Border Enforcement

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.

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All Border Enforcement Content

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...
May 1, 2018
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-...
March 7, 2018
Enforcement of U.S. immigration laws has historically been guided by policies that emphasize prioritization. However, this practice has largely been abandoned since the inauguration of President...
September 19, 2017
Mexican migrants suffer a host of violations, abuses, and ill treatment while in the custody of U.S. immigration authorities.
August 2, 2017
This report raises more concerns about misconduct throughout Border Patrol sectors and shows Customs and Border Patrol has made little progress in its efforts to improve accountability.
April 24, 2017

The last time the Border Patrol received a large infusion of money to hire thousands of new agents, cases of corruption and misconduct spiked in the agency. New hires were not sufficiently vetted...

February 27, 2017
The provisions in the order pose serious concerns for the protection and due process rights of those currently residing in the United States, communities along the U.S-Mexico border, and vulnerable...
February 3, 2017
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.
January 25, 2017
The fact is that building a fortified and impenetrable wall between the United States and Mexico is unnecessary, complicated, ineffective, expensive, and would create a host of additional problems.
January 25, 2017
Since the last major overhaul of the U.S. immigration system in 1986, the federal government has spent an estimated $263 billion on immigration enforcement.
August 23, 2018

The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy led to not only to the forcible separation of thousands of children from their parents, but the extreme duress and coercion of...

This lawsuit seeks to compel U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to release records relating to CBP’s complaint process and actions taken in response to complaints made to CBP concerning its agents and officers since January 1, 2012.
July 31, 2018
The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for a July 31, 2018 hearing on “Oversight of Immigration Enforcement and Family Reunification Efforts.”
The American Immigration Council filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with ICE and CBP on October 13, 2017, seeking data on enforcement actions and outcomes since January 2016. With this data, the Council will be able to assess who is being targeted for removal and what the consequences are of the current enforcement framework.
This lawsuit seeks to compel government agencies to produce documents regarding family separation policies.
In the year and a half since the FOIA request was filed, CBP largely failed to provide any records in response to the request. On June 11, 2018, the Council, represented by O’Melveny & Myers LLP, filed a lawsuit to compel DHS and CBP to comply with FOIA and to release additional records related to the 2016 request.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers all too frequently deny individuals fleeing persecution and torture their right to seek protection in the United States, issue summary removal orders against them, and then falsify documents to support their illegal actions.
May 22, 2018

The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the House Homeland Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security for a May 22, 2018 hearing on “Stopping the Daily Border Caravan:...

The requests ask for policies, guidelines, or procedures followed or used by the governmental agencies to address the processing and treatment of families at the U.S.-Mexico border and specifically, the separation of adult family members from minor children and the criminal prosecution of adult family members.
December 11, 2017
The practice of dividing families raises Constitutional due process concerns under the Fifth Amendment, violates United States’ obligations under international law, and contravenes voluminous evidence maintaining that family separation is not in the best interest of the child.
August 20, 2018
This practice advisory provides an overview of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bivens, the benefits and risks of bringing a Bivens claim, and practical and legal information about filing a Bivens claim in federal court.
August 1, 2017
This Practice Advisory addresses some of the legal issues that may arise when noncitizens in removal proceedings seek to suppress evidence unlawfully obtained by Customs and Border Protection officers.
February 21, 2017

This Practice Advisory addresses the coming expansion of expedited removal, who likely will be impacted, and possible ways to challenge an expedited removal order. The National Immigration Project...

November 1, 2015
This Practice Advisory discusses the impact of an interim rule repealing two former regulations which barred all “arriving aliens” from adjusting status if they are in removal proceedings. This Advisory provides a brief history leading to the rule, defines key terms, discusses the impact of the rule, and suggests steps that a parolee can take to benefit from the rule.
October 22, 2015
This Practice Advisory focuses on the meaning of “admission” in four very specific, but frequently encountered situations: a “wave-through” at a port of entry; and entry based on misrepresentation; an entry based on a false claim to U.S. citizenship; and the grant of TPS as an admission for purposes of adjustment of status.
January 21, 2014
This Practice Advisory provides background information about requesting stays of removal from the court of appeals, discusses the legal standard for obtaining a stay, and addresses the implications of the government’s policy with respect to return of individuals who are successful on their appeal.
April 29, 2013
A person who has been removed and unlawfully reenters the United States may be subject to reinstatement of removal under INA § 241(a)(5). This Practice Advisory provides an overview of the reinstatement statute and implementing regulations. It also addresses where to obtain federal court review of reinstatement orders and which arguments are available to challenge the legality of reinstatement orders in federal court, including challenges to the underlying removal order.
September 25, 2018

The Trump administration is holding a record level of 13,300 migrant children in its custody, forcing the government to shift hundreds of millions of dollars to ensure there is enough money and...

