Humanitarian Protection

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.

Recent Features

All Humanitarian Protection Content

August 22, 2016
This fact sheet describes the asylum system in the United States, including how asylum is defined, eligibility requirements, and the application process.
May 18, 2016
First-hand accounts from Central American women and their family members reveal the dangerous and bleak circumstances of life these women and their children faced upon return to their home countries...
February 1, 2016
The unprecedented levels of crime and violence that have overwhelmed the Northern Triangle countries in recent years have produced a refugee situation for those directly in the line of fire, making...
December 14, 2015

Americans pride themselves on belonging to a nation of immigrants. In fact, many Americans celebrate not only the traditions of the United States, but the traditions of the countries from which...

November 25, 2015
This report provides background on the refugee experience in the United States, including welcoming and exclusionary responses, the impacts of these disparate reactions, and lessons to consider in...
November 18, 2015
Before admission to the United States, each refugee must undergo an extensive interviewing, screening, and security clearance process. They go on to contribute to our communities and our economy.
July 22, 2015

For decades, the U.S. refugee protection system has been a symbol of the nation’s generosity and openness to the world’s persecuted. Yet since Congress’ enactment of the Illegal Immigration Reform...

June 26, 2015
This Guide provides information about the tens of thousands of children—some travelling with their parents and others alone—who have fled their homes in Central America and arrived at our southern...
July 1, 2014
U.S. and regional response must realize that the majority of these children have significant protection needs.
May 21, 2014
Carlos Gutierrez, a successful businessman in Chihuahua, Mexico, and the married father of two, refused to comply with a criminal cartel’s monthly demands of $10,000. In retribution for his refusal...
This intervention is needed to protect the integrity of the United States’ immigrant visa process and the families diligently seeking to reunite with their loved ones.
January 13, 2017
A coalition of immigrant and civil rights groups filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on behalf of numerous adult men and women, families and unaccompanied children who, over the past several months, were denied entry to the United States at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border despite having asserted a fear of returning to their home countries or an intention to seek asylum under U.S. law.
This lawsuit challenges obstacles faced by asylum-seekers in satisfying the statutory requirement that they apply for asylum within one year of entering the United States.
February 26, 2014
A TPS recipient who is otherwise eligible may be granted adjustment of status. One requirement for adjustment under INA § 245(a) is that the individual have been “inspected and admitted or paroled” into the United States. Both USCIS and EOIR, in non-precedent decisions, have found that a TPS recipient who never made an authorized entry into the United States is not eligible for adjustment of status. The Eleventh Circuit agrees. However, the Sixth Circuit has held that, under the plain language of the TPS statute, a grant of TPS constitutes an admission for purposes of adjustment of status under INA § 245(a). Flores v. USCIS, 718 F.3d 548 (6th Cir. 2013).
December 1, 2015
The immigration courts’ unprecedented backlogs are creating procedural and substantive challenges for attorneys trying to comply with the One-Year Filing Deadline (OYFD) in asylum cases. This Practice Advisory discusses strategies and procedures for complying with the OYFD.
October 11, 2012
The American Immigration Council’s Practice Advisory, Employment Authorization and Asylum: Strategies to Avoid Stopping the Asylum Clock, has been updated to reflect extensive changes to the manner in which the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) determine an asylum applicant’s eligibility for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
February 10, 2017

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sent some strong messages to the President: he cannot shield himself from court review by claiming “national security;” he may only set policies that are...

January 30, 2017

In his first week as president, President Donald Trump unleashed a series of executive orders, thereby launching his first strikes against current and future immigrants and refugees. In response,...

January 28, 2017

President Trump marked the end of his first full week in office with another sweeping Executive Order, this one bringing to a screeching halt the United States’ long history of providing refuge...

January 25, 2017

Our American values and laws dictate that everyone receive a just and fair process, whether they have been in in this country for decades or are arriving at our border today in search of safety...

January 20, 2017

Eight years ago, President Barack Obama entered the White House on a promise to reform America’s immigration system. His urgency ultimately dissipated and reforming America’s immigration system...

January 17, 2017

For many months, lawyers and advocates have received damning reports from asylum-seeking families, adults, and even unaccompanied minors fleeing Mexico and Central America who have been...

January 4, 2017

As the Obama Administration comes to an end and its legacy on immigration is solidified, one of the defining characteristics of the President’s eight years in office will be how he enforced...

December 23, 2016

For many around the world, this time of year is full of colorful lights, cooking, spending time with loved ones, and spreading holiday cheer. However, take just a moment to reflect on the...

December 20, 2016

Entire jurisdictions in the United States have become so hostile to asylum seekers and their representatives that the U.S. government, and its immigration court system, is failing to deliver on...

November 29, 2016

A federal judge ordered the Border Patrol to immediately cease its practice of refusing to provide basic amenities to people detained in Border Patrol holding cells in Tucson, Arizona. The judge...

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 17, 2017
A coalition of immigrant and civil rights groups filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, last Friday and the Office of Inspector General, on behalf of numerous adult men and women, families and unaccompanied children who, over the past several months, were denied entry to the United States at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border.
January 12, 2017
A federal court in Seattle has granted nationwide class action status to a case seeking to protect the rights of thousands of asylum seekers pursuing protection from persecution in their home countries.
September 20, 2016
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), Dobrin & Han, PC, American Immigration Council, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild commend the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) for reversing course and now allowing asylum applicants to file their applications by mail or in person at an immigration court window.
July 20, 2016

Washington, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council welcome plans announced by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the release

July 1, 2016
The U.S. Government has placed unnecessary hurdles in front of asylum seekers who are attempting to file asylum applications within the required time period.
February 8, 2016

Washington D.C. – After being held in detention for more than a month by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), eight of the families

January 13, 2016

Washington D.C. – In the last week, 121 mothers and children were brought to the South Texas Residential Family Center in Dilley, Texas, after being rounded up by Immigration and Customs Enf

January 6, 2016

Washington, D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association 

December 24, 2015

Washington D.C. - Late last night, The Washington Post broke th

February 10, 2017

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sent some strong messages to the President: he cannot shield himself from court review by claiming “national security;” he may only set policies that are...

January 30, 2017

In his first week as president, President Donald Trump unleashed a series of executive orders, thereby launching his first strikes against current and future immigrants and refugees. In response,...

This intervention is needed to protect the integrity of the United States’ immigrant visa process and the families diligently seeking to reunite with their loved ones.
January 28, 2017

President Trump marked the end of his first full week in office with another sweeping Executive Order, this one bringing to a screeching halt the United States’ long history of providing refuge...

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

Our American values and laws dictate that everyone receive a just and fair process, whether they have been in in this country for decades or are arriving at our border today in search of safety...

January 20, 2017

Eight years ago, President Barack Obama entered the White House on a promise to reform America’s immigration system. His urgency ultimately dissipated and reforming America’s immigration system...

January 17, 2017

For many months, lawyers and advocates have received damning reports from asylum-seeking families, adults, and even unaccompanied minors fleeing Mexico and Central America who have been...

January 17, 2017
A coalition of immigrant and civil rights groups filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, last Friday and the Office of Inspector General, on behalf of numerous adult men and women, families and unaccompanied children who, over the past several months, were denied entry to the United States at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border.
January 13, 2017
A coalition of immigrant and civil rights groups filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on behalf of numerous adult men and women, families and unaccompanied children who, over the past several months, were denied entry to the United States at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border despite having asserted a fear of returning to their home countries or an intention to seek asylum under U.S. law.

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