Immigration Reform

While updating our immigration system has been a slow process, over the last decade, there have been efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation and the DREAM Act. Other reform efforts include executive actions such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). Learn more about the ways America can upgrade its immigration system.

Recent Features

All Immigration Reform Content

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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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May 20, 2021
This report analyzes the Biden administration's 100 days progress in reforming immigration enforcement and recommendations for how to best move forward.
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April 29, 2021
This report analyzes the most significant changes to the legal immigration system made by the Biden administration during its first 100 days in office, and makes recommendations to foster a fair and...
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March 16, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of the most recent version of the Dream Act and similar legislative proposals.
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January 20, 2021
Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, the federal government has spent an estimated $324 billion on the agencies that carry out immigration enforcement.
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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.
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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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May 19, 2017
The Trump administration’s approach will have devastating consequences for immigrant communities and will undermine, rather than improve, public safety.
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February 27, 2017
The provisions in the order pose serious concerns for the protection and due process rights of those currently residing in the United States, communities along the U.S-Mexico border, and vulnerable...
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June 28, 2016
This fact sheet provides an overview of the lawsuits that have challenged expanded DACA and DAPA. It explains the legal claims, the court decisions, and the process.

This letter to several Administration officials was submitted in response to the DHS/White House announcement on August 18, 2011 that it would form a "Prosecutorial Discretion Working Group" to...

This memorandum, which was released by the American Immigration Council and co-signed by two general counsels of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, offers an overview of the scope of executive branch authority and outlines specific steps the Administration could take to forestall removals in sympathetic cases.

This letter requests written guidance setting forth detailed criteria for the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion and the assignment of a high-level officer to monitor implementation of...

February 15, 2022

Miami Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, a freshman Republican from Florida’s 27th congressional district, last week introduced an immigration reform bill that she calls the “Dignity Act.” Rep. Salazar...

February 4, 2022

The House of Representatives passed an economic competitiveness bill on February 4 that includes several immigration provisions. The bill is called the ‘‘America Creating Opportunities for...

September 20, 2021

Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough on September 19 rejected Democrats’ initial attempt to include immigration reform provisions in a $3.5 trillion spending bill currently making its way...

September 13, 2021

House Democrats began to mark up a budget reconciliation bill on September 10 that would provide a path to legal status for millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Although the...

August 6, 2021

On the day that President Biden took office, he promised to send a bill to Congress to create a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants. Unfortunately, that bill, the U.S. Citizenship Act...

July 8, 2021

Since the founding of the United States, immigrants have served in the U.S. military. In recognition of the sacrifices involved in military service, the federal government has provided an...

June 22, 2021

As military troops withdraw from Afghanistan, Afghan nationals that supported the operations of the U.S. government—as translators and other vital roles—are in danger of violent retribution from...

June 16, 2021

Twice each year, the federal government publishes a “regulatory agenda,” a preview of all the proposals that are in the pipeline to become federal regulations. Last week, the Biden administration...

June 15, 2021

My name is Hali Calzadillas-Andujo and I’m originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. I first came to the United States with my mother and siblings when I was eight years old. I didn’t even know what it...

April 28, 2021

The current situation at the U.S.-Mexico border has once again exposed the flaws of our country’s asylum system. On April 22, Senators Kyrsten Sinema and John Cornyn and Representatives Tony...

January 20, 2021
President Joseph R. Biden announced a welcoming and inclusive vision for immigration in a legislative proposal that provides a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who call the United States home.
October 22, 2020
The proposal would negatively impact American colleges and universities and foreign students seeking a higher education degree in the United States and have long-term effects for the legal immigration system.
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.
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.
February 15, 2019
After months of threats, the longest government shutdown in history, and the passage of a bipartisan compromise on federal funding for homeland security, President Trump declared a national emergency to fund the building of a border wall without congressional approval. The president took this step despite strong bipartisan opposition to declaring a national emergency.
September 23, 2018
The Trump administration is proposing sweeping new regulations that could lead to the largest decline in legal immigration in generations. The new regulations propose to redefine the meaning of the legal term “public charge."
March 10, 2017
Immigrant rights groups asked the Washington District Court to again enjoin the Trump Administration’s “Muslim Ban” executive order.
January 27, 2017
These actions will isolate America and make us all party to blatant and bigoted religious targeting. These actions also ignore the multi-layered processes the government already uses to screen and vet those seeking entry to the U.S., whether as a refugee, on a tourist visa, or another visa permitting entry.
January 25, 2017
President Trump announced executive orders that are intended to follow through on campaign promises to build a wall and deport millions. Here's our response.
July 20, 2016
In a disappointing but unsurprising decision, a divided panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today denied the federal government’s appeal of the preliminary injunction that has temporarily stopped President Obama’s latest deferred action initiatives from being implemented.
August 18, 2022

As midterm election season heats up, House Republicans on the “American Security Task Force” have produced a new framework for what they say is a plan to “secure the border.” Despite the claim of...

August 16, 2022

When members of Congress return from their August recess, they will find several immigration measures urgently awaiting their attention. The House Appropriations Committee already has passed a...

August 8, 2022

On Sunday after nearly 24 hours of deliberation, the Senate passed a historic budget reconciliation package, known as the “Inflation Reduction Act,” that rejected a series of harsh immigration...

July 28, 2022

Democrats in the House of Representatives have introduced a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for at least seven years to legalize their status. The...

July 27, 2022

As immigration bills languish in Congress, state legislatures continue to pave the way in welcoming immigrants and refugees in 2022. With the majority of the 46 state legislatures that convened...

Publication Date: 
June 14, 2022
This fact sheet highlights the crucial role that new Americans play in Arizona’s economy, including in some of the state’s fastest-growing and most in-demand fields, like healthcare, education, and...
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June 3, 2022
This fact sheet underscores the crucial role Hispanic Texans play in the Rio Grande Valley’s labor force, population growth, and economy.
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June 3, 2022
This fact sheet underscores the crucial role Hispanic Texans play in the metro area’s labor force, population growth, and economy.
May 2, 2022

Data from the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau show that there are approximately 20.7 million Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States—comprising 6.2 % of the U.S. population—that make up the...

March 11, 2022

The path toward commonsense federal immigration solutions seems to be continuing the cyclical and frustrating pattern of two steps forward, one step back. As soon as a measure is introduced—be it...

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