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

Publication Date: 
September 28, 2021
This fact sheet provides information on a provision called “registry” that allows certain non-citizens who are long-term residents of the United States, but who are either undocumented or present in...
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August 23, 2021
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-...
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August 20, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of Documented Dreamers, explains how they can age out of immigration status at 21, and summarizes the current federal legislative proposals to protect them from...
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August 2, 2021
This fact sheet from the Council provides an overview of how current immigration law allows certain undocumented immigrants to become Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) without first having to leave...
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July 8, 2021
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...
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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.”
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February 18, 2021
Understanding how deeply we hold our immigration stances may matter as much as what our stances are.
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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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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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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,...
August 31, 2022

As hundreds of thousands of students prepare to go back to school this fall, it’s important to consider the outsized role international students play in both campus life and the United States...

August 25, 2022

School is back in session. For many states and localities across the country, that means welcoming newly arrived immigrant and refugee youth into the classroom. There will be increased need for...

August 10, 2022

The lack of a major overhaul in the United States’ immigration system for roughly thirty years has created an ecosystem where states have attempted to insert their authority over immigration,...

August 4, 2022

Opponents of immigration often claim that European immigrants who came to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are radically different than the Latin Americans and Asians...

July 20, 2022

Lawsuits asking courts to order government employees to decide long-pending immigration filings have increased sharply in the past year. According to a recent report by the Transactional Records...

July 5, 2022

As communities across the United States came together this past weekend to commemorate and reflect upon our country’s independence, the holiday holds special significance for one group in...

June 29, 2022

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) operates under a flawed funding model. This virtually guarantees that the agency will always be under-funded and under-staffed. As a result, USCIS...

May 13, 2022

Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, could have damaging effects to immigrant rights secured through the courts. The...

May 11, 2022

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a temporary rule last week that automatically extends employment authorization for certain noncitizens waiting for USCIS to process their...

May 2, 2022

Data from the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau show that there are approximately 20.7 million Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States—comprising 6.2 % of the U.S. population—that make up the...

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.

July 6, 2010
Today, Fox News is reporting on data provided to them by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) which amounts to a highly misleading fiscal snapshot of the costs allegedly imposed on U.S. taxpayers by unauthorized immigrants.
June 8, 2010

Washington D.C. - On Monday, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) hosted a teleconference with border and national-security experts who diss

May 20, 2010

Washington D.C. - The Mexican President's visit to the United States allowed both he and President Obama to address the important issues of immigration, border con

March 30, 2010

Washington D.C. - This Sunday, the editorial pages of the Washington Post included a

This lawsuit challenges USCIS' unreasonable delay in processing naturalization applications that were filed in 2020 and has prevented applicants from becoming U.S. citizens.
January 17, 2023

On January 3, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) finally published a new proposed fee schedule for immigration benefits—which is to say, it took an important step to becoming a...

December 8, 2022

Can immigration avoid a cold winter in Congress? That’s the question immigrants and their advocates are asking as time runs out on the current Congress. The fate of Afghan evacuees, Dreamers,...

November 22, 2022

As Thanksgiving approaches, many cooks are busy planning their holiday meals. However, this year’s Thanksgiving meals will likely be more expensive as food prices soar. This is partly due to...

October 11, 2022

With the 2022 midterm elections just weeks away, all eyes are shifting to states where close races are expected. A lot has changed since the last midterm elections in 2018—including the...

October 11, 2022

On September 28, Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) introduced a bill in Congress that would allow millions of immigrants who have lived in the United States for many years to become Lawful Permanent...

September 16, 2022

Three years ago, the Trump administration sent fear throughout immigrant communities across the nation with its Public Charge rule, which functioned as a wealth test for green card applicants....

September 14, 2022

This Hispanic Heritage Month, we look at the most recent Census and data to highlight the importance of Hispanics in the United States. For those wondering why Hispanic Heritage Month starts mid-...

September 13, 2022

The Biden administration is close to using all of the employment-based immigrant visas (green cards) allotted for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced...

September 9, 2022

Written by American Immigration Council staff Leani García Torres and Raul Pinto The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative provides certain young, undocumented immigrants with a...

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