Enforcement

Our legal system rests upon the principle that everyone is entitled to due process of law and a meaningful opportunity to be heard. But for far too long, the immigration system has failed to provide noncitizens with a system of justice that lives up to this standard. Learn about ways in which the immigration system could ensure that all noncitizens have a fair day in court.  

Recent Features

All Enforcement Content

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.
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...

March 28, 2017
Deportations of parents and family members have serious consequences that affect children and extend to communities and the country as a whole.
March 21, 2017
This fact sheet explains detainers, how they are used by federal and local enforcement, and the impact they have on immigrants.
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 immigration enforcement regarding the treatment of pregnant individuals in custody and any system used to track and monitor pregnant detainees.
April 18, 2018

The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration for an April 18, 2018 hearing on “Strengthening and Reforming...

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.
March 7, 2018
This policy document describes the legal liabilities local governments face when they honor ICE requests, known as “detainers,” to hold individuals past the completion of their criminal custody until immigration agents take them into administrative custody.
This lawsuit challenges the actions of immigration judges in Charlotte, North Carolina who have refused to conduct bond hearings for people who properly file bond motions with the Charlotte Immigration Court.
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.

For years, U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents have injected themselves into routine, local emergency services and law enforcement, often under the guise of providing translation services.  Despite...

October 13, 2017

The American Immigration Council, in collaboration with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, filed an amicus brief in Crespin v. Evans.  The amicus brief argued that the pre-final...

September 26, 2017

The American Immigration Council, in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), and others...

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.
July 19, 2017
This practice advisory will address the Supreme Court’s Travel Ban decision and detail how DOS and DHS are implementing those portions of EO-2 that are no longer enjoined.
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.
May 15, 2018

Migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization frequently make a life-threatening journey, crossing the desert often with limited supplies of food and water. The Border...

May 14, 2018

Immigration policies may be crafted on a national scale, under the purview of the federal government, but it is at the local level that immigrants live their lives. And it is at the local level...

May 11, 2018

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may soon be checking the immigration status of all potential sponsors of children who arrive unaccompanied at the U.S border, as well as any adult members...

May 8, 2018

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced they will be stepping up prosecutions of individuals along the southern border. There is much folly in deciding...

May 3, 2018

The government continues the appalling practice of detaining pregnant women, most of whom are seeking safety and protection in the United States. Following an official policy change by Immigration...

May 1, 2018

  The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it filed criminal charges on Tuesday to prosecute some migrants who recently crossed the border and were reportedly once a part of the caravan. The vast...

April 30, 2018

Recent reports from the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana, Mexico indicate that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have refused entry to a caravan of up to 200 migrant men, women, and...

April 24, 2018

For years, immigration enforcement officials prioritized recent border-crossers over long-time residents with U.S.-born children, clean criminal records, or other evidence of roots in the United...

April 20, 2018

The United States has historically been viewed as a nation that welcomes refugees fleeing from violence and persecution in their home countries. Yet, the Trump administration recently reiterated...

April 19, 2018

In a directive dated Aug. 29, 2017, which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement only posted publicly this week, the government significantly weakened safeguards for the rights of parents during...

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.
May 3, 2018
Through this request, the organizations seek more information regarding the treatment of pregnant individuals held in Immigration and Custom Enforcement custody and any system used to track and monitor pregnant detainees.
March 29, 2018
The practice of detaining pregnant women is inhumane and unsafe.
January 18, 2018
The lawsuit challenges the practice of three of the four sitting immigration judges in the Charlotte Immigration Court who refuse to conduct bond hearings—even though they are required to do so—and are consequently prolonging the detention of bond-eligible individuals for several weeks.
January 12, 2018
The Immigration Justice Campaign (Justice Campaign), a joint initiative between the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council (Council), and the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN), located in Westminster, Colorado, announce their partnership to increase pro bono representation for individuals in immigration detention in Colorado.
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.
October 8, 2017
The White House released its long anticipated, "Immigration Principles and Policies," which lay out many of the already-stated aspirations of the Trump administration on immigration. The laundry list represents a wholesale attack on immigration and immigrants. It includes not only limits on immigration generally, but enables mass deportations and envisions bypassing necessary procedures that protect children and asylum seekers.
August 16, 2017
The parties in Dilley Pro Bono Project v. ICE have reached a settlement that ensures access to mental health evaluations for certain detained mothers and children seeking asylum.
July 12, 2017

Washington D.C. - Today an immigrant rights group and several asylum seekers filed a class action lawsuit against officials at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S.

June 28, 2017
A U.S. District Court condemned the federal government for continuing to disregard critical protections for children in detention.
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:...

May 15, 2018

Migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization frequently make a life-threatening journey, crossing the desert often with limited supplies of food and water. The Border...

May 14, 2018

Immigration policies may be crafted on a national scale, under the purview of the federal government, but it is at the local level that immigrants live their lives. And it is at the local level...

May 11, 2018

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may soon be checking the immigration status of all potential sponsors of children who arrive unaccompanied at the U.S border, as well as any adult members...

May 8, 2018

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced they will be stepping up prosecutions of individuals along the southern border. There is much folly in deciding...

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.
May 3, 2018

The government continues the appalling practice of detaining pregnant women, most of whom are seeking safety and protection in the United States. Following an official policy change by Immigration...

May 3, 2018
Through this request, the organizations seek more information regarding the treatment of pregnant individuals held in Immigration and Custom Enforcement custody and any system used to track and monitor pregnant detainees.
The requests ask for policies, guidelines, or procedures followed or used by immigration enforcement regarding the treatment of pregnant individuals in custody and any system used to track and monitor pregnant detainees.
May 1, 2018

  The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it filed criminal charges on Tuesday to prosecute some migrants who recently crossed the border and were reportedly once a part of the caravan. The vast...

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