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: 
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...
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March 21, 2017
This fact sheet explains detainers, how they are used by federal and local enforcement, and the impact they have on immigrants.
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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.
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October 28, 2016
This Fact Sheet provides background on the three- and ten-year bars and waivers, and explains the recent regulatory changes.
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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.
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August 10, 2016
Many people assume that their family immigrated to the United States legally, or did it “the right way.” In most cases, this statement does not reflect the fact that the U.S. immigration system was...
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December 14, 2015

Americans pride themselves on belonging to a nation of immigrants. In fact, many Americans celebrate not only the traditions of the United States, but the traditions of the countries from which...

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November 25, 2015
This report provides background on the refugee experience in the United States, including welcoming and exclusionary responses, the impacts of these disparate reactions, and lessons to consider in...
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July 13, 2015
For more than a century, innumerable studies have confirmed two simple yet powerful truths about the relationship between immigration and crime: immigrants are less likely to commit serious crimes or...
Publication Date: 
September 23, 2014
Together, New Americans, Latinos, and APIs are the fastest growing segments of the electorate. In the coming years, politicians who alienate these voters will find it increasingly difficult to win...
October 11, 2022

With the 2022 midterm elections just weeks away, all eyes are shifting to states where close races are expected. A lot has changed since the last midterm elections in 2018—including the...

October 11, 2022

On September 28, Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) introduced a bill in Congress that would allow millions of immigrants who have lived in the United States for many years to become Lawful Permanent...

September 16, 2022

Three years ago, the Trump administration sent fear throughout immigrant communities across the nation with its Public Charge rule, which functioned as a wealth test for green card applicants....

September 14, 2022

This Hispanic Heritage Month, we look at the most recent Census and data to highlight the importance of Hispanics in the United States. For those wondering why Hispanic Heritage Month starts mid-...

September 13, 2022

The Biden administration is close to using all of the employment-based immigrant visas (green cards) allotted for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced...

September 9, 2022

Written by American Immigration Council staff Leani García Torres and Raul Pinto The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative provides certain young, undocumented immigrants with a...

September 7, 2022

There is no doubt that fentanyl is a major problem inside the United States. Over the last decade, rising availability of fentanyl has caused a spike in overdose deaths across the nation. In 2021...

August 31, 2022

As hundreds of thousands of students prepare to go back to school this fall, it’s important to consider the outsized role international students play in both campus life and the United States...

August 25, 2022

School is back in session. For many states and localities across the country, that means welcoming newly arrived immigrant and refugee youth into the classroom. There will be increased need for...

August 10, 2022

The lack of a major overhaul in the United States’ immigration system for roughly thirty years has created an ecosystem where states have attempted to insert their authority over immigration,...

April 15, 2024

Without fail, each Tax Day a prevalent myth resurfaces that conceals the truth about immigrants’ contributions to federal, state, and local taxes. Bolstered by social media and other outlets, it...

April 9, 2024

President Biden signed the final 6-bill “minibus” funding package for fiscal year (FY) 2024 on March 23, which includes funding for the agencies that implement our immigration laws. This was the...

March 15, 2024

By Tsion Gurmu, Legal Director at the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Raul Pinto, Deputy Legal Director of Transparency The main way in which the public can access information about what...

March 8, 2024

Since its conception in 1977, International Women’s Day has evolved into a global celebration highlighting women’s achievements and the challenges they face. The holiday’s origins can be traced...

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...

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...

January 11, 2024

The State Department announced an update to its discretionary interview waiver policy for nonimmigrant visa applicants on December 21, 2023. It replaces the temporary policies in place for almost...

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