Immigration 101

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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June 1, 2005
Thirty years after the fall of the Saigon government, Vietnamese Americans celebrate the fact that they have moved far beyond their refugee origins and become successful economic and political...
May 1, 2005
Given the extent to which undocumented immigrants already living in the United States are part of U.S.-based families, comprehensive immigration reform must include more than just a new temporary...
March 1, 2005
Successive generations of African immigration have continuously transformed the African American community and the sociopolitical climate of the United States.
December 1, 2004
December 17 marks the anniversary of the 1943 repeal by Congress of the Chinese Exclusion Act of May 6, 1882. With only a few exceptions, this law barred any Chinese from immigrating to the United...
October 1, 2004
Immigrants – and groups in which immigrants are a large percentage of the population, such as Latinos and Asian/Pacific Islanders (APIs) – are a growing portion of the U.S. electorate. In a closely...
June 1, 2004
The McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 ended the blanket exclusion of immigrants based on race and created the foundation for current immigration law, but imposed a racialized immigration quota system and...
May 1, 2004
Asian-Pacific migration to the United States has had a positive impact on immigration and refugee law by contributing to the demise of exclusion acts against non-whites and of the nationality-based...
December 1, 2003
In the hours following the deadly terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States government took the extraordinary step of sealing U.S. borders to traffic and trade by grounding all...
November 1, 2003
Comparisons of the mostly “minority” foreign-born and mostly “white” native-born populations that fail to account for the socioeconomic impact of ethnicity incorrectly suggest that place of birth,...
July 1, 2003
Policymakers in states from Iowa to Utah and in cities from Albuquerque to Boston have realized that immigration is a key source of long-term economic vitality, particularly in urban areas...
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...

January 29, 2020

After more than 20 years in the immigrant justice movement, I confess that I missed the mark. In my drive to improve the lives of immigrants and refugees, I was blind to some key realities taking...

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...

January 8, 2020

In yet another move to gut asylum protections in the United States, the Trump administration proposed a rule last month that would add severe new restrictions on asylum access. The restrictions...

January 6, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) recent proposal to increase most of their fees has been met with strong opposition. The proposal drew widespread attention, garnering nearly 10,...

January 3, 2020

Many New Yorkers had a reason to celebrate on December 16, as they were permitted to apply for a driver’s license for the first time, even if they lacked permanent immigration status. Now, thanks...

December 19, 2019

When people who immigrate to the United States are enabled to become U.S. citizens, everyone benefits. Citizenship allows people to have more stable lives by granting access to better work,...

December 18, 2019

In a landmark decision last week, a federal court in Utah ordered the U.S. government to extend birthright citizenship to people born in the U.S. territory of American Samoa. In a lengthy decision...

December 11, 2019
As U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has expanded immigration capacity across the country in recent years, the number of people held in its facilities with actual criminal records...
December 9, 2019

If you have ever wanted to trace your family’s immigration history, you should do it now—accessing genealogical records from the 1800s and 1900s may soon become far more expensive than ever before...

June 5, 2020

Many communities across the U.S. have adopted so-called “sanctuary policies” that are intended to ensure that we all live in safe neighborhoods. When these policies are in place, local police don’...

June 4, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court found on Monday that federal courts have the authority to review certain claims from people who are seeking protection from torture. The case, Nasrallah v. Barr, is about...

May 27, 2020

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government has implemented sweeping revisions to U.S. immigration policy. Many of the changes fail to prioritize the health of immigrants or...

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 21, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says it’s running out of money, fast. In a letter to Congress, USCIS declared that the coronavirus pandemic had caused unavoidable budget...

May 20, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has affected day-to-day life for everyone, including foreign nationals who planned to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program. These...

May 18, 2020
Here’s what you should know about the treatment of noncitizens under the HEROES Act.
May 12, 2020

The U.S. government rejects an immigrant’s entire application for a visa or immigration benefit over a single blank field on a form. Applications can be rejected if a box is left unchecked or has...

April 29, 2020

In recent years, states have increasingly embraced their role in immigration by exploring and enacting policies and positions to address the needs of their communities. States are doing what they...

April 28, 2020

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) proposed rule mandating the collection of DNA from nearly all immigrants in government custody became final on April 8, 2020. For the first time in U.S. history,...

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