Immigration 101

While updating our immigration system has been a slow process, over the last decade, there have been efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation and the DREAM Act. Other reform efforts include executive actions such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). Learn more about the ways America can upgrade its immigration system.

Recent Features

All Immigration 101 Content

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.
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...
September 23, 2014
Together, New Americans, Latinos, and APIs are the fastest growing segments of the electorate. In the coming years, politicians who alienate these voters will find it increasingly difficult to win...
August 19, 2014
Unauthorized immigrants include adults and children, mothers and fathers, homeowners and people of faith, most of whom are invested in their communities.
September 3, 2013
This analysis of immigration trends and the demographic composition of U.S. House districts shows that numerous congressional districts have emerging electorates who have many reasons to care deeply...
July 29, 2013
Despite significant public support for immigration reform among members of the public in both parties, many of the most basic facts about immigrants and immigration remain misunderstood.
June 19, 2013
One of the themes that emerged from the Senate Judiciary Committee mark up of the 2013 Senate immigration bill was the necessity of avoiding the mistakes of the past. In the context of legalization...
April 29, 2013
Today in the United States, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Americans who fall in love with and marry foreign nationals are being asked to choose between country and spouse, country...
August 18, 2021

Across centuries, Afghanistan has been a nation unconquerable. From the conquest of Alexander the Great to the United States military, insurgent forces have beat back the offensive from some of...

August 5, 2021

It is unquestionable that technology creates efficiencies. But efficiency should not come at the total expense of privacy. A new app from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) toes that line...

July 6, 2021

Backlogs, processing delays, and revenue shortfalls are nothing new at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The agency has long suffered from severe structural problems that hurt...

June 16, 2021

Twice each year, the federal government publishes a “regulatory agenda,” a preview of all the proposals that are in the pipeline to become federal regulations. Last week, the Biden administration...

June 14, 2021

The Supreme Court issued a decision last Thursday in a criminal case that will have an immediate impact on immigration law. The new decision set a limit on the types of crime that can be...

June 1, 2021

President Biden released the first budget proposal of his presidency on May 29, a landmark for any new president. A presidential budget generally reflects the goals of the administration and can...

May 18, 2021

President Biden revoked a proclamation issued by former President Trump in 2019 that required nearly all prospective immigrants to demonstrate that they would be covered by private health...

May 11, 2021

Birth rates are falling in the United States at the same time more Americans are reaching retirement age. Together, these two trends present enormous economic challenges for the nation. A growing...

April 7, 2021

Since the start of the pandemic, many immigrants have been left out of federal COVID-19 relief packages. Both undocumented immigrants and some people in mixed-status households have been excluded...

April 2, 2021

Over the last two months, the Biden administration has been pressured to carry out another crackdown at the border as the number of arriving families and children rise. But officials making these...

September 9, 2021

Proposed legislation in California that would further limit the state’s involvement in immigration detention has made progress toward becoming law. The VISION Act would prevent transfers to U.S....

August 31, 2021

The Biden administration predicts that it will fail to issue many of the legal permanent resident visas—also known as green cards—allotted this year for immigrants who have been sponsored by a U.S...

August 25, 2021

For the second year in a row, many winners of the diversity visa lottery face the prospect of losing their chance to come to the United States because the federal government can’t—or won’t—issue...

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 20, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of Documented Dreamers, explains how they can age out of immigration status at 21, and summarizes the current federal legislative proposals to protect them from...
August 18, 2021

Demographers have known for decades that the United States is well on its way to becoming a predominantly multi-racial and multi-ethnic society. New data from the 2020 Census reveals how rapidly...

August 18, 2021

Across centuries, Afghanistan has been a nation unconquerable. From the conquest of Alexander the Great to the United States military, insurgent forces have beat back the offensive from some of...

August 5, 2021

It is unquestionable that technology creates efficiencies. But efficiency should not come at the total expense of privacy. A new app from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) toes that line...

August 2, 2021
This fact sheet from the Council provides an overview of how current immigration law allows certain undocumented immigrants to become Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) without first having to leave...

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