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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All Immigration 101 Content

Publication Date: 
September 28, 2021
This fact sheet provides information on a provision called “registry” that allows certain non-citizens who are long-term residents of the United States, but who are either undocumented or present in...
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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-...
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August 20, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of Documented Dreamers, explains how they can age out of immigration status at 21, and summarizes the current federal legislative proposals to protect them from...
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August 2, 2021
This fact sheet from the Council provides an overview of how current immigration law allows certain undocumented immigrants to become Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) without first having to leave...
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July 8, 2021
Current U.S. immigration law provides several paths for foreign workers to enter the United States for employment purposes on a temporary or permanent basis. This fact sheet provides basic...
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June 24, 2021
Deportations of parents and family members have serious consequences that affect children and extend to communities and the country as a whole.
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March 16, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of “aggravated felonies” under federal immigration law and the immigration consequences of being convicted of an “aggravated felony.”
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February 18, 2021
Understanding how deeply we hold our immigration stances may matter as much as what our stances are.
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October 6, 2020
This fact sheet provides an overview of withholding of removal, including the basics of seeking protection in the United States, eligibility requirements, the application process, and data on...
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September 30, 2020
This report identifies disruptions throughout the immigration system because of the COVID-19 pandemic and makes recommendations for improvements to the federal government’s response.
Reducing Regulatory Burden; Retrospective Review Under Executive Order 13563, 76 Fed. Reg. 13526 (Mar. 14, 2011)

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

November 13, 2023

Written by Robin Lundh, Research Manager and Anna Shepperson, Research Associate. Immigration—long central to the American experience—has dominated news coverage in recent years. Between 2016 and...

November 2, 2023

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued its yearly Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor report, examining 131 countries’ efforts to abolish child labor in 2022 and the obstacles those...

September 28, 2023

By Karen Aho and Robin Lundh of the American Immigration Council Today, Hispanic Americans form the largest ethnic group in the United States. The value of Hispanic Americans to the makeup of the...

September 28, 2023

A recent Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision bars certain recently arrived noncitizens from becoming lawful permanent residents. In Matter of Cabrera-Fernandez, the BIA held that the...

September 28, 2023

After weeks of failed negotiations on spending, Congress has less than a week left to avert a potential government shutdown. Members of the House Republicans’ Freedom Caucus have refused to pass...

September 8, 2023

The school year has started, and many college students are returning to campuses nationwide, including undocumented and DACA-eligible students. Data from the 2021 American Community Survey (ACS)...

September 5, 2023

On August 24, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a new update to its policy manual clarifying a previous policy change aimed at expanding green card eligibility...

August 25, 2023

When the Trump administration proposed an overhaul of federal policy regarding when immigrants could be denied green cards or visas based on use of public benefits – the public charge rule – it...

July 31, 2023

With most state legislatures having adjourned for the year, states—once again—continue to lead the way for welcoming immigrants and refugees. The American Immigration Council tracked over 1,000...

July 26, 2023

In June, the Canadian immigration minister announced a new initiative to attract high-tech talent to Canada — from the United States. The Tech Talent Strategy targets foreign-born workers who have...

August 12, 2019
The Department of Homeland Security announced a new regulation that redefines who can be considered a “public charge” under immigration law. The new regulation will likely have a chilling effect on America’s family-based immigration system, drastically limiting who will be permitted into the United States.
April 30, 2019
A new report by the American Immigration Council finds that Americans’ attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants are, among other factors, deeply related to their personal values and to the type of contact they have with immigrants in their daily lives.
December 5, 2018
A report on immigration detention examines the United States’ complex, sprawling network of facilities used to detain immigrants. The report, “The Landscape of Immigration Detention in the United States,” reveals that detained individuals were commonly held in facilities operated by private entities and located in remote areas, far away from basic community support structures and legal advocacy networks.
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 30, 2018
President Donald Trump said yesterday in an interview that he plans to sign an executive order to eliminate birthright citizenship, a principle enshrined in the U.S. Constitution that grants citizenship to any person born within the territory of the United States.
June 12, 2018
Through analysis of data from the decennial census and administrative data from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, this special report examines the earnings gains over time of all immigrants, as well as the earnings gains experienced by family-based immigrants compared to employment-based immigrants.
September 21, 2016
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) immigration report takes a comprehensive look at the fiscal and economic impact of immigration.
July 21, 2015

Washington D.C.

Publication Date: 
March 7, 2024
The American Immigration Council appeared before Congress to discuss the need for Congress to overhaul the asylum system.
February 26, 2024
A new research report by the American Immigration Council underscores the crucial role immigrants play in the Houston area’s economy, finding that immigrants paid $16 billion in taxes and exceeded $50 billion in spending power in 2021.
February 16, 2024

On February 9, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released data about its progress toward meeting its strategic goals in fiscal year (FY) 2023. For the first time in years, the...

February 9, 2024

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) finalized its long-awaited fee rule on January 31, which impacts the filing costs for almost all the agency’s applications. The new fees will take...

February 9, 2024

By Karen Aho and Quinn Bankson Black immigrants not only contribute to America’s rich political and cultural history—think rapper Wyclef Jean, U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, or basketball’s Hakeem...

Publication Date: 
February 1, 2024
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 26, 2024

Amid inaction from the federal government on immigration policy and growing calls for action from localities, some state legislatures are taking a proactive role in welcoming immigrants and...

January 19, 2024

By Karen Aho, Consultant and Anna Shepperson, Research Associate When Sri Lankan business analyst Dinesh Prabaharan became a U.S. citizen in December of 2023, he expressed his gratitude at finally...

Publication Date: 
January 19, 2024
This fact sheet provides an overview of the benefits of obtaining naturalized citizenship in the United States, as well as information about the naturalized population and those who meet the...
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January 15, 2024
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...

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