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

Publication Date: 
August 1, 2013

On June 6, 2013, the House Judiciary Committee considered H.R. 2278, the “Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act,” commonly known as the SAFE Act. This...

Publication Date: 
July 24, 2013
The House of Representatives and the Senate have embarked upon very different paths when it comes to immigration reform. On June 27, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill—...
Publication Date: 
July 10, 2013
This guide to provide policymakers, the media, and the public with an easy-to-understand guide to the main components of S. 744 and the purpose behind them.
Publication Date: 
June 20, 2013
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the fiscal and economic effects of the Senate immigration reform bill (S. 744) would be overwhelmingly...
Publication Date: 
June 19, 2013
One of the themes that emerged from the Senate Judiciary Committee mark up of the 2013 Senate immigration bill was the necessity of avoiding the mistakes of the past. In the context of legalization...
Publication Date: 
May 20, 2013
One of the explicit goals of the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act’’ (S.744) is to curtail future flows of unauthorized immigration by correcting some of the...
Publication Date: 
May 9, 2013
Since the last major legalization program for unauthorized immigrants in 1986, the federal government has spent an estimated $186.8 billion on immigration enforcement. Yet during that time, the...
Publication Date: 
May 7, 2013
With immigration reform legislation now making its way through Congress, it is imperative that we estimate as accurately as possible the full range of potential economic costs and benefits associated...
Publication Date: 
April 3, 2013
As the legislative debate over immigration reform heats up, a central point of contention will be whether or not to create a pathway to legal status for all or most of the...
Publication Date: 
March 1, 2013
Under S. 744, “The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” a merit-based point system is proposed as a tool to allocate a portion of new immigrant visas each year...
June 23, 2020

The Trump administration has banned foreign nationals on certain employment-based nonimmigrant visas from entering the United States. The new ban begins June 24, at 12:01 am ET. The administration...

June 18, 2020

The Supreme Court issued its long-anticipated decision in DHS v. Regents of the University of California—the case challenging the administration’s attempt to dismantle the Deferred Action for...

June 11, 2020

In sweeping new proposed regulations announced on June 11, the Trump administration took the first step toward administering a final blow to the U.S. asylum system. The proposed rules, which...

June 1, 2020

President Trump issued a proclamation to prevent certain Chinese nationals from entering the United States using academic student (F) or exchange visitor researcher (J) visas. The proclamation...

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 18, 2020
Here’s what you should know about the treatment of noncitizens under the HEROES Act.
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 23, 2020

At a time when our country is united in the fight against the coronavirus, President Trump is seeking to divide us by turning to a familiar target—immigrants. The president first threatened a full...

March 27, 2020

President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) on Friday, March 27. The $2 trillion stimulus package goes a long way to improve our response to the COVID...

November 20, 2019

In yet another major blow to America’s asylum system, on Wednesday the Trump administration reportedly began sending some asylum seekers from Honduras and El Salvador to Guatemala rather than...

May 26, 2015

Washington D.C. - In a disappointing decision, a divided panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today  denied  the federal government’s request for an emergency stay of a preliminary in

February 17, 2015

Washington D.C. - Late last night, a Texas judge issued a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the implementation of President Obama’s new deferred action initiatives. These initia

December 29, 2014

Washington D.C. - Today, immigration, civil rights and labor groups joined the legal effort to defend President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration by filing an

December 22, 2014

Washington D.C. - Today, the U.S.

December 22, 2014

Washington D.C. - Today, the U.S.

November 21, 2014

Washington D.C. - Ben Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council offers the following quotes on the polic

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...
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...

Publication Date: 
August 27, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview about the legalization program through which certain undocumented farmworkers in the United States could earn legal status.
Publication Date: 
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...
August 19, 2021
A Texas judge blocked the Biden administration’s immigration enforcement priorities. The decision was issued in a case challenging ICE’s enforcement activities outside the scope laid out in the Feb. 18 enforcement memo.
Publication Date: 
August 17, 2021
The Council and more than 130 organizations urged the Biden administration to redirect government funding for fiscal year 2023 away from draconian enforcement measures and invest in legal services...
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...

Publication Date: 
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...
Publication Date: 
July 21, 2021
The Council led a letter urging the Biden administration to ensure that all immigrant visas are processed up to the numerical limits by September 30, 2021 to avoid the loss of visas and further...

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