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.

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August 11, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has imposed new requirements on its officers for exercising discretion that will substantially increase time and expense for the agency and...

August 6, 2020

The Trump administration announced on August 3 plans to end the 2020 Census one month earlier than previously planned. The change has led to fears that immigrant and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and...

July 31, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an advance copy of a final rule on July 31 that will impose significant fee increases across many facets of the legal immigration system...

July 30, 2020

A federal judge in New York has once again put the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule on hold, but only for the duration of the COVID-19 national emergency. This rule, which went into...

July 23, 2020

A Canadian court has ruled that the United States is no longer a country to which the Canadian government could safely return asylum seekers who crossed the U.S-Canada land border.  This upends...

July 22, 2020

President Trump issued an executive order on June 21 that laid out a plan to violate the U.S. Constitution by excluding undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census. An accurate census count is...

July 21, 2020

The Trump administration has justified major changes to citizenship processing to “safeguard” the U.S. immigration system from application fraud. Yet the increased vetting has not lowered the...

July 15, 2020

Update: On August 3, 2020, a federal court in Ohio granted a temporary restraining order requiring USCIS to print a work permit within 7 days for all individuals who had been approved for one. The...

July 13, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expects, by the end of July, to have worked through nearly the entire backlog of naturalization oath ceremonies put on hold in response to the...

July 7, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge across the United States, many universities have chosen to temporarily move to online-only classes to protect public health. However, new guidance from...

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...

Publication Date: 
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.
Publication Date: 
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.”
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...

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