Interior Enforcement

The immigration laws and regulations provide some avenues to apply for lawful status from within the U.S. or to seek relief from deportation.  The eligibility requirements for these benefits and relief can be stringent, and the immigration agencies often adopt overly restrictive interpretations of the requirements.  Learn about advocacy and litigation that has been and can be undertaken to ensure that noncitizens have a fair chance to apply for the benefits and relief for which they are eligible.  

Recent Features

All Interior Enforcement Content

May 1, 2018
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-...
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 24, 2018
Parole under immigration law is very different than in the criminal justice context. In the immigration context, parole facilitates certain individuals’ entry into and permission to temporarily...
May 19, 2017
The Trump administration’s approach will have devastating consequences for immigrant communities and will undermine, rather than improve, public safety.
May 9, 2017
Detained asylum seekers encounter numerous challenges, including the following problems detailed in this report.
April 24, 2017

The last time the Border Patrol received a large infusion of money to hire thousands of new agents, cases of corruption and misconduct spiked in the agency. New hires were not sufficiently vetted...

March 28, 2017
Deportations of parents and family members have serious consequences that affect children and extend to communities and the country as a whole.
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 15, 2017
Through the 287(g) program, state and local police officers collaborate with the federal government to enforce federal immigration laws.
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...
March 7, 2018
This policy document describes the legal liabilities local governments face when they honor ICE requests, known as “detainers,” to hold individuals past the completion of their criminal custody until immigration agents take them into administrative custody.
March 27, 2017
This amicus brief arguing that any Fourth Amendment violation by state and local law enforcement officers — not just egregious Fourth Amendments violations — should require the suppression of evidence in immigration court proceedings, which is the same standard that applies in the criminal justice arena.
January 3, 2014
Long used in criminal trials, motions to suppress can lead to the exclusion of evidence obtained by the government in violation of the Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, or related provisions of federal law. While the immediate purpose of filing a motion to suppress is to prevent the government from meeting its burden of proof, challenges to unlawfully obtained evidence can also deter future violations by law enforcement officers and thereby protect the rights of other noncitizens. The Supreme Court held in INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984), that motions to suppress evidence under the Fourth Amendment in immigration proceedings should be granted only for “egregious” violations or if violations became “widespread.” Despite this stringent standard, noncitizens have prevailed in many cases on motions to suppress.
Co-Plaintiffs American Immigration Council and AILA’s Connecticut chapter initially sought records related to the Criminal Alien Program (CAP) through a FOIA request to ICE in December 2011. When ICE refused to release responsive records, Plaintiffs filed suit under FOIA to compel their disclosure.
American Immigration Council and AILA’s Connecticut chapter initially sought records related to CAP through a FOIA request to ICE in December 2011. When ICE refused to release records responsive to the request, Plaintiffs filed suit under FOIA for declaratory and injunctive relief to compel the disclosure and release of agency records improperly withheld by DHS and its component ICE
August 1, 2017
This Practice Advisory provides a general overview of motions to suppress, a tool used to prevent the introduction of evidence obtained by federal immigration officers in violation of the Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, and related provisions of federal law.
August 1, 2017
This Practice Advisory discusses some of the legal issues that may arise when noncitizens in removal proceedings move to suppress evidence obtained through constitutional violations by state and local officers seeking to enforce immigration law.
February 21, 2017

This Practice Advisory addresses the coming expansion of expedited removal, who likely will be impacted, and possible ways to challenge an expedited removal order. The National Immigration Project...

April 29, 2013
A person who has been removed and unlawfully reenters the United States may be subject to reinstatement of removal under INA § 241(a)(5). This Practice Advisory provides an overview of the reinstatement statute and implementing regulations. It also addresses where to obtain federal court review of reinstatement orders and which arguments are available to challenge the legality of reinstatement orders in federal court, including challenges to the underlying removal order.
April 24, 2018

For years, immigration enforcement officials prioritized recent border-crossers over long-time residents with U.S.-born children, clean criminal records, or other evidence of roots in the United...

April 19, 2018

In a directive dated Aug. 29, 2017, which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement only posted publicly this week, the government significantly weakened safeguards for the rights of parents during...

