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.

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All Immigration 101 Content

Last modified: 
February 27, 2024
Publication Date: 
June 29, 2022
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.
Last modified: 
February 1, 2024
Publication Date: 
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...
Last modified: 
January 19, 2024
Publication Date: 
January 19, 2024
This fact sheet provides an overview of the benefits of obtaining naturalized citizenship in the United States, as well as information about the naturalized population and those who meet the...
Last modified: 
October 31, 2023
Publication Date: 
October 31, 2023
An overview of the Biden administration's parole programs for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans (CHNV), which admit up to 30,000 people per month with the ability to live and work in the...
Last modified: 
August 2, 2023
Publication Date: 
August 1, 2023
This fact sheet looks at the population of undocumented students in higher education institutions across the country.
Cover of Refugee Report
Last modified: 
June 20, 2023
Publication Date: 
June 20, 2023
A record 100 million people around the globe were forced to flee their homes in 2022, up from 65 million in 2015. Of those displaced last year, 32.5 million were refugees who had to leave their...
Last modified: 
June 2, 2023
Publication Date: 
September 24, 2020
There are more than 23 million female immigrants in the United States, and they are a formidable presence in U.S. society and the economy.­
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January 13, 2023
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January 13, 2023
This program allows Ukrainians displaced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine to apply to come to the United States through “humanitarian parole.” Ukrainians who are granted humanitarian parole may...
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November 9, 2022
Publication Date: 
October 27, 2022
With the 2022 midterm elections on the horizon, this factsheet takes a look at the latest Current Population Survey data from 2022 and compares it to data from 2020 and 2016 in order to provide a...
Last modified: 
September 29, 2022
Publication Date: 
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.
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.
This lawsuit challenges USCIS' unreasonable delay in processing naturalization applications that were filed in 2020 and has prevented applicants from becoming U.S. citizens.
Publication Date: 
February 12, 2021
The Council submitted this declaration in support of the ACLU's defense of the Biden Administration's moratorium on deportations. This declaration explains how the removal and detention system works.
October 6, 2020

This document provides a summary of the Department of Homeland Security's September 25, 2020, Proposed Rule, "...

September 15, 2020
This new rule will increase the total number of people who are required to submit biometric data from 3.9 million currently to 6.07 million—an increase of more than 60%.
July 29, 2020

The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the House Committee on Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship for a July 29, 2020 hearing on "Oversight of U....

July 16, 2019
The statement highlights the Council’s concerns regarding systemic U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services delays in responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Recommendations that DHS promulgate new regulations that ensure more effective oversight over the issuance of detainers and better protection for those subject to detainers.

Reducing Regulatory Burden; Retrospective Review Under Executive Order 13563, 76 Fed. Reg. 13526 (Mar. 14, 2011)
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November 28, 2023
Publication Date: 
November 28, 2023
This practice advisory describes some of the common tools of statutory construction to assist practitioners in advocating for narrow definitions of generic criminal removal grounds...
Last modified: 
August 22, 2023
Publication Date: 
August 22, 2023
This practice advisory looks into the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court issued in Pugin v. Garland, 143 S. Ct. 1833 (2023). This immigration decision addressed the generic definition of the obstruction of justice aggravated felony ground at 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(S).
Last modified: 
April 17, 2023
Publication Date: 
December 16, 2022
This practice advisory explains 1) the ways to submit a FOIA request for a client’s immigration records, or A-File, 2) provides suggestions for avoiding agency rejections of the requests, and 3) identifies issues related to the Nightingale injunction that class counsel are monitoring.
Publication Date: 
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).
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...

March 8, 2024

Since its conception in 1977, International Women’s Day has evolved into a global celebration highlighting women’s achievements and the challenges they face. The holiday’s origins can be traced...

February 16, 2024

On February 9, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released data about its progress toward meeting its strategic goals in fiscal year (FY) 2023. For the first time in years, the...

February 9, 2024

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) finalized its long-awaited fee rule on January 31, which impacts the filing costs for almost all the agency’s applications. The new fees will take...

February 9, 2024

By Karen Aho and Quinn Bankson Black immigrants not only contribute to America’s rich political and cultural history—think rapper Wyclef Jean, U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, or basketball’s Hakeem...

January 26, 2024

Amid inaction from the federal government on immigration policy and growing calls for action from localities, some state legislatures are taking a proactive role in welcoming immigrants and...

April 4, 2024
Immigrants play a crucial role in the labor force in southern Maine, according to data in a new report.
February 26, 2024
A new research report by the American Immigration Council underscores the crucial role immigrants play in the Houston area’s economy, finding that immigrants paid $16 billion in taxes and exceeded $50 billion in spending power in 2021.
October 13, 2023
A federal court in California denied a preliminary injunction in a legal challenge to the Biden administration’s policy of turning back asylum seekers who request protection without first obtaining an appointment via the government’s CBP One smartphone app.
August 29, 2023
In an annual review of the most successful companies in the United States, the American Immigration Council unveiled today (August 29, 2023) a report that sheds light on the contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs and their children to the U.S. economy.
February 3, 2023
The American Immigration Council reports underscore the key role of immigrant healthcare workforces of Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
November 29, 2022
In response to the Supreme Court of the United States hearing oral arguments in the case, U.S. v. Texas -- a dispute over the Biden Administration’s authority to set immigration policy, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council (AIC) have issued the following statement.
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.
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.
June 12, 2018
Through analysis of data from the decennial census and administrative data from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, this special report examines the earnings gains over time of all immigrants, as well as the earnings gains experienced by family-based immigrants compared to employment-based immigrants.
September 21, 2016
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) immigration report takes a comprehensive look at the fiscal and economic impact of immigration.
April 4, 2024
Immigrants play a crucial role in the labor force in southern Maine, according to data in a new report.
Last modified: 
March 7, 2024
Publication Date: 
March 7, 2024
The American Immigration Council appeared before Congress to discuss the need for Congress to overhaul the asylum system.
Last modified: 
February 27, 2024
Publication Date: 
June 29, 2022
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.
February 26, 2024
A new research report by the American Immigration Council underscores the crucial role immigrants play in the Houston area’s economy, finding that immigrants paid $16 billion in taxes and exceeded $50 billion in spending power in 2021.
Last modified: 
February 1, 2024
Publication Date: 
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...
Last modified: 
January 19, 2024
Publication Date: 
January 19, 2024
This fact sheet provides an overview of the benefits of obtaining naturalized citizenship in the United States, as well as information about the naturalized population and those who meet the...
Last modified: 
November 28, 2023
Publication Date: 
November 28, 2023
This practice advisory describes some of the common tools of statutory construction to assist practitioners in advocating for narrow definitions of generic criminal removal grounds...
Last modified: 
November 7, 2023
Publication Date: 
November 7, 2023
The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association submitted this comment in support of the proposed rule, "Appellate Procedures and Decisional Finality in Immigration...
Last modified: 
October 31, 2023
Publication Date: 
October 31, 2023
An overview of the Biden administration's parole programs for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans (CHNV), which admit up to 30,000 people per month with the ability to live and work in the...
October 13, 2023
A federal court in California denied a preliminary injunction in a legal challenge to the Biden administration’s policy of turning back asylum seekers who request protection without first obtaining an appointment via the government’s CBP One smartphone app.

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