Immigration 101

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.

Recent Features

All Immigration 101 Content

June 11, 2018
Some confusion exists regarding the economic aspects of family-based immigration. To help unpack those aspects, this report focuses on one of them—namely, the earnings of family-based immigrants.
May 14, 2018
Asylum seekers must navigate a difficult and complex process that can involve multiple government agencies. This fact sheet provides an overview of the asylum system in the United States, including...
March 7, 2018
Enforcement of U.S. immigration laws has historically been guided by policies that emphasize prioritization. However, this practice has largely been abandoned since the inauguration of President...
January 17, 2018
U.S. immigration policies significantly limit the ability of these doctors to immigrate to and practice in the United States. As policy-makers debate what immigration reforms would best serve the...
November 13, 2017
This fact sheet provides an overview of the diversity visa program, the requirements and security checks currently in place, and demographic information about recipients.
August 11, 2017
The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act (RAISE Act) or S. 354 would mark a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. immigration system. It would significantly reduce levels of legal...
March 21, 2017
This fact sheet explains detainers, how they are used by federal and local enforcement, and the impact they have on immigrants.
March 8, 2017
There are nearly 12 million immigrant (foreign-born) women workers in the United States today, comprising just over 7 percent of the total labor force.
October 28, 2016
This Fact Sheet provides background on the three- and ten-year bars and waivers, and explains the recent regulatory changes.
October 24, 2016
This fact sheet provides an overview of the Supreme Court’s decision in Plyler v. Doe and subsequent efforts by states and localities to avoid compliance with the decision.

Recommendations that DHS promulgate new regulations that ensure more effective oversight over the issuance of detainers and better protection for those subject to detainers.

Reducing Regulatory Burden; Retrospective Review Under Executive Order 13563, 76 Fed. Reg. 13526 (Mar. 14, 2011)
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...

November 21, 2019

White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller is no friend to immigrants—particularly those he views as racially “lesser than.” While this is evident from the anti-immigrant policies Miller has...

November 14, 2019

In a new proposal officially put forward on Thursday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) called for major fee hikes for immigration-related applications. The cost for becoming a...

November 12, 2019

Poland officially began its participation in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) on November 11. Under the program, Polish nationals can now spend up to 90 days in the United States without first...

November 4, 2019

A federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s health care ban on Saturday, one day before it was scheduled to go into effect. The ban would have barred entry for any prospective...

October 31, 2019

At a House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee Hearing on Tuesday, Congress heard testimony from experts about the impact of recent immigration policies affecting foreign-born military members,...

October 30, 2019

The cost of filing an application for citizenship—usually a hefty $725—has long been a barrier for some immigrants. Now, a change to the naturalization process may leave even more people priced...

May 15, 2014

Washington D.C. - Understanding the complexities of immigration law and its intersection with criminal law is not easy.

March 31, 2014

Washington D.C. – Today the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a new report that makes a range of false claims about deportation data.

January 26, 2012

Washington D.C. - The term “self-deportation” has found its way into the GOP presidential primary race, with candidate Mitt Romney outlining a vague immigration pl

February 28, 2011

Washington D.C. - In cooperation with the Immigration Policy Center, the British Council and the Migration Policy Group release a new study today which reviews and

August 11, 2010

Washington D.C. - Over the last several weeks, a handful of elected officials have re-ignited a call for the repeal of birthright citizenship.

July 6, 2010
Today, Fox News is reporting on data provided to them by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) which amounts to a highly misleading fiscal snapshot of the costs allegedly imposed on U.S. taxpayers by unauthorized immigrants.
June 8, 2010

Washington D.C. - On Monday, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) hosted a teleconference with border and national-security experts who diss

May 20, 2010

Washington D.C. - The Mexican President's visit to the United States allowed both he and President Obama to address the important issues of immigration, border con

March 30, 2010

Washington D.C. - This Sunday, the editorial pages of the Washington Post included a

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...

November 25, 2019
There is no line available for unauthorized immigrants and the “regular channels” do not include them.
November 22, 2019
Deportations of parents and family members have serious consequences that affect children and extend to communities and the country as a whole.
November 21, 2019

White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller is no friend to immigrants—particularly those he views as racially “lesser than.” While this is evident from the anti-immigrant policies Miller has...

November 14, 2019

In a new proposal officially put forward on Thursday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) called for major fee hikes for immigration-related applications. The cost for becoming a...

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