April 12, 2018

The largest employment crackdown in a decade was launched on April 5 at a meat-processing plant in Bean Station, a rural community outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. Nearly 100 immigrants were...

April 9, 2018

In an era of increased immigration enforcement, it is even more important to understand the ways in which some states and localities collaborate with the federal government. Recent research also...

March 30, 2018

Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced on Thursday that it was ending its general practice of releasing pregnant women from immigration jail. Under its new policy, pregnant women will only...

March 23, 2018

This week Congress passed a $1.3 trillion bill to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year, running through September 30, 2018. Though the legislation includes record levels of...

March 20, 2018

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to their internal operations. The agency rarely discloses basic details about where their immigration detention...

March 14, 2018

Immigration enforcement has become increasingly severe, especially in the past year. Yet news coverage often merely scratches the surface of what people across the country are experiencing....

March 12, 2018

In order to effectively fight crime, law-enforcement officers must gain the trust of the communities they intend to serve. Trust encourages victims of crime, as well as potential witnesses, to...

March 7, 2018

A lawsuit challenging several California laws filed Tuesday is the U.S. Justice Department’s latest salvo in the ongoing policy and legal battle regarding “sanctuary” policies. The complaint,...

March 29, 2018
The practice of detaining pregnant women is inhumane and unsafe.
January 12, 2018
The Immigration Justice Campaign (Justice Campaign), a joint initiative between the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council (Council), and the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN), located in Westminster, Colorado, announce their partnership to increase pro bono representation for individuals in immigration detention in Colorado.
October 8, 2017
The White House released its long anticipated, "Immigration Principles and Policies," which lay out many of the already-stated aspirations of the Trump administration on immigration. The laundry list represents a wholesale attack on immigration and immigrants. It includes not only limits on immigration generally, but enables mass deportations and envisions bypassing necessary procedures that protect children and asylum seekers.
June 28, 2017
A U.S. District Court condemned the federal government for continuing to disregard critical protections for children in detention.
June 19, 2017
The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) are responding to this representation crisis with an Immigration Justice Campaign, a new initiative to prepare more lawyers to be cutting-edge defenders of immigrants facing deportatio
October 5, 2016
In accordance with a settlement reached by the parties, a federal district court dismissed a class action lawsuit which challenged U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) nationwide practice of failing to timely respond to requests for case information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
January 28, 2016

DILLEY, Texas  Seven women picked up and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in early January in widely publicized raids have made a direct and personal plea to Pre

January 13, 2016

Washington D.C. – In the last week, 121 mothers and children were brought to the South Texas Residential Family Center in Dilley, Texas, after being rounded up by Immigration and Customs Enf

January 6, 2016

Washington D.C. – Last night, the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project succeeded in halting the deportation of four Central American families apprehen

January 6, 2016

Washington, D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association 

May 1, 2018
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-...
April 24, 2018

For years, immigration enforcement officials prioritized recent border-crossers over long-time residents with U.S.-born children, clean criminal records, or other evidence of roots in the United...

April 19, 2018

In a directive dated Aug. 29, 2017, which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement only posted publicly this week, the government significantly weakened safeguards for the rights of parents during...

April 12, 2018

The largest employment crackdown in a decade was launched on April 5 at a meat-processing plant in Bean Station, a rural community outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. Nearly 100 immigrants were...

April 9, 2018

In an era of increased immigration enforcement, it is even more important to understand the ways in which some states and localities collaborate with the federal government. Recent research also...

March 30, 2018

Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced on Thursday that it was ending its general practice of releasing pregnant women from immigration jail. Under its new policy, pregnant women will only...

March 29, 2018
The practice of detaining pregnant women is inhumane and unsafe.
March 23, 2018

This week Congress passed a $1.3 trillion bill to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year, running through September 30, 2018. Though the legislation includes record levels of...

March 20, 2018

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to their internal operations. The agency rarely discloses basic details about where their immigration detention...

March 14, 2018

Immigration enforcement has become increasingly severe, especially in the past year. Yet news coverage often merely scratches the surface of what people across the country are experiencing....

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