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 Enforcement Content

January 7, 2022
Under the “Migrant Protection Protocols”, individuals who arrive at the southern border and ask for asylum (either at a port of entry or after crossing the border between ports of entry) are given...
December 9, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview on CBP One, a mobile app developed to streamline interaction between travelers and CBP officers at ports of entry using technology which includes GPS tracking and...
November 29, 2021
The Institutional Hearing Program permits immigration judges to conduct removal proceedings for noncitizens serving criminal sentences in certain correctional facilities.
August 23, 2021
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-...
August 2, 2021
This Council fact sheet provides an overview and analysis of border encounters and border apprehensions in 2021.
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.
March 16, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of “aggravated felonies” under federal immigration law and the immigration consequences of being convicted of an “aggravated felony.”
February 26, 2021
This fact sheet draws from original data gathered from hundreds of community-organizations around the country and provides a snapshot of the extent of available services that help migrants navigate...
January 28, 2021
This analysis of data provided by the federal government reveals that 83% of all nondetained immigrants with completed or pending removal cases attended all their hearings from 2008 to 2018.
January 26, 2021
U.S. immigration agencies use a range of programs to deport—or remove—certain noncitizens from the United States. Under the Trump administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and two of...
These FOIA requests seek records from ICE and EOIR about treatment of Haitian immigrants at the Torrance County Detention Facility in Estancia, New Mexico.
This FOIA Lawsuit seeks to compel CBP to release information about its implementation of CBP One, an app designed to streamline interactions between CBP officers and travelers, including asylum seekers, that has raised concerns amongst advocates.
This FOIA lawsuit seeks to compel DHS and ICE to disclose the weekly reports ICE was required to produce about their enforcement activities and removals pursuant to the DHS’ January 20 and February 18 memos establishing new immigration enforcement priorities.
This FOIA suit seeks to compel ICE to release information about conditions, treatment, and outcomes in eight immigration detention facilities in the U.S. South.
September 10, 2021
In the amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court of Michigan, the Council and partners reject Calhoun County's position to withhold records that otherwise would be released under the Michigan state FOIA.
This FOIA requests effort seeks records on ICE reports about its enforcement activities, whether the people arrested by ICE fit into the DHS’s enforcement priorities, and information about instances when officers pursued enforcement actions against individuals who would not be considered priorities for immigration enforcement.
August 27, 2021
The Council submitted an amicus brief explaining why ICE should release usable immigration data. The amicus brief was filed in a case where the ACLU is seeking information about how individuals are impacted by ICE enforcement practices.
August 23, 2021
This amicus brief urges the Supreme Court to stop the reinstatement of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), and halt the lower court's poorly reasoned and factually flawed decision.
August 18, 2021
This brief highlights the court's many factual errors about MPP in its decision to reinstate the program.

What is CBP One and why is it concerning?

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched a new app that can be downloaded on mobile devices called CBP One. According to the agency, CBP One...

July 11, 2019
These template materials will assist attorneys representing individuals with final removal orders issued by the Executive Office for Immigration Review.
February 27, 2019
This Practice Advisory provides legal and procedural arguments and strategies for attorneys representing noncitizens.
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.
August 1, 2017
This Practice Advisory addresses some of the legal issues that may arise when noncitizens in removal proceedings seek to suppress evidence unlawfully obtained by Customs and Border Protection officers.
November 1, 2015
This Practice Advisory discusses the impact of an interim rule repealing two former regulations which barred all “arriving aliens” from adjusting status if they are in removal proceedings. This Advisory provides a brief history leading to the rule, defines key terms, discusses the impact of the rule, and suggests steps that a parolee can take to benefit from the rule.
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.
January 21, 2014
This Practice Advisory provides background information about requesting stays of removal from the court of appeals, discusses the legal standard for obtaining a stay, and addresses the implications of the government’s policy with respect to return of individuals who are successful on their appeal.
November 20, 2013

This Practice Advisory discusses the "departure bar" to motions to reopen and arguments adopted by circuit courts that have rejected or upheld the bar.

June 1, 2008

This Practice Advisory offers a short introduction to habeas corpus, addressing when and how a petitioner may file a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the immigration context.

January 14, 2022

New leaked photos of Border Patrol stations in Yuma, Arizona show Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) inhumane treatment of people apprehended at the border— revealing that years of overcrowded...

January 12, 2022

Written by Caroline Walters and Kate Melloy Goettel  This week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two related immigration cases. Each asks whether certain noncitizens are entitled to bond...

January 11, 2022

As the border has become harder to cross over the last few years, smugglers have increasingly turned to the use of vehicles to smuggle migrants. But along with this rise has come an increase in...

