Humanitarian Protection

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.  

All Humanitarian Protection Content

January 9, 2019
This fact sheet estimates the likely numbers of workers with TPS from these three countries, broken down by the states in which they reside and the industries in which they are employed.
September 17, 2018
Before admission to the United States, each refugee must undergo an extensive interviewing, screening, and security clearance process. They go on to contribute to our communities and our economy.
August 1, 2018
This fact sheet provides an overview of how Temporary Protected Status designations are made, what benefits TPS confers, and how TPS beneficiaries apply for and regularly renew their status.
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-...
February 3, 2017
Expedited removal is a process by which low-level immigration officers can quickly deport certain noncitizens who are undocumented or have committed fraud or misrepresentation.
May 18, 2016
First-hand accounts from Central American women and their family members reveal the dangerous and bleak circumstances of life these women and their children faced upon return to their home countries...
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...

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...
July 22, 2015

For decades, the U.S. refugee protection system has been a symbol of the nation’s generosity and openness to the world’s persecuted. Yet since Congress’ enactment of the Illegal Immigration Reform...

July 1, 2014
U.S. and regional response must realize that the majority of these children have significant protection needs.
September 18, 2018

The American Immigration Council and American Immigration Lawyers Association submitted a written statement to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and...

The American Immigration Council has filed a class action lawsuit against officials at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and U.S. Department of Homeland Security in a federal district court in New York, challenging the government’s unlawful practice of depriving certain Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders with close family relationships or employment in the United States from becoming lawful permanent residents.
February 19, 2018
In the case, Attorney General Jeff Sessions referred to himself questions related to administrative closure. This move by Sessions could signal an attempt to end administrative closure altogether—which could force over 350,000 immigrants back into immigration court, exacerbating the challenges of an already overburdened immigration court system.
March 31, 2017
The Council, with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, filed this amicus brief arguing that a grant of TPS satisfies the “admission” requirement for adjustment of status under INA § 245(a) and that, as a result, an individual who entered without inspection and later received a grant of TPS has been “admitted” and may adjust to lawful permanent resident status if otherwise eligible.
This lawsuit challenged obstacles faced by asylum-seekers in satisfying the statutory requirement that they apply for asylum within one year of entering the United States.
September 5, 2017
This Practice Advisory is designed to assist attorneys in determining whether individuals seeking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals might be eligible for immigration benefits.
December 1, 2015
The immigration courts’ unprecedented backlogs are creating procedural and substantive challenges for attorneys trying to comply with the One-Year Filing Deadline (OYFD) in asylum cases. This Practice Advisory discusses strategies and procedures for complying with the OYFD.
March 18, 2015
This Practice Advisory, updated following the issuance of Secretary Johnson’s November 20, 2014 memorandum on Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants, explains what prosecutorial discretion is, who has authority to exercise it, and how it is exercised most often in immigration cases. It also suggests ways that attorneys can influence the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion by ICE, CBP and USCIS officers.
February 5, 2014
The American Immigration Council’s Practice Advisory, Employment Authorization and Asylum: Strategies to Avoid Stopping the Asylum Clock, has been updated to reflect extensive changes to the manner in which the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) determine an asylum applicant’s eligibility for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
December 21, 2012
This Practice Advisory contains practical and legal suggestions for individuals seeking to return to the United States after they have prevailed on a petition for review or an administrative motion to reopen or reconsider to the immigration court or Board of Immigration Appeals.
March 18, 2019

More than 300,000 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders whose status was due to expire in the coming months have new reasons to be hopeful. On the legislative front, Congress proposed a new...

March 13, 2019

In recent weeks, alarming stories have surfaced indicating that thousands more children were forcibly separated from their parents at the southern border than originally thought. In response to...

March 11, 2019

Many asylum seekers who travel to the United States seeking protection often receive something much less—they are arrested by immigration officials and provided no meaningful way to challenge...

