Humanitarian Protection

Our legal system rests upon the principle that everyone is entitled to due process of law and a meaningful opportunity to be heard. But for far too long, the immigration system has failed to provide noncitizens with a system of justice that lives up to this standard. Learn about ways in which the immigration system could ensure that all noncitizens have a fair day in court.  

All Humanitarian Protection Content

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...
October 6, 2020
This fact sheet provides an overview of withholding of removal, including the basics of seeking protection in the United States, eligibility requirements, the application process, and data on...
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.
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...

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.
January 7, 2022

As the United States hastily withdrew its military presence from Afghanistan in August 2021, it began Operation Allies Welcome, a program designed to assist the tens of thousands of Afghans who...

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...

November 12, 2021

U.S. workers are losing their jobs due to bureaucratic delays at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), despite an economy desperate for workers. Asylum seekers wanting to renew their...

November 9, 2021

Since President Biden took office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have released over 250,000 people seeking asylum directly at the border. In nearly half of these cases, people...

October 18, 2021

Two months after a federal court ordered the Biden administration to reinstate the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols (also known as “Remain in Mexico”), the administration announced that it...

October 8, 2021

In September, nearly 15,000 Haitians arrived near Del Rio, Texas seeking asylum in the United States. But rather than allowing them to seek protection, as is their right under United States law,...

September 24, 2021

Shocking images have emerged of Border Patrol officers on horseback charging toward Haitian immigrants in and around the border town of Del Rio, Texas. Thousands of Haitians have come to our...

September 22, 2021

The Departments of State and Homeland Security announced recently that they will be accepting new applications for the Central American Minors (CAM) Program, created to process immigrant children...

September 21, 2021

Roughly 14,000 Haitians arrived at the border across from Del Rio, Texas in mid-September and walked across the Rio Grande to seek asylum. Many first left Haiti in 2010 following a devastating...

September 7, 2021

A federal court concluded Thursday that the U.S. government’s turning back of asylum seekers at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border—primarily through a practice called metering—not only...

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 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

March 17, 2022
This new fact sheet provides an overview of the wide range of programs that provide alternatives to detention (ATDs) and run the gamut from no governmental intervention to extensive surveillance and...
This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeks to uncover information about how the humanitarian parole process and refugee program is working with respect to Afghan nationals.
March 4, 2022
This Council fact sheet provides an overview and analysis of border encounters and border apprehensions in 2021.
March 3, 2022
This fact sheet provides a demographic overview of the population of Ukrainians in the United States who may qualify for TPS, and what benefits TPS would confer upon those individuals.
March 2, 2022

In February, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reversed Trump administration guidance that limited recognition of marriages performed abroad only to those considered “valid” in the...

February 28, 2022
The Council joined 134 other organizations in a letter calling on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Executive Office for Immigration Review to rescind the “Security Bars and...
February 25, 2022
The American Immigration Council joined 177 organizations to request an immediate 18-month designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and Special Student...
February 15, 2022
The American Immigration Council joined over 200 organizations in calling on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to create a designated parole...
February 9, 2022

A federal court issued a decision on February 7 invalidating two Trump-era regulations that restricted access to work permits for asylum seekers. In her decision, Judge Beryl Howell of the...

January 21, 2022

The State Department announced a new rule that will waive fees for visa applicants who were denied because of the Muslim and refugee ban. Under the new rule, an immigrant visa applicant who has an...

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