Immigration 101

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.

Recent Features

All Immigration 101 Content

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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.”
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February 18, 2021
Understanding how deeply we hold our immigration stances may matter as much as what our stances are.
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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...
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June 18, 2020
The Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) initially brought scholars to the United States to teach or conduct research. Today, there are 14 categories of programs through which EVP participants can teach,...
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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.
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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.
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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...
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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.
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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...
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March 21, 2017
This fact sheet explains detainers, how they are used by federal and local enforcement, and the impact they have on immigrants.
September 5, 2023

On August 24, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a new update to its policy manual clarifying a previous policy change aimed at expanding green card eligibility...

August 25, 2023

When the Trump administration proposed an overhaul of federal policy regarding when immigrants could be denied green cards or visas based on use of public benefits – the public charge rule – it...

July 31, 2023

With most state legislatures having adjourned for the year, states—once again—continue to lead the way for welcoming immigrants and refugees. The American Immigration Council tracked over 1,000...

July 26, 2023

In June, the Canadian immigration minister announced a new initiative to attract high-tech talent to Canada — from the United States. The Tech Talent Strategy targets foreign-born workers who have...

July 18, 2023

Written by 5th grade student Lillie Villezcas of Nevada  3 I am number 3, but how does number 3 apply to me? I am third generation of an immigrant family, third generation of fading traditions and...

July 5, 2023

In a split decision issued on June 22, the Supreme Court ruled against two noncitizens seeking to overturn agency findings that their state criminal convictions qualified as “aggravated felonies...

June 12, 2023

Immigrants—many of whom are women—make up a significant portion of the U.S. population. In 2021, 23.2 million lived in the United States, outnumbering immigrant men, according to recent analysis...

May 17, 2023

Each May, the United States recognizes the influence and contributions of Asian and Pacific Islanders during AAPI Heritage Month. It also serves as a time to reflect on the many differences among...

May 5, 2023

Written by Bella Wexler, Communications Fellow at the American Immigration Council. As of 2023, Arizona remains the only state with English-only education legislation still in effect. Its law—...

March 21, 2023

On March 8, a Florida court blocked the Biden administration from using a key border program referred to as Parole plus Alternative to Detention (Parole + ATD). The court’s decision vacated the...

March 30, 2010

Washington D.C. - This Sunday, the editorial pages of the Washington Post included a

The requested records will shed light on CBP's practices with respect to granting and extending humanitarian parole and the agency's determinations regarding which addresses to include on immigration paperwork.
October 4, 2022
The data interactive, “The Changing Demographics of the Electorate at a State Level,” highlights the changes in the demographics of eligible voters in every state now compared to 2016, broken down by gender, age, and ethnicity.
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September 29, 2022
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October 4, 2022
With the 2022 midterm elections on the horizon, our interactive map uses data to show which states’ electorates are changing most rapidly.
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July 11, 2022
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July 11, 2022

New research from the American Immigration Council, The Economic Contributions of Immigrants in Texas, highlights the crucial role of immigrants in the state’s workforce across the manufacturing,...

This lawsuit challenges USCIS' unreasonable delay in processing naturalization applications that were filed in 2020 and has prevented applicants from becoming U.S. citizens.
April 26, 2024

On April 19, forty minutes after the ostensible deadline to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Congress passed H.R. 7888, the Reforming Intelligence and...

April 23, 2024

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently announced its revision of the race and ethnicity question on federal surveys, including the U.S. census, adding “Middle Eastern or...

April 15, 2024

Without fail, each Tax Day a prevalent myth resurfaces that conceals the truth about immigrants’ contributions to federal, state, and local taxes. Bolstered by social media and other outlets, it...

April 9, 2024

President Biden signed the final 6-bill “minibus” funding package for fiscal year (FY) 2024 on March 23, which includes funding for the agencies that implement our immigration laws. This was the...

March 15, 2024

By Tsion Gurmu, Legal Director at the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Raul Pinto, Deputy Legal Director of Transparency The main way in which the public can access information about what...

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