Enforcement

The enforcement of immigration laws is a complex and hotly-debated topic. Learn more about the costs of immigration enforcement and the ways in which the U.S. can enforce our immigration laws humanely and in a manner that ensures due process.

Recent Features

All Enforcement Content

Publication Date: 
December 21, 2016
Too often, some or all of a detainee’s belongings are lost, destroyed, or stolen by the immigration-enforcement agents entrusted with their care.
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August 31, 2016
This report examines what happens when “family detention” does not actually keep loved ones together and profiles the experiences of five asylum-seeking families who are divided by detention.
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August 18, 2016
This report reveals that individuals are frequently held for days and sometimes even months in holding cells in Border Patrol sectors along the U.S.’ southwest border.
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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...
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May 16, 2016

Over the past few years, thousands of children—many fleeing horrific levels of violence in Central America—have arrived at the U.S. border in need of protection. Most children are placed in...

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December 17, 2015
These accounts reveal the dehumanizing conditions to which these women were subjected while in Border Patrol custody.
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November 1, 2015
This examination of the Criminal Alien Program's outcomes from fiscal years 2010 to 2013 offers important insights into CAP’s operations over time and its potential impact on communities moving...
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October 10, 2015
The term “sanctuary city” is often used incorrectly to describe trust acts or community policing policies that limit entanglement between local police and federal immigration authorities. Here are...
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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...

Publication Date: 
June 10, 2015

Each year, the Border Patrol, a division of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), holds hundreds of thousands of people in detention facilities near the southern border that are...

The Council filed multiple Freedom of Information Act requests to unearth the systems that the government uses in immigration enforcement and the data it collects.
The Council and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality have launched an investigation into the abusive practices of CBP officers and cooperation with local law enforcement in Ohio.
Publication Date: 
February 26, 2021
In the amicus brief, the Council and partners reject Calhoun County's position to withhold records that otherwise would be released under the Michigan state FOIA.
This Freedom of Information Act lawsuit calls on CBP to release records documenting the agency’s aggressive and militarized response to the provision of humanitarian aid.
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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.
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October 22, 2020
The brief argues that DHS’ service practices for MPP tear sheets deny respondents their statutory right to notice of the time and place of their removal proceedings, their statutory right to a full and fair hearing, and, consequently, due process of law.
This Freedom of Information Act request seeks to uncover Customs and Border Protection’s actions and further expose its militarized response to the provision of humanitarian aid.
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%.
This request would show whether CBP is violating statutory protections intended for these youth.
Publication Date: 
August 7, 2020
In the amicus brief, the Council and partners documented the reliance on these records by researchers and advocates to monitor and expose troubling practices.
August 9, 2023

The Biden administration has officially reinstated its enforcement guidelines for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The move comes after the Supreme Court reaffirmed the federal...

July 28, 2023

On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that the Biden administration’s asylum transit ban was illegal and should be vacated. The ruling isn’t in effect yet – it was delayed for 14 days and may be...

July 21, 2023

“I never thought I’d say there’s anything worse than ICE custody, but this is it.” That’s an immigration attorney in San Diego talking to CNN about the shelter facilities run by U.S. Customs and...

July 19, 2023

At the direction of Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida has made it a felony to transport a person into the state who hasn’t been inspected by immigration authorities. Effective July 1, driving a broad...

July 14, 2023

“If I spoke too loudly, solitary. If I climbed on top of a table to get a guard’s attention, solitary. If I had suicidal thoughts, solitary. When the guards would tease me about being deported...

June 29, 2023

The end of the COVID-19 public health emergency back in May meant an end to Title 42. That policy, grounded in an obscure public health law, was put in place by the Trump administration in March...

June 27, 2023

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in U.S. v. Texas, which allows the Biden administration to resume its implementation of guidelines for immigration enforcement within the...

June 15, 2023

Florida officials think the federal government must detain everyone – or virtually everyone – who arrives at the U.S.-Mexico border without a visa. And it is using the courts to try to make that...

June 15, 2023

Over the last two years, the House GOP has become increasingly vocal about their disagreements with the Biden administration on immigration and border policy. In recent weeks, this disagreement...

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.
September 30, 2022
The warden of a privately run detention facility in West Texas Center—which very recently held detained individuals for U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement—was arrested and charged with manslaughter for shooting two migrants, killing one, in Sierra Blanca, Texas
July 11, 2022
New research on released today by the American Immigration Council–in partnership with the Texas Association of Business and the Texas Business Leadership Council–underscores the crucial role immigrants in Texas play in some of the state’s fastest growing and most in demand fields.
June 30, 2022
The U.S. Supreme Court allows the Biden administration’s efforts to terminate the Migrant Protection Protocols—an illegal Trump-era policy that sent thousands of people seeking humanitarian protection to dangerous areas of Mexico to await their asylum hearings.
March 25, 2022
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it will close or scale back four detention facilities over concerns about conditions at those centers.
March 18, 2022
In a damning report citing unsafe and unsanitary conditions at the Torrance County Detention Facility in New Mexico released today by DHS's oversight body urged ICE to immediately remove and relocate people detained at the ICE immigration detention center located in Estancia, New Mexico.
January 19, 2022
President Biden announced a welcoming and inclusive vision for immigration in a legislative proposal and a series of executive actions signed on his first day in office. But one year into Biden’s presidency, his promises on immigration remain unfulfilled.
January 12, 2022
Immigration advocacy groups filed a FOIA lawsuit against ICE requesting ICE’s internal records on preapproval authorizations for enforcement actions against individuals who do not meet the criteria outlined in the Biden-Harris administration’s interim enforcement priorities.
December 21, 2021
The American Immigration Council filed a FOIA lawsuit against CBP requesting information about the agency’s implementation of CBP One— an app designed to help process individuals entering the United States including asylum seekers—that has raised concerns among immigration and privacy advocates.
November 30, 2021
Immigration advocacy groups filed a FOIA lawsuit against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requesting ICE’s internal reports on enforcement activities and removals under the Biden-Harris administration’s interim enforcement priorities.
Protestors raise their hands in solidarity outside of the Fifth Police Precinct in Minneapolis in response to the death of George Floyd
Our new, joint report shows that CBP often got involved in policing protests without being asked by city or state officials, and that its actions went beyond its supposed mandate to protect federal property.
September 19, 2023

The American Immigration Council joined 45 other organizations in calling on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Citizenship and...

Last modified: 
September 7, 2023
Publication Date: 
September 7, 2023
The Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association comment on DHS's Interim Final Rule on its plan to electronically serve bond-related notifications to obligors to release immigration...
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).
August 10, 2023
El miércoles, un grupo de solicitantes de asilo presentó una petición para bloquear la política ilegal de la administración Biden de rechazar a las personas que buscan asilo en los puertos de entrada a lo largo de la frontera con Estados Unidos.
August 10, 2023
On Wednesday a group of asylum seekers moved to block the Biden administration’s unlawful policy of turning back people seeking asylum at ports of entry along the southern border.
August 8, 2023
Legal organization filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to block Section 10 of Florida’s draconian anti-immigrant law, Senate Bill 1718.
This lawsuit challenges the federal government’s border-wide policy and practice of turning back asylum seekers without a CBP One appointment at ports of entry.
This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeks information on a $10 million appropriation made to improve legal access in detention.
July 17, 2023
Legal organizations filed a federal lawsuit challenging Florida’s new anti-immigrant law, Senate Bill 1718.

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