Immigration 101

The immigration laws and regulations provide some avenues to apply for lawful status from within the U.S. or to seek relief from deportation.  The eligibility requirements for these benefits and relief can be stringent, and the immigration agencies often adopt overly restrictive interpretations of the requirements.  Learn about advocacy and litigation that has been and can be undertaken to ensure that noncitizens have a fair chance to apply for the benefits and relief for which they are eligible.  

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All Immigration 101 Content

October 1, 2004
Immigrants – and groups in which immigrants are a large percentage of the population, such as Latinos and Asian/Pacific Islanders (APIs) – are a growing portion of the U.S. electorate. In a closely...
June 1, 2004
The McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 ended the blanket exclusion of immigrants based on race and created the foundation for current immigration law, but imposed a racialized immigration quota system and...
May 1, 2004
Asian-Pacific migration to the United States has had a positive impact on immigration and refugee law by contributing to the demise of exclusion acts against non-whites and of the nationality-based...
December 1, 2003
In the hours following the deadly terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States government took the extraordinary step of sealing U.S. borders to traffic and trade by grounding all...
November 1, 2003
Comparisons of the mostly “minority” foreign-born and mostly “white” native-born populations that fail to account for the socioeconomic impact of ethnicity incorrectly suggest that place of birth,...
July 1, 2003
Policymakers in states from Iowa to Utah and in cities from Albuquerque to Boston have realized that immigration is a key source of long-term economic vitality, particularly in urban areas...
March 1, 2003
As American troops, including many immigrants, are now engaged in military action in Iraq, the Immigration Policy Center has updated its fact sheet about the role and participation of immigrants in...
October 1, 2002
In the aftermath of the horrific events of September 11, 2001, our leaders have begun exercising extraordinary powers to ensure our collective safety, sacrificing the personal liberties of some,...
June 1, 2002
From humble beginnings, Indian immigrants have overcome great odds to become one of the most influential communities in American society today.
March 1, 2002
A recent 2000 Census Bureau report finds an increase in foreign-born residents who are naturalized citizens. Survey data shows the foreign-born percentage of the U.S. population remains constant...
March 9, 2020

Spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, has caused panic across the United States. With the number of confirmed cases on the rise, the coronavirus has started to affect several facets of...

March 5, 2020

The Trump administration is creating a new office of attorneys tasked with stripping immigrants of their U.S. citizenship. The task force will investigate and prosecute people it suspects...

March 4, 2020

The Trump administration has worked to close the door on all types of immigrants—including people trying to come to the United States on visas. Consequently, the United States is experiencing a...

March 3, 2020

The Trump administration suffered another blow on Sunday, when a federal judge in Washington D.C. ruled that Ken Cuccinelli was unlawfully appointed to the role of acting director of U.S....

February 27, 2020

I am one of approximately 619,000 undocumented, Black immigrants living in the United States. My immigration story began at seven years old, when I came to the United States from Belize without my...

February 24, 2020

After months in the courts, the Trump administration declared victory and began enforcing its new “public charge” rule. The rule goes into effect on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, inside the United States...

February 21, 2020

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been targeting U.S. citizens’ foreign spouses when they apply for legal immigration status. Earlier this month, a federal judge in Maryland put a...

February 19, 2020

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plans to destroy thousands of records documenting horrific treatment of immigrants in the agency’s custody. The records contain vital details about...

February 12, 2020

A federal district court stopped U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from drastically changing how the agency determines when a foreign student or exchange visitor is “unlawfully...

February 5, 2020

President Trump issued the fourth travel ban of his presidency on Friday. This ban comes almost three years to the day after the first one brought thousands of protesters to airports around the...

June 4, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court found on Monday that federal courts have the authority to review certain claims from people who are seeking protection from torture. The case, Nasrallah v. Barr, is about...

May 27, 2020

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government has implemented sweeping revisions to U.S. immigration policy. Many of the changes fail to prioritize the health of immigrants or...

May 21, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says it’s running out of money, fast. In a letter to Congress, USCIS declared that the coronavirus pandemic had caused unavoidable budget...

May 20, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has affected day-to-day life for everyone, including foreign nationals who planned to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program. These...

May 18, 2020
Here’s what you should know about the treatment of noncitizens under the HEROES Act.
May 12, 2020

The U.S. government rejects an immigrant’s entire application for a visa or immigration benefit over a single blank field on a form. Applications can be rejected if a box is left unchecked or has...

April 29, 2020

In recent years, states have increasingly embraced their role in immigration by exploring and enacting policies and positions to address the needs of their communities. States are doing what they...

April 28, 2020

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) proposed rule mandating the collection of DNA from nearly all immigrants in government custody became final on April 8, 2020. For the first time in U.S. history,...

April 23, 2020

At a time when our country is united in the fight against the coronavirus, President Trump is seeking to divide us by turning to a familiar target—immigrants. The president first threatened a full...

April 14, 2020

The spread of the coronavirus has led state and local governments to issue “stay at home orders” to limit contact outside of the household. But these mandates have caused unexpected consequences...

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