Refugee Status

While updating our immigration system has been a slow process, over the last decade, there have been efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation and the DREAM Act. Other reform efforts include executive actions such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). Learn more about the ways America can upgrade its immigration system.

Recent Features

All Refugee Status Content

September 17, 2018
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.
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...
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...
October 21, 2010

In March 2008, the Bureau of Population, Migration and Refugees (PRM)—the Department of State agency that processes refugees abroad—halted its family...

June 1, 2005
Thirty years after the fall of the Saigon government, Vietnamese Americans celebrate the fact that they have moved far beyond their refugee origins and become successful economic and political...
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 28, 2016
The statement emphasizes the important role that the United States has played in the past in protecting the world's most vulnerable people and why we need to continue to welcome those fleeing dire situations and not deny them entry.
November 19, 2015
The statement explains in detail the 13- step screening process that refugees must clear in order to be granted refugee status in the U.S. and what the steps are once an individual is granted refugee status.
October 1, 2015
The statement discusses the rigorous 13-step screening process that an individual must undergo before entering the United States as a refugee and explains the current response to the Syrian refugee crisis and how the Obama administration can better address the rising numbers of Syrian refugees by increasing the number of refugees that the United States resettles in the next fiscal year.
May 23, 2019

As rising numbers of families and children are arriving at the U.S. Mexico border and asking for asylum, the conditions they face while in the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have...

April 18, 2019

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ international field offices provide critical services to Americans living abroad, as well as refugees and other immigrants. But in a supposed effort to...

April 16, 2019

The Trump administration has agreed to reverse course and begin the process of reuniting 2,700 children living in Central America with their parents in the United States. The decision comes as...

January 29, 2019

It has been two years since the Trump administration’s travel ban went into effect. Aside from multiple court challenges, the ban has largely disappeared from American headlines. And yet the ban...

October 29, 2018

In a world of instantaneous news, the nation learned of the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday in Pittsburgh almost in real time. As the details emerged, we discovered that 11 Jewish...

October 24, 2018

When people feel welcomed into a community, great things often happen that benefit the receiving community and even the nation. When newcomers feel accepted and included in a society, it provides...

September 18, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday evening that the Trump administration intends to limit refugee admissions to no more than 30,000 people in Fiscal Year 2019. In an effort to soften...

June 20, 2018

Across the globe, people gather together to celebrate World Refugee Day on June 20. Started in 2001, this day not only commends the courage and determination of the currently 25.4 million...

May 30, 2018

When it comes to U.S. refugee policy, the Trump administration is asking Congress to let the fox guard the hen house. The administration has nominated Ronald Mortensen to be assistant secretary of...

March 29, 2018

Six months into fiscal year 2018, the Trump administration has admitted roughly 10,520 refugees, a number so low that it may be impossible to reach the 45,000 target set by the administration last...

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.
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

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

December 24, 2015

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

September 10, 2015

Washington, DC – Today, Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), the American Immigration Council, Refugee and Immigrant Center for E

July 25, 2015

Washington, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council (Council) welcomed a ruling by U.S.

July 30, 2014

Washington D.C. - The humanitarian challenge posed by the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied children and young families at our southern border has once again ignited passions over

June 30, 2014

Washington D.C. - As the numbers of unaccompanied minors and mothers with children crossing our southern border grows, the U.S.

May 23, 2019

As rising numbers of families and children are arriving at the U.S. Mexico border and asking for asylum, the conditions they face while in the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have...

April 18, 2019

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ international field offices provide critical services to Americans living abroad, as well as refugees and other immigrants. But in a supposed effort to...

April 16, 2019

The Trump administration has agreed to reverse course and begin the process of reuniting 2,700 children living in Central America with their parents in the United States. The decision comes as...

January 29, 2019

It has been two years since the Trump administration’s travel ban went into effect. Aside from multiple court challenges, the ban has largely disappeared from American headlines. And yet the ban...

October 29, 2018

In a world of instantaneous news, the nation learned of the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday in Pittsburgh almost in real time. As the details emerged, we discovered that 11 Jewish...

October 24, 2018

When people feel welcomed into a community, great things often happen that benefit the receiving community and even the nation. When newcomers feel accepted and included in a society, it provides...

September 18, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday evening that the Trump administration intends to limit refugee admissions to no more than 30,000 people in Fiscal Year 2019. In an effort to soften...

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 17, 2018
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.
June 20, 2018

Across the globe, people gather together to celebrate World Refugee Day on June 20. Started in 2001, this day not only commends the courage and determination of the currently 25.4 million...

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