Enforcement

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 Enforcement Content

September 6, 2018
The Legal Orientation Program (LOP) offers legal education, as well as referrals for free and low-cost legal counsel, to noncitizens in immigration detention.
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 23, 2018
Deportations of parents and family members have serious consequences that affect children and extend to communities and the country as a whole.
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...
January 24, 2018
Parole under immigration law is very different than in the criminal justice context. In the immigration context, parole facilitates certain individuals’ entry into and permission to temporarily...
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.
May 19, 2017
The Trump administration’s approach will have devastating consequences for immigrant communities and will undermine, rather than improve, public safety.
May 9, 2017
Detained asylum seekers encounter numerous challenges, including the following problems detailed in this report.
September 18, 2018

The American Immigration Council and American Immigration Lawyers Association submitted a written statement to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and...

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 case challenges the punitive practice of keeping asylum seekers in custody for weeks or months without access to credible fear interviews or bond hearings and the lack of basic procedural protections—like hearing transcripts and written decisions—in bond hearings, as well as whether asylum seekers must bear the burden of proof in bond proceedings.
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.
June 4, 2018

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association filed an administrative complaint with the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), the Office of the...

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.
September 11, 2017
This practice advisory addresses the TPS recipients who are most likely to benefit from Ramirez and Flores; other general categories of family and employment-based adjustment applicants who benefit from these two decisions; and options that may be available to TPS recipients who do not live within these two circuits.
August 1, 2017
This Practice Advisory provides a general overview of motions to suppress, a tool used to prevent the introduction of evidence obtained by federal immigration officers in violation of the Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, and related provisions of federal law.
August 1, 2017
This Practice Advisory discusses some of the legal issues that may arise when noncitizens in removal proceedings move to suppress evidence obtained through constitutional violations by state and local officers seeking to enforce immigration law.
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.
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.
June 1, 2014
This Practice Advisory, written in collaboration with the ABA Commission on Immigration and Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights, provides innovative legal and procedural arguments and strategies for attorneys representing noncitizens 1) who are likely to be issued NTAs, 2) who have been issued NTAs that have not been filed with the immigration court, or 3) who have been issued NTAs that have been filed. It provides an overview of the legal requirements for an NTA and strategies available to attorneys to cancel, mitigate, or challenge the contents of an NTA. In addition to presenting legal and procedural arguments, the Advisory provides strategies to attorneys wishing to seek prosecutorial discretion in connection with the NTA.
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 21, 2018

A growing number of communities are reevaluating their role in detaining immigrants on behalf of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Local officials in Atlanta, Georgia recently...

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 14, 2018

As Hurricane Florence pummels the southeastern United States, newly released Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents show that a total of $200 million—including $10 million from the...

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 30, 2018

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) currently uses hundreds of detention centers throughout the country to hold individuals in immigration proceedings. Many of these facilities have a...

August 24, 2018

Earlier this year, the Trump administration launched its “zero tolerance” policy, aimed at punishing immigrants, including asylum seekers, who enter the United States without authorization. Among...

September 21, 2018
Yesterday, plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit challenging the U.S. government’s targeted efforts to obstruct asylum seekers filed a motion for preliminary injunction demanding timely bond hearings that comport with due process.
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.
June 4, 2018
The complaint, filed on behalf of individuals who are and were detained at the Aurora facility, highlights the ways in which weak, insufficient medical practices threaten the health and well-being of detainees and directly impact their ability to pursue their immigration and asylum claims.
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 21, 2018

A growing number of communities are reevaluating their role in detaining immigrants on behalf of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Local officials in Atlanta, Georgia recently...

September 21, 2018
Yesterday, plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit challenging the U.S. government’s targeted efforts to obstruct asylum seekers filed a motion for preliminary injunction demanding timely bond hearings that comport with due process.
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 18, 2018

The American Immigration Council and American Immigration Lawyers Association submitted a written statement to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and...

September 14, 2018

As Hurricane Florence pummels the southeastern United States, newly released Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents show that a total of $200 million—including $10 million from the...

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

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