Immigration Reform

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.  

Recent Features

All Immigration Reform Content

June 14, 2022
This fact sheet highlights the crucial role that new Americans play in Arizona’s economy, including in some of the state’s fastest-growing and most in-demand fields, like healthcare, education, and...
June 3, 2022
This fact sheet underscores the crucial role Hispanic Texans play in the Rio Grande Valley’s labor force, population growth, and economy.
June 3, 2022
This fact sheet underscores the crucial role Hispanic Texans play in the metro area’s labor force, population growth, and economy.
December 15, 2021
This fact sheet aims to explain the basics of the federal government funding process, also known as appropriations, and show how it affects the world of immigration and immigration enforcement.
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...
August 27, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview about the legalization program through which certain undocumented farmworkers in the United States could earn legal status.
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...
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...
May 20, 2021
This report analyzes the Biden administration's 100 days progress in reforming immigration enforcement and recommendations for how to best move forward.
April 29, 2021
This report analyzes the most significant changes to the legal immigration system made by the Biden administration during its first 100 days in office, and makes recommendations to foster a fair and...
October 6, 2020

This document provides a summary of the Department of Homeland Security's September 25, 2020, Proposed Rule, "...

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....

This sign-on letter expresses concerns about DHS’s implementation of the new prosecutorial discretion policy, including the agency’s failure to grant work authorization to those who receive a favorable exercise of discretion. The letter also makes recommendations to ensure that DHS fulfills its pledge to implement an effective and fair prosecutorial discretion policy nationwide.

This letter to several Administration officials was submitted in response to the DHS/White House announcement on August 18, 2011 that it would form a "Prosecutorial Discretion Working Group" to...

This memorandum, which was released by the American Immigration Council and co-signed by two general counsels of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, offers an overview of the scope of executive branch authority and outlines specific steps the Administration could take to forestall removals in sympathetic cases.

This letter requests written guidance setting forth detailed criteria for the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion and the assignment of a high-level officer to monitor implementation of...

November 18, 2015
This Practice Advisory provides updated information about Initial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as well as the DACA Renewal process. It offers strategic advice for attorneys representing individuals who may qualify for DACA. The American Immigration Council issued this Advisory jointly with the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.
March 18, 2015
This Practice Advisory, updated following the issuance of Secretary Johnson’s November 20, 2014 memorandum on Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants, explains what prosecutorial discretion is, who has authority to exercise it, and how it is exercised most often in immigration cases. It also suggests ways that attorneys can influence the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion by ICE, CBP and USCIS officers.
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...

March 11, 2022

The path toward commonsense federal immigration solutions seems to be continuing the cyclical and frustrating pattern of two steps forward, one step back. As soon as a measure is introduced—be it...

March 1, 2022

On Tuesday night, President Biden will give his first State of the Union address to a packed House chamber. Other than, perhaps, an early nod to resettling Ukrainian refugees, those of us in the...

February 15, 2022

Miami Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, a freshman Republican from Florida’s 27th congressional district, last week introduced an immigration reform bill that she calls the “Dignity Act.” Rep. Salazar...

February 4, 2022

The House of Representatives passed an economic competitiveness bill on February 4 that includes several immigration provisions. The bill is called the ‘‘America Creating Opportunities for...

September 20, 2021

Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough on September 19 rejected Democrats’ initial attempt to include immigration reform provisions in a $3.5 trillion spending bill currently making its way...

September 13, 2021

House Democrats began to mark up a budget reconciliation bill on September 10 that would provide a path to legal status for millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Although the...

August 6, 2021

On the day that President Biden took office, he promised to send a bill to Congress to create a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants. Unfortunately, that bill, the U.S. Citizenship Act...

July 8, 2021

Since the founding of the United States, immigrants have served in the U.S. military. In recognition of the sacrifices involved in military service, the federal government has provided an...

June 22, 2021

As military troops withdraw from Afghanistan, Afghan nationals that supported the operations of the U.S. government—as translators and other vital roles—are in danger of violent retribution from...

January 21, 2022
The Biden administration announced new efforts to modernize parts of our immigration system, and remove barriers to legal immigration. DHS will add 22 new fields of study in the STEM Optional Practical Training program through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, and will implement a series of additional changes to allow foreign students, scholars, and researchers to come to the United States and make meaningful contributions to America’s scholarly, research and development, and innovation communities.
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.
August 19, 2021
A Texas judge blocked the Biden administration’s immigration enforcement priorities. The decision was issued in a case challenging ICE’s enforcement activities outside the scope laid out in the Feb. 18 enforcement memo.
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 10, 2017
Immigrant rights groups asked the Washington District Court to again enjoin the Trump Administration’s “Muslim Ban” executive order.
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 25, 2017
President Trump announced executive orders that are intended to follow through on campaign promises to build a wall and deport millions. Here's our response.
July 20, 2016
In a disappointing but unsurprising decision, a divided panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today denied the federal government’s appeal of the preliminary injunction that has temporarily stopped President Obama’s latest deferred action initiatives from being implemented.
July 19, 2016
Immigration, civil rights and labor groups joined the legal effort to defend President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration by filing an amicus “friend of the court” brief in the case, State of Texas vs. United States.
June 23, 2016

Washington D.C. - Today, the Supreme Court issued a 4-4 decision in United States v.

June 14, 2022
This fact sheet highlights the crucial role that new Americans play in Arizona’s economy, including in some of the state’s fastest-growing and most in-demand fields, like healthcare, education, and...
June 3, 2022
This fact sheet underscores the crucial role Hispanic Texans play in the Rio Grande Valley’s labor force, population growth, and economy.
June 3, 2022
This fact sheet underscores the crucial role Hispanic Texans play in the metro area’s labor force, population growth, and economy.
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...

March 11, 2022

The path toward commonsense federal immigration solutions seems to be continuing the cyclical and frustrating pattern of two steps forward, one step back. As soon as a measure is introduced—be it...

March 1, 2022

On Tuesday night, President Biden will give his first State of the Union address to a packed House chamber. Other than, perhaps, an early nod to resettling Ukrainian refugees, those of us in the...

February 15, 2022

Miami Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, a freshman Republican from Florida’s 27th congressional district, last week introduced an immigration reform bill that she calls the “Dignity Act.” Rep. Salazar...

February 4, 2022

The House of Representatives passed an economic competitiveness bill on February 4 that includes several immigration provisions. The bill is called the ‘‘America Creating Opportunities for...

January 21, 2022
The Biden administration announced new efforts to modernize parts of our immigration system, and remove barriers to legal immigration. DHS will add 22 new fields of study in the STEM Optional Practical Training program through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, and will implement a series of additional changes to allow foreign students, scholars, and researchers to come to the United States and make meaningful contributions to America’s scholarly, research and development, and innovation communities.
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.

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