January 5, 2022

National Guard troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border face a grim reality, with their deployments plagued by substance abuse problems and discontent. Eight troops have committed suicide or died...

December 17, 2021

Immigration detention and enforcement in the United States under the first year of the Biden administration has been a mixture of improvements and setbacks. The Trump administration implemented...

December 15, 2021

By Katy Murdza and Rebekah Wolf, American Immigration Council staff Collaboration between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has led to...

December 14, 2021

President Biden took office committing to unwind Trump’s border policies and go in a new direction—to reunite families, restore access to asylum, and reverse “policies enacted over the last 4...

December 3, 2021

Following months of negotiations with Mexico, the Biden administration announced that it would reinstate the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (informally known as the “Remain in Mexico”...

November 30, 2021

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) plan to collect information from more individuals before they arrive at the border has raised questions about how the agency will gather and use the...

November 18, 2021

Data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shows that the number of individuals apprehended by the Border Patrol at the U.S.-Mexico border fell by 15% from September to October,...

January 19, 2022
President Biden announced a welcoming and inclusive vision for immigration in a legislative proposal and a series of executive actions signed on his first day in office. But one year into Biden’s presidency, his promises on immigration remain unfulfilled.
January 12, 2022
Immigration advocacy groups filed a FOIA lawsuit against ICE requesting ICE’s internal records on preapproval authorizations for enforcement actions against individuals who do not meet the criteria outlined in the Biden-Harris administration’s interim enforcement priorities.
December 21, 2021
The American Immigration Council filed a FOIA lawsuit against CBP requesting information about the agency’s implementation of CBP One— an app designed to help process individuals entering the United States including asylum seekers—that has raised concerns among immigration and privacy advocates.
November 30, 2021
Immigration advocacy groups filed a FOIA lawsuit against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requesting ICE’s internal reports on enforcement activities and removals under the Biden-Harris administration’s interim enforcement priorities.
September 22, 2021
A district court judge in Washington, D.C., ruled that ICE broke the law by detaining unaccompanied children who turned 18 and “aged out” of Office of Refugee Resettlement custody. The court ordered the agency to change its practices and procedures to avoid further unlawful detentions.
August 24, 2021
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to stay a ruling from a lower Texas court that would force the Biden administration to revive the Migrant Protection Protocols.
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.
August 17, 2021
As the Biden administration begins crafting next year's budget, 131 organizations published a statement for the Biden administration outlining the top immigration priorities that must be included in the country’s budget for Fiscal Year 2023.
May 28, 2021
The Biden administration disclosed today a $54.2 billion budget request for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2022. The request is is deeply disappointing and a missed opportunity to set immigration enforcement in the United States on a new path.
March 23, 2021
The nation has turned its attention to the current situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, including the rise in immigrant children in U.S. government custody. Much of the conversation has focused on a supposed surge in arrivals under the Biden administration, but the current increase began well before President Biden took office.
January 19, 2022
President Biden announced a welcoming and inclusive vision for immigration in a legislative proposal and a series of executive actions signed on his first day in office. But one year into Biden’s presidency, his promises on immigration remain unfulfilled.
January 14, 2022

New leaked photos of Border Patrol stations in Yuma, Arizona show Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) inhumane treatment of people apprehended at the border— revealing that years of overcrowded...

January 12, 2022

Written by Caroline Walters and Kate Melloy Goettel  This week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two related immigration cases. Each asks whether certain noncitizens are entitled to bond...

January 12, 2022
Immigration advocacy groups filed a FOIA lawsuit against ICE requesting ICE’s internal records on preapproval authorizations for enforcement actions against individuals who do not meet the criteria outlined in the Biden-Harris administration’s interim enforcement priorities.
January 11, 2022

As the border has become harder to cross over the last few years, smugglers have increasingly turned to the use of vehicles to smuggle migrants. But along with this rise has come an increase in...

January 7, 2022
Under the “Migrant Protection Protocols”, individuals who arrive at the southern border and ask for asylum (either at a port of entry or after crossing the border between ports of entry) are given...
January 5, 2022

National Guard troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border face a grim reality, with their deployments plagued by substance abuse problems and discontent. Eight troops have committed suicide or died...

These FOIA requests seek records from ICE and EOIR about treatment of Haitian immigrants at the Torrance County Detention Facility in Estancia, New Mexico.
December 21, 2021
The American Immigration Council filed a FOIA lawsuit against CBP requesting information about the agency’s implementation of CBP One— an app designed to help process individuals entering the United States including asylum seekers—that has raised concerns among immigration and privacy advocates.
This FOIA Lawsuit seeks to compel CBP to release information about its implementation of CBP One, an app designed to streamline interactions between CBP officers and travelers, including asylum seekers, that has raised concerns amongst advocates.

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