employing U.S. Custom and Border Protection officers to screen asylum seekers.
The Council is seeking monetary damages on behalf of six asylum-seeking mothers and their children for the trauma they suffered when torn apart under the Trump Administration’s family separation policy.

The American Immigration Council filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS) seeking information regarding the...

September 4, 2019
The administrative complaint filed with government oversight agencies highlights a systematic failure to provide adequate medical care to children in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody. This violates CBP’s own internal guidance and extensive medical guidelines.
January 5, 2021

This article is part of the Moving Forward on Immigration series that explores the future of immigration in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.  The United States has long been a...

December 17, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an important announcement on December 9 about the Temporary Protective Status (TPS) designations for people from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras,...

December 14, 2020

The Trump administration secretly implemented one of its most horrific attacks on America’s long tradition of asylum—holding asylum seekers in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody...

December 10, 2020

The Trump administration has finalized a sweeping regulation that will effectively end asylum protection in the United States. The regulation, which was proposed in June, is set to go into effect...

December 9, 2020

Thousands of Liberians living lawfully in the United States run the risk of detention and deportation if they do not apply for the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness program (LRIF) by the...

December 2, 2020

As the Biden-Harris administration prepares to take office, many anxiously await what immigration policies the Trump administration will finalize in the lead up to Inauguration Day in the form of...

December 1, 2020

The incoming Biden-Harris administration has announced its choice for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas. If confirmed, Mayorkas will represent several historic...

November 19, 2020

For years, the Trump administration has argued that limited capacity at ports of entry led to its policy of turning back asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border (the “turnback policy”). But a...

November 10, 2020

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruled that certain people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) can apply for green cards without leaving the United States. In Velazquez v. Barr, the...

October 29, 2020

Over 60,000 people at the southern border have been forced to return to Mexico under the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program. As...

September 14, 2020
A federal court has ruled that the Trump administration’s termination of Temporary Protected Status for more than 300,000 people living in the United States can continue.
September 8, 2020
Asylum seekers who have been turned back by U.S. Customs and Border Protection from ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border asked a federal court to permanently stop the Trump administration’s Turnback Policy and declare it unlawful.
August 26, 2020
Individuals in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody at the Otero County Processing Center filed a motion for preliminary injunction to stop ICE from denying detained individuals the ability to contact their lawyers and the outside world by phone.
August 6, 2020
A federal judge has granted class certification in Al Otro Lado v. Wolf, a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s policy of turning back asylum seekers at ports of entry. The ruling provides that the challenge to the Turnback Policy will continue on behalf of all asylum seekers along the U.S.-Mexico border who were or will be prevented from accessing the asylum process at ports of entry as a result of the government’s Turnback Policy.
July 8, 2020
The Trump Administration announced a soon-to-be-published proposed rule that would allow the Department of Homeland Security to ban people from seeking asylum in the United States solely because they traveled from or through a country under threat by a serious disease. For the first time, the Trump administration would also ban “withholding of removal,” a related form of protection that the Department of Justice has previously agreed in court it cannot eliminate without violating international law.
July 2, 2020
A federal court has ruled that the failure of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to consider less restrictive settings before transferring unaccompanied immigrant youth to ICE detention on their 18th birthdays violates U.S. immigration laws.
June 11, 2020
The Trump administration proposed a regulation that would eviscerate the United States asylum system. The proposed regulation would make it nearly impossible for most applicants to successfully claim humanitarian protection in the United States.
May 27, 2020
The American Immigration Council's latest report examines major changes to the U.S. immigration system in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unique challenges the pandemic has created for noncitizens and government agencies.
May 14, 2020
The American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Human Rights Watch, and the law firm Winston & Strawn LLP filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Northern District of California today to compel the release of records about the US Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program.
April 28, 2020
Today’s Court decision denying the emergency temporary restraining order in NIPNLG, et al., v. EOIR, et al., is deeply disappointing. This lawsuit was brought against the Executive Office for Immigration Review and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to protect the health of immigration attorneys, immigrants, and the public from the impact of dangerous and unconstitutional policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
January 28, 2021
This analysis of data provided by the federal government reveals that 83% of all nondetained immigrants with completed or pending removal cases attended all their hearings from 2008 to 2018.
January 27, 2021
Newly released government records reveal U.S. immigration agencies' efforts in 2019 to rapidly deport thousands of people from the United States through the little-known Electronic Nationality Verification program.
January 26, 2021
U.S. immigration agencies use a range of programs to deport—or remove—certain noncitizens from the United States. Under the Trump administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and two of...
January 25, 2021

January 29, 2021 marks the two-year anniversary of the Trump administration’s so-called “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP), informally known as “Remain in Mexico.” Asylum seekers and advocates...

January 22, 2021

On his first day in office, President Biden took significant steps towards undoing the harm of the Trump administration’s immigration policies—and reforming our punitive and inhumane enforcement...

January 22, 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...
January 20, 2021
President Joseph R. Biden announced a welcoming and inclusive vision for immigration in a legislative proposal that provides a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who call the United States home.
January 19, 2021
A federal court blocked nearly all of a Trump administration rule that would have drastically increased fees in immigration proceedings in which the government seeks to deport immigrants, many of whom are long-term residents of this country.
January 18, 2021
A federal court issued a temporary restraining order blocking the Trump administration’s latest attempt to prevent asylum seekers from accessing the U.S. asylum process.
January 14, 2021

A federal judge in California blocked a sweeping “death to asylum” rule on January 8, just three days before the rule was scheduled to take effect. The asylum rule is just one of many regulations...

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