Humanitarian Protection

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.

All Humanitarian Protection Content

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February 26, 2021
This fact sheet draws from original data gathered from hundreds of community-organizations around the country and provides a snapshot of the extent of available services that help migrants navigate...
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January 28, 2021
This analysis of data provided by the federal government reveals that 83% of all nondetained immigrants with completed or pending removal cases attended all their hearings from 2008 to 2018.
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January 26, 2021
U.S. immigration agencies use a range of programs to deport—or remove—certain noncitizens from the United States. Under the Trump administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and two of...
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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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July 22, 2019
Expedited removal is a process by which low-level immigration officers can quickly deport certain noncitizens who are undocumented or have committed fraud or misrepresentation.
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January 9, 2019
This fact sheet estimates the likely numbers of workers with TPS from these three countries, broken down by the states in which they reside and the industries in which they are employed.
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August 16, 2018
This report presents findings from the first empirical analysis of asylum adjudication in family detention. Drawing on government data from over 18,000 immigration court proceedings initiated between...
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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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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...

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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...

The American Immigration Council filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS) seeking information regarding the...

September 18, 2018

The American Immigration Council and American Immigration Lawyers Association submitted a written statement to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and...

The American Immigration Council has filed a class action lawsuit against officials at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and U.S. Department of Homeland Security in a federal district court in New York, challenging the government’s unlawful practice of depriving certain Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders with close family relationships or employment in the United States from becoming lawful permanent residents.
February 19, 2018
In the case, Attorney General Jeff Sessions referred to himself questions related to administrative closure. This move by Sessions could signal an attempt to end administrative closure altogether—which could force over 350,000 immigrants back into immigration court, exacerbating the challenges of an already overburdened immigration court system.
March 31, 2017
The Council, with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, filed this amicus brief arguing that a grant of TPS satisfies the “admission” requirement for adjustment of status under INA § 245(a) and that, as a result, an individual who entered without inspection and later received a grant of TPS has been “admitted” and may adjust to lawful permanent resident status if otherwise eligible.
This lawsuit challenged obstacles faced by asylum-seekers in satisfying the statutory requirement that they apply for asylum within one year of entering the United States.
April 27, 2022

The Biden administration announced a special parole program for Ukrainians that began April 25. The Uniting for Ukraine program is a first step toward the administration’s commitment to welcoming...

April 26, 2022

Over three years after the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) went into effect, the Supreme Court finally heard oral arguments in a case about the program, also known as the “Remain in Mexico”...

April 21, 2022

Immigration law requires that asylum seekers file applications for asylum within one year of last entering the United States. Filing after one year can be the sole reason the U.S. government...

April 6, 2022

At the beginning of March 2022, as millions of Ukrainians were being displaced by Russian invasion, the U.S. government announced a series of policy changes to assist some of the people impacted...

March 25, 2022

The Biden administration finalized its long-anticipated plan for overhauling the asylum system on March 24. The regulation, which is set to go into effect on an interim basis in 60 days, was first...

March 17, 2022

The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in August 2021—as the country’s government was overtaken by the Taliban—led to the chaotic evacuation of thousands of Afghan nationals. The tragic...

March 2, 2022

In February, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reversed Trump administration guidance that limited recognition of marriages performed abroad only to those considered “valid” in the...

February 9, 2022

A federal court issued a decision on February 7 invalidating two Trump-era regulations that restricted access to work permits for asylum seekers. In her decision, Judge Beryl Howell of the...

January 21, 2022

The State Department announced a new rule that will waive fees for visa applicants who were denied because of the Muslim and refugee ban. Under the new rule, an immigrant visa applicant who has an...

January 14, 2022

New leaked photos of Border Patrol stations in Yuma, Arizona show Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) inhumane treatment of people apprehended at the border— revealing that years of overcrowded...

June 16, 2021
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced today that he is restoring a vital lifeline to victims of severe domestic violence, gang violence, and violence on account of family relationships.
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.
January 7, 2021
Immigrant rights advocates moved for a temporary restraining order to block the Trump administration’s latest attempt to circumvent an earlier court order prohibiting the government from applying an asylum ban to people whom U.S. Customs and Border Protection had previously turned away from ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border.
February 19, 2020
A federal court ordered U.S. Customs and Border Protection to overhaul the way the agency detains people in its custody in the Tucson Sector. The court found that the conditions in CBP holding cells, especially those that preclude sleep over several nights, are presumptively punitive and violate the U.S. Constitution.
November 20, 2019
The Trump administration published a new rule that seeks to implement safe third country agreements that the United States entered into with Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador—and bar many individuals seeking protection in the United States from being able to apply for asylum.
October 2, 2019
The American Immigration Council and Tahirih Justice Center filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in federal court to compel the government to release records about the Trump administration’s troubling new practice of allowing U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to screen individuals seeking asylum in the United States. The lawsuit seeks these documents to shed light on changes to the asylum screening process, CBP’s role in conducting interviews and making determinations regarding an asylum seeker’s “credible fear” of persecution, and the measures taken by CBP, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Department of Homeland Security to implement this new practice.
May 7, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan announced today that the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security will be stepping up prosecutions of individuals along the southern border—likely resulting in the criminalization of asylum seekers and more family separation.
August 16, 2017
The parties in Dilley Pro Bono Project v. ICE have reached a settlement that ensures access to mental health evaluations for certain detained mothers and children seeking asylum.
January 27, 2017
These actions will isolate America and make us all party to blatant and bigoted religious targeting. These actions also ignore the multi-layered processes the government already uses to screen and vet those seeking entry to the U.S., whether as a refugee, on a tourist visa, or another visa permitting entry.
January 12, 2017
A federal court in Seattle has granted nationwide class action status to a case seeking to protect the rights of thousands of asylum seekers pursuing protection from persecution in their home countries.
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.
This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit seeks to compel U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to disclose information about the massive delays in processing of applications for humanitarian parole filed for Afghan nationals who have not been able to travel to the United States.
December 21, 2022

More than two and a half years after it began, the “public health” policy known as Title 42 may finally be nearing an end. On Monday, a coalition of GOP-led states submitted a last-ditch request...

December 8, 2022

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for citizens of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Nepal, Haiti, and Sudan in November...

October 18, 2022

Faced with rising numbers of Venezuelans coming to the border and seeking asylum, the Biden administration has initiated what could be its most extensive crackdown on migrants since taking office...

October 13, 2022

The Biden administration announced on September 27 that the cap on refugee admissions for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 would be 125,000—the same as the cap for FY 2022. However, given the current state...

September 23, 2022

The Republican governors of Texas, Arizona, and now Florida are playing a cynical political game with the lives of migrants—including many asylum seekers fleeing persecution. Officials in these...

August 17, 2022

A federal court decision this month confirmed what advocates feared: that a recent move by the Supreme Court would undermine the fight against illegal government practices, like turning back...

July 11, 2022

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a new policy memorandum on July 1 that eliminated a barrier for many Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients and restored a pathway...

June 30, 2022

Almost a year after the Supreme Court allowed a federal judge in Texas to order the Biden administration to restart the so-called “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP), the Supreme Court ruled in...

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