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.

Recent Features

All Immigration 101 Content

July 1, 2019
To better understand the changing interior enforcement trends under the Trump administration, this report analyzes individual-level data on immigration enforcement outcomes.
May 21, 2019
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.
June 11, 2018
Some confusion exists regarding the economic aspects of family-based immigration. To help unpack those aspects, this report focuses on one of them—namely, the earnings of family-based immigrants.
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...
November 13, 2017
This fact sheet provides an overview of the diversity visa program, the requirements and security checks currently in place, and demographic information about recipients.
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...
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 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.
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.
July 16, 2019
The statement highlights the Council’s concerns regarding systemic U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services delays in responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Recommendations that DHS promulgate new regulations that ensure more effective oversight over the issuance of detainers and better protection for those subject to detainers.

Reducing Regulatory Burden; Retrospective Review Under Executive Order 13563, 76 Fed. Reg. 13526 (Mar. 14, 2011)
February 13, 2017
This Practice Advisory provides a broad overview of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including how to make a FOIA request and how to appeal an inadequate response. It discusses the...
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).
July 17, 2019

Despite losing at the Supreme Court, the Trump administration still managed to ask nearly a quarter of a million U.S. households about the citizenship status of their household members. That’s...

July 11, 2019

Hosting foreign students is a vital way the United States builds better relations with other countries. Many foreign students go on to become government, business, and academic leaders in their...

June 28, 2019

In a rebuke to the Trump administration, the Supreme Court ruled against adding a question on citizenship to the 2020 U.S. Census form—for now. Critics feared the question may discourage immigrant...

June 24, 2019

The American Immigration Council is proud to announce the winner of the 22nd Annual Celebrate America Fifth Grade Creative Writing Contest. The contest encourages educators to incorporate lessons...

June 21, 2019

Undocumented flows are declining, more people are coming from Central America and Asia, and more arrive on valid visas.

The post...

June 14, 2019

Over 12.3 million Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) immigrants live in the United States, placing them among the fastest-growing racial groups in the country. Between 2010 and 2017, the...

June 13, 2019

The U.S. State Department announced a new rule last week that changes the Diversity Visa Program, a lottery system that grants 50,000 foreign nationals the opportunity to apply for an immigrant...

June 7, 2019

Applications for permanent residence and other immigration benefits are taking longer than ever to process. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency responsible for...

April 30, 2019
A new report by the American Immigration Council finds that Americans’ attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants are, among other factors, deeply related to their personal values and to the type of contact they have with immigrants in their daily lives.
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.
October 30, 2018
President Donald Trump said yesterday in an interview that he plans to sign an executive order to eliminate birthright citizenship, a principle enshrined in the U.S. Constitution that grants citizenship to any person born within the territory of the United States.
June 12, 2018
Through analysis of data from the decennial census and administrative data from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, this special report examines the earnings gains over time of all immigrants, as well as the earnings gains experienced by family-based immigrants compared to employment-based immigrants.
September 21, 2016
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) immigration report takes a comprehensive look at the fiscal and economic impact of immigration.
July 21, 2015

Washington D.C.

May 15, 2014

Washington D.C. - Understanding the complexities of immigration law and its intersection with criminal law is not easy.

March 31, 2014

Washington D.C. – Today the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a new report that makes a range of false claims about deportation data.

July 17, 2019

Despite losing at the Supreme Court, the Trump administration still managed to ask nearly a quarter of a million U.S. households about the citizenship status of their household members. That’s...

July 16, 2019
The statement highlights the Council’s concerns regarding systemic U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services delays in responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
July 11, 2019

Hosting foreign students is a vital way the United States builds better relations with other countries. Many foreign students go on to become government, business, and academic leaders in their...

July 1, 2019
To better understand the changing interior enforcement trends under the Trump administration, this report analyzes individual-level data on immigration enforcement outcomes.
June 28, 2019

In a rebuke to the Trump administration, the Supreme Court ruled against adding a question on citizenship to the 2020 U.S. Census form—for now. Critics feared the question may discourage immigrant...

June 24, 2019

The American Immigration Council is proud to announce the winner of the 22nd Annual Celebrate America Fifth Grade Creative Writing Contest. The contest encourages educators to incorporate lessons...

June 21, 2019

Undocumented flows are declining, more people are coming from Central America and Asia, and more arrive on valid visas.

The post...

June 14, 2019

Over 12.3 million Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) immigrants live in the United States, placing them among the fastest-growing racial groups in the country. Between 2010 and 2017, the...

June 13, 2019

The U.S. State Department announced a new rule last week that changes the Diversity Visa Program, a lottery system that grants 50,000 foreign nationals the opportunity to apply for an immigrant...

June 7, 2019

Applications for permanent residence and other immigration benefits are taking longer than ever to process. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency responsible for...

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