Immigration Reform

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.

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All Immigration Reform Content

May 19, 2017
The Trump administration’s approach will have devastating consequences for immigrant communities and will undermine, rather than improve, public safety.
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...
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.
June 28, 2016
This fact sheet provides an overview of the lawsuits that have challenged expanded DACA and DAPA. It explains the legal claims, the court decisions, and the process.
February 1, 2016
DACA has helped its beneficiaries find employment and increase their earnings. But, even with better jobs, not all DACA beneficiaries in our study were able to afford tuition at four-year...
March 11, 2015
The series of executive actions on immigration which President Obama announced on November 20, 2014, would have a beneficial—if modest—impact on the U.S. economy.
December 9, 2014
From 1987 to 1990, Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Sr. used their executive authority to protect from deportation a group that Congress left out of its 1986 immigration reform legislation—...
November 30, 2014
On November 20 and 21, 2014, President Obama announced his “immigration accountability executive action,” which includes a series of measures that are first steps towards common-sense reforms to an...
October 2, 2014
Much has been made of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, through which he deferred deportation for young adults brought to the U.S. as children. But as...
August 26, 2014
The President has the legal authority to make a significant number of unauthorized migrants eligible for temporary relief from deportation that would be similar to the relief available under the...
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.
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...

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 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
The Johnson Enforcement Memo, which went into effect on January 5, 2015, specifies the categories of noncitizens at greatest risk of deportation, provides guidance on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion by immigration officers and the use of detention space, and imposes new data tracking requirements. This Practice Advisory outlines the enforcement priorities under the memo and discusses how it relates to other agency guidance on prosecutorial discretion.
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.
August 28, 2013
This Practice Advisory provides guidance on advance parole eligibility for DACA recipients; outlines how a DACA recipient may apply for advance parole; addresses the legal issues that can confront a DACA recipient considering travel on advance parole, including any potential risks; and finally, covers the impact that the travel may have on the DACA recipient’s future immigration benefits.
May 26, 2017

For the third time in five years the House Judiciary Committee has passed a draconian interior enforcement immigration bill out of committee on a party line vote. Immigration advocates and...

May 19, 2017

California is once again taking a lead on protecting and integrating its immigrant communities and standing up to the enforcement policies of the Trump administration. The state’s governor and...

May 15, 2017

President Trump signed an executive order last week calling for an investigation into alleged voter fraud in the American electoral system, in another attempt to give credence to his continuous,...

May 5, 2017

What can the first 100 days of the Trump administration tell us about how immigration will be handled in the next 100 days and beyond? Since his inauguration, President Trump has prioritized...

April 19, 2017

On April 18, President Trump signed the Presidential executive order on Buy American and Hire American. Similar to the other immigration-related executive orders, this one has no immediate effect...

April 17, 2017

Several media outlets have reported that on Tuesday, April 18, President Trump will sign an executive order mandating that the immigration agencies undertake a review of the H-1B visas...

April 4, 2017

Public and private prisons previously crumbling under financial strains, reduced population numbers, and Obama-era regulations are receiving a boost under the Trump administration, thanks in large...

March 15, 2017

Buried inside the interior enforcement Executive Order issued by President Trump in January are the Administration’s plans to revive the 287(g) program. This is concerning because the program has...

March 14, 2017

President Trump stated that he has “ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American victims during his Joint Address to congress. The office is called VOICE –...

March 13, 2017

In the week following President Trump’s issuance of a second travel ban targeting six Muslim-majority countries, several states and a number of immigrant rights groups immediately returned to...

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 23, 2016

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

May 25, 2016

Washington, D.C. - Following a meeting to discuss comprehensive immigration reform with Senate Republicans, President Obama announced that he would send 1,200 Nati

May 13, 2016

Washington D.C. - Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee continues “mark-up” of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.

April 18, 2016

Washington D.C. - Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Texas.

May 26, 2017

For the third time in five years the House Judiciary Committee has passed a draconian interior enforcement immigration bill out of committee on a party line vote. Immigration advocates and...

May 19, 2017

California is once again taking a lead on protecting and integrating its immigrant communities and standing up to the enforcement policies of the Trump administration. The state’s governor and...

May 19, 2017
The Trump administration’s approach will have devastating consequences for immigrant communities and will undermine, rather than improve, public safety.
May 15, 2017

President Trump signed an executive order last week calling for an investigation into alleged voter fraud in the American electoral system, in another attempt to give credence to his continuous,...

May 5, 2017

What can the first 100 days of the Trump administration tell us about how immigration will be handled in the next 100 days and beyond? Since his inauguration, President Trump has prioritized...

April 19, 2017

On April 18, President Trump signed the Presidential executive order on Buy American and Hire American. Similar to the other immigration-related executive orders, this one has no immediate effect...

April 17, 2017

Several media outlets have reported that on Tuesday, April 18, President Trump will sign an executive order mandating that the immigration agencies undertake a review of the H-1B visas...

April 4, 2017

Public and private prisons previously crumbling under financial strains, reduced population numbers, and Obama-era regulations are receiving a boost under the Trump administration, thanks in large...

March 15, 2017

Buried inside the interior enforcement Executive Order issued by President Trump in January are the Administration’s plans to revive the 287(g) program. This is concerning because the program has...

March 14, 2017

President Trump stated that he has “ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American victims during his Joint Address to congress. The office is called VOICE –...

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