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

September 26, 2017

The American Immigration Council, in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), and others...

Asylum seekers are being illegally turned away by Customs and Border Protection officers. We're suing.
This case stems from Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) decision to bar Caroline Perris, a full-time legal assistant with the Dilley Pro Bono Project (DPBP), from entering the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.
March 31, 2017
The Council, with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, filed this amicus brief arguing that a grant of TPS satisfies the “admission” requirement for adjustment of status under INA § 245(a) and that, as a result, an individual who entered without inspection and later received a grant of TPS has been “admitted” and may adjust to lawful permanent resident status if otherwise eligible.
This intervention is needed to protect the integrity of the United States’ immigrant visa process and the families diligently seeking to reunite with their loved ones.
January 13, 2017
A coalition of immigrant and civil rights groups filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on behalf of numerous adult men and women, families and unaccompanied children who, over the past several months, were denied entry to the United States at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border despite having asserted a fear of returning to their home countries or an intention to seek asylum under U.S. law.
September 28, 2016
The statement emphasizes the important role that the United States has played in the past in protecting the world's most vulnerable people and why we need to continue to welcome those fleeing dire situations and not deny them entry.
This lawsuit challenged obstacles faced by asylum-seekers in satisfying the statutory requirement that they apply for asylum within one year of entering the United States.
February 23, 2016
The statement shares our analysis and research regarding the children and families that have fled Central American violence to the United States.
November 19, 2015
The statement explains in detail the 13- step screening process that refugees must clear in order to be granted refugee status in the U.S. and what the steps are once an individual is granted refugee status.
October 23, 2019

Rape, violence, kidnapping, and lack of basic health care is, unfortunately, a reality for hundreds of asylum seekers subjected to the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) or “Remain in Mexico”...

October 8, 2019

Officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—a law enforcement agency with a history of misconduct and abuse—are reportedly conducting screenings of asylum seekers pursuing protection in...

October 4, 2019

The Trump administration announced last week that it had signed an “Asylum Cooperative Agreement” with Honduras, following two similar agreements signed with El Salvador and Guatemala. If any of...

October 3, 2019

For many small towns and rural communities, opening their doors to refugees is part of a local strategy to reverse population decline, stimulate their workforce, and build diverse communities....

September 27, 2019

President Trump yesterday proposed a reduction in the annual number of refugee admissions to 18,000 persons for 2020. This is the lowest number ever in the 40-year history of the refugee program,...

September 20, 2019

Five mothers and their children sued the U.S. government on Thursday for forcibly separating them in 2018. The five families are among the thousands of parents and young children who were split...

September 13, 2019

The Trump administration is considering decreasing the maximum number of refugees accepted into the United States to 10,000 and as possibly low as zero, administration officials confirmed last...

September 12, 2019

The Supreme Court issued an emergency ruling on Wednesday allowing the Trump administration to implement a ban on asylum seekers at the southern land border. The ban applies to people who...

September 11, 2019

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently proposed a rule that will further delay asylum seekers’ ability to receive work authorization. Under current law, USCIS must grant or...

September 10, 2019

The strongest hurricane to ever hit the Bahamas ripped through the islands last week. In the wake of such devastation, it would not be unusual for the U.S. government to announce temporary...

December 20, 2018
The new policy would require many individuals seeking protection in the United States, including children and other vulnerable individuals, to remain in Mexico until their asylum claim is decided by an overwhelmingly backlogged U.S. immigration court system, potentially spending months or even years in life-threatening conditions.
December 13, 2018
A federal district court in Seattle, Washington issued an order rejecting the government’s arguments that recent asylum seekers who enter the United States without immigration status are not entitled to constitutional protections.
December 3, 2018
The American Immigration Council and other immigrant rights organizations filed a legal brief on Friday that explains why President Donald Trump’s designation of Matthew G. Whitaker as acting attorney general is unlawful. As a result, the brief asserts, Whitaker lacks the authority to decide a critical immigration case.
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 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 16, 2018
In a new court filing, asylum seekers and an immigrant rights group are challenging the Trump administration’s policy and practice of turning back asylum seekers at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border
September 21, 2018
Yesterday, plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit challenging the U.S. government’s targeted efforts to obstruct asylum seekers filed a motion for preliminary injunction demanding timely bond hearings that comport with due process.
September 6, 2018
The Trump administration proposed new regulations that could lead to the indefinite detention—and needless suffering—of asylum-seeking children.
August 23, 2018
The complaint points to numerous examples, including that of Mrs. D.P., who was separated from her 9-year-old daughter for 47 days as a result of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' "zero-tolerance" border policy.
July 26, 2018
"The government’s failure to comply with the court order to reunify the thousands of separated children and parents confirms the administration’s utter disregard for the humane and fair treatment of families coming to our country in search of protection."
February 13, 2020

A federal judge in Arizona reversed convictions of four volunteers of the humanitarian aid group No More Deaths last week. No More Deaths is an Arizona-based group that works to end death and...

February 4, 2020

In U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody, asylum seekers are detained in horribly cold and overcrowded facilities, unable to sleep, without access to food, water, or adequate medical...

February 3, 2020

Three years into the Trump administration, it’s become clear that we have lost our rudder. For a nation that long-provided a welcome mat to the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, our...

February 2, 2020
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.
January 31, 2020
Citing national security concerns, the Trump administration announced the expansion of travel restrictions to the United States to nationals of six countries. The new travel restrictions suspend the issuance of immigrant visas to nationals from Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, and Nigeria, and bans nationals from Sudan and Tanzania from participating in the diversity visa program.
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 29, 2020
This fact sheet explains the complicated interplay and application of protection and border processing policies.
January 28, 2020

One year ago today, a confused Honduran man seeking asylum in the United States became the first person to be turned away from the border and sent back to Mexico to await a U.S. court hearing. He...

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....

January 17, 2020

Asylum seekers subject to the Migrant Protection Protocols—or the “Remain in Mexico” program—in Laredo and Brownsville, Texas attend their court hearings in tents known as “port courts.” The...

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