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.

Recent Features

All Immigration 101 Content

June 8, 2021
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.
March 16, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of “aggravated felonies” under federal immigration law and the immigration consequences of being convicted of an “aggravated felony.”
February 18, 2021
Understanding how deeply we hold our immigration stances may matter as much as what our stances are.
January 22, 2021
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...
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...
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.­
June 18, 2020
The Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) initially brought scholars to the United States to teach or conduct research. Today, there are 14 categories of programs through which EVP participants can teach,...
June 12, 2020
Current U.S. immigration law provides several paths for foreign workers to enter the United States for employment purposes on a temporary or permanent basis. This fact sheet provides basic...
January 10, 2020
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-...
July 1, 2019
To better understand the changing interior enforcement trends under the Trump administration, this report analyzes individual-level data on immigration enforcement outcomes.
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)
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).
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...

March 15, 2021

The Biden administration must improve transparency in the U.S. immigration system. Such efforts go hand in hand with strengthening democratic institutions. Under the Freedom of Information Act (...

March 11, 2021

It’s been one year since the COVID-19 pandemic first affected immigration on a global scale. The impact has been swift, devastating, and long-lasting. On March 11, 2020, former President Trump...

March 4, 2021

Individuals hoping to become a naturalized American citizen will take a different civics test beginning this week, as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reverts back to a previous...

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.
July 21, 2015

Washington D.C.

May 15, 2014

Washington D.C. - Understanding the complexities of immigration law and its intersection with criminal law is not easy.

March 31, 2014

Washington D.C. – Today the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a new report that makes a range of false claims about deportation data.

January 26, 2012

Washington D.C. - The term “self-deportation” has found its way into the GOP presidential primary race, with candidate Mitt Romney outlining a vague immigration pl

February 28, 2011

Washington D.C. - In cooperation with the Immigration Policy Center, the British Council and the Migration Policy Group release a new study today which reviews and

August 11, 2010

Washington D.C. - Over the last several weeks, a handful of elected officials have re-ignited a call for the repeal of birthright citizenship.

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 8, 2021
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.
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...

May 3, 2021
In this letter, the Council and a diverse coalition call on the Biden administration to stop and reevaluate plans to destroy immigration agency records documenting abuse and misconduct.
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...

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.

Most Read

  • Publications
  • Blog Posts
  • Past:
  • Trending