September 19, 2018

For the second time this year, a Border Patrol agent has been charged with murdering multiple people in Texas. Both agents were hired nearly a decade ago amidst a surge in staffing that backfired...

September 13, 2018

In a tentative partial settlement agreement reached with lawyers representing parents and children who were separated as a result of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, the...

September 10, 2018

The Pentagon recently announced that up to 4,000 National Guard troops will remain deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border through September 2019, following a 12-month extension authorized by Defense...

September 6, 2018

The Trump administration is proposing new regulations to indefinitely detain immigrant children at the border and keep them in unsafe conditions, creating a false choice between separating...

August 31, 2018

In a blow to the Trump administration, a federal court in California recently allowed a class action lawsuit to move forward challenging U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) practice of...

August 10, 2018

When the Trump administration began prosecuting migrant families and separating thousands of children from their parents, many in the administration predicted this would significantly deter...

July 27, 2018

The court-imposed deadline of July 26 for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reunite families separated at the southern border has passed. So far, over 1800 children have been released...

July 26, 2018

The House Appropriations Committee passed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill that provides the agency with its budget for Fiscal Year 2019, which begins October 1, 2018. The...

July 23, 2018

The cost of the Trump administration’s family separation policy continues to skyrocket. In order to finance its self-made crisis, the administration has dipped into funds that were reserved for...

September 6, 2018

Washington, D.C.— Today, the Trump administration proposed new regulations that could lead to the indefinite detention—and needless suffering—of asylum

August 23, 2018
The complaint points to numerous examples, including that of Mrs. D.P., who was separated from her 9-year-old daughter for 47 days as a result of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' "zero-tolerance" border policy.
August 16, 2018
As government officials and policymakers weigh the potential expansion of family detention, this report reveals how detention impacts asylum-seeking families and their claims for protection.
July 26, 2018
"The government’s failure to comply with the court order to reunify the thousands of separated children and parents confirms the administration’s utter disregard for the humane and fair treatment of families coming to our country in search of protection."
July 9, 2018
Leaders of several immigrant and human rights organizations were invited for the first time under the Trump administration to meet with Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.
June 27, 2018
The lawsuit asks the court to compel the agencies to produce family separation documents in response to FOIA requests submitted in April.
June 20, 2018
President Donald Trump signed an executive order today to try to stem criticism of his family separation policy. He has offered an unacceptable alternative: imprisoning mothers and fathers with their children.
June 7, 2018
José Crespo Cagnant filed a lawsuit to hold the government accountable for abusive, unlawful conduct and depriving him of an opportunity to apply for asylum.
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.
December 11, 2017
A complaint on behalf of family members who have been forcibly separated while in custody at the southern border of the United States was filed with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General and Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
September 25, 2018

The Trump administration is holding a record level of 13,300 migrant children in its custody, forcing the government to shift hundreds of millions of dollars to ensure there is enough money and...

September 19, 2018

For the second time this year, a Border Patrol agent has been charged with murdering multiple people in Texas. Both agents were hired nearly a decade ago amidst a surge in staffing that backfired...

September 13, 2018

In a tentative partial settlement agreement reached with lawyers representing parents and children who were separated as a result of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, the...

September 10, 2018

The Pentagon recently announced that up to 4,000 National Guard troops will remain deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border through September 2019, following a 12-month extension authorized by Defense...

September 6, 2018

The Trump administration is proposing new regulations to indefinitely detain immigrant children at the border and keep them in unsafe conditions, creating a false choice between separating...

September 6, 2018

Washington, D.C.— Today, the Trump administration proposed new regulations that could lead to the indefinite detention—and needless suffering—of asylum

August 31, 2018

In a blow to the Trump administration, a federal court in California recently allowed a class action lawsuit to move forward challenging U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) practice of...

August 23, 2018
The complaint points to numerous examples, including that of Mrs. D.P., who was separated from her 9-year-old daughter for 47 days as a result of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' "zero-tolerance" border policy.
August 23, 2018

The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy led to not only to the forcible separation of thousands of children from their parents, but the extreme duress and coercion of...

August 20, 2018
This practice advisory provides an overview of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bivens, the benefits and risks of bringing a Bivens claim, and practical and legal information about filing a Bivens claim in federal court.

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