Humanitarian Protection

The U.S. immigration system is complex and can be difficult to understand. These resources provide key data points, historical information, and background on hot topics in immigration. Learn the basics about immigration.

All Humanitarian Protection Content

January 10, 2020
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-...
July 22, 2019
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 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.
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.
August 16, 2018
This report presents findings from the first empirical analysis of asylum adjudication in family detention. Drawing on government data from over 18,000 immigration court proceedings initiated between...
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.
The Migrant Protection Protocols—also known as Remain in Mexico—raises alarming safety and due process questions. However, the government has kept information on how the program is being implemented.

The American Immigration Council filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS) seeking information regarding the...

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.
December 13, 2019
This Practice Advisory provides immigration attorneys with arguments as to why USCIS’ and ICE trial attorneys’ interpretation of the relevance of MTINA is wrong.
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.
January 17, 2020

Asylum seekers subject to the Migrant Protection Protocols—or the “Remain in Mexico” program—in Laredo and Brownsville, Texas attend their court hearings in tents known as “port courts.” The...

January 13, 2020

People who come to the United States in search of protection must be allowed to work during the often-lengthy asylum application process. They need to be able to support themselves and their...

January 8, 2020

In yet another move to gut asylum protections in the United States, the Trump administration proposed a rule last month that would add severe new restrictions on asylum access. The restrictions...

January 7, 2020

Update: On January 15, federal Judge Peter Messitte issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the Trump administration from enforcing its executive order giving state and local...

December 4, 2019

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—the agency responsible for systematically separating thousands of migrant families in the summer of 2018—lacked the technology or mechanisms to record and...

November 25, 2019

Over the last decade, the remains of more than 1,600 people have been found in the Arizona desert. Groups like No More Deaths, whose mission is “ending death and suffering in the U.S.-Mexico...

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...

November 18, 2019

Nearly 60,000 people seeking asylum in the United States have been returned to Mexico to wait for their U.S. court hearings under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the Remain...

November 14, 2019

In a new proposal officially put forward on Thursday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) called for major fee hikes for immigration-related applications. The cost for becoming a...

November 7, 2019

The Trump administration is proposing a new rule that would delay work authorization for people seeking asylum in the United States. The move is drawing opposition from advocates across the...

November 20, 2019
The Trump administration published a new rule that seeks to implement safe third country agreements that the United States entered into with Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador—and bar many individuals seeking protection in the United States from being able to apply for asylum.
October 2, 2019
The American Immigration Council and Tahirih Justice Center filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in federal court to compel the government to release records about the Trump administration’s troubling new practice of allowing U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to screen individuals seeking asylum in the United States. The lawsuit seeks these documents to shed light on changes to the asylum screening process, CBP’s role in conducting interviews and making determinations regarding an asylum seeker’s “credible fear” of persecution, and the measures taken by CBP, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Department of Homeland Security to implement this new practice.
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.
July 20, 2016

Washington, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council welcome plans announced by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the release

July 1, 2016
The U.S. Government has placed unnecessary hurdles in front of asylum seekers who are attempting to file asylum applications within the required time period.
February 8, 2016

Washington D.C. – After being held in detention for more than a month by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), eight of the families

January 17, 2020

Asylum seekers subject to the Migrant Protection Protocols—or the “Remain in Mexico” program—in Laredo and Brownsville, Texas attend their court hearings in tents known as “port courts.” The...

January 13, 2020

People who come to the United States in search of protection must be allowed to work during the often-lengthy asylum application process. They need to be able to support themselves and their...

January 10, 2020
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-...
January 8, 2020

In yet another move to gut asylum protections in the United States, the Trump administration proposed a rule last month that would add severe new restrictions on asylum access. The restrictions...

January 7, 2020

Update: On January 15, federal Judge Peter Messitte issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the Trump administration from enforcing its executive order giving state and local...

The Migrant Protection Protocols—also known as Remain in Mexico—raises alarming safety and due process questions. However, the government has kept information on how the program is being implemented.
December 13, 2019
This Practice Advisory provides immigration attorneys with arguments as to why USCIS’ and ICE trial attorneys’ interpretation of the relevance of MTINA is wrong.
December 4, 2019

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—the agency responsible for systematically separating thousands of migrant families in the summer of 2018—lacked the technology or mechanisms to record and...

November 25, 2019

Over the last decade, the remains of more than 1,600 people have been found in the Arizona desert. Groups like No More Deaths, whose mission is “ending death and suffering in the U.S.-Mexico...

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...

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