March 8, 2019

A group of drag queens—clad in feathered boas and wigs—gathered at a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas last week to protest construction of President Trump’s border wall. Lip-syncing to...

March 7, 2019

In a combative hearing before Congress on Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified for the first time since Democrats became the majority in the House...

March 4, 2019

Nothing is more delicate or worthy of comprehensive care than a newborn. Yet, over the past several weeks, detention watchdogs and public health experts have noticed an alarming uptick in the...

March 1, 2019

  Contrary to President Trump’s claim that “large-scale unlawful migration” across the southern border constitutes a “national emergency” that requires building a wall, research suggests that...

February 27, 2019

At an oversight hearing on family separation in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, government officials from four different agencies dug in against criticisms and denied any...

February 26, 2019

The Trump administration’s policy of turning back asylum seekers has been devastating, as vulnerable people are repeatedly denied access to the asylum process at ports of entry (POEs) along the U....

February 21, 2019

The Department of Homeland Security began implementing a dramatic new policy last month requiring asylum seekers to return to Mexico to await immigration court hearings. Many denounced the so-...

February 27, 2019
The Southern Poverty Law Center, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the American Immigration Council filed a motion late last week seeking information regarding possible U.S. government harassment and retaliation against the leadership of the immigrants’ rights organization Al Otro Lado.
December 20, 2018
The new policy would require many individuals seeking protection in the United States, including children and other vulnerable individuals, to remain in Mexico until their asylum claim is decided by an overwhelmingly backlogged U.S. immigration court system, potentially spending months or even years in life-threatening conditions.
December 13, 2018
A federal district court in Seattle, Washington issued an order rejecting the government’s arguments that recent asylum seekers who enter the United States without immigration status are not entitled to constitutional protections.
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.
May 7, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan announced today that the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security will be stepping up prosecutions of individuals along the southern border—likely resulting in the criminalization of asylum seekers and more family separation.
August 16, 2017
The parties in Dilley Pro Bono Project v. ICE have reached a settlement that ensures access to mental health evaluations for certain detained mothers and children seeking asylum.
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 12, 2017
A federal court in Seattle has granted nationwide class action status to a case seeking to protect the rights of thousands of asylum seekers pursuing protection from persecution in their home countries.
September 20, 2016
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), Dobrin & Han, PC, American Immigration Council, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild commend the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) for reversing course and now allowing asylum applicants to file their applications by mail or in person at an immigration court window.
March 18, 2019

More than 300,000 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders whose status was due to expire in the coming months have new reasons to be hopeful. On the legislative front, Congress proposed a new...

March 13, 2019

In recent weeks, alarming stories have surfaced indicating that thousands more children were forcibly separated from their parents at the southern border than originally thought. In response to...

March 11, 2019

Many asylum seekers who travel to the United States seeking protection often receive something much less—they are arrested by immigration officials and provided no meaningful way to challenge...

March 8, 2019

A group of drag queens—clad in feathered boas and wigs—gathered at a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas last week to protest construction of President Trump’s border wall. Lip-syncing to...

March 7, 2019

In a combative hearing before Congress on Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified for the first time since Democrats became the majority in the House...

March 4, 2019

Nothing is more delicate or worthy of comprehensive care than a newborn. Yet, over the past several weeks, detention watchdogs and public health experts have noticed an alarming uptick in the...

March 1, 2019

  Contrary to President Trump’s claim that “large-scale unlawful migration” across the southern border constitutes a “national emergency” that requires building a wall, research suggests that...

February 27, 2019

At an oversight hearing on family separation in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, government officials from four different agencies dug in against criticisms and denied any...

February 27, 2019
The Southern Poverty Law Center, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the American Immigration Council filed a motion late last week seeking information regarding possible U.S. government harassment and retaliation against the leadership of the immigrants’ rights organization Al Otro Lado.
February 26, 2019

The Trump administration’s policy of turning back asylum seekers has been devastating, as vulnerable people are repeatedly denied access to the asylum process at ports of entry (POEs) along the U....

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