Waivers and Relief from Deportation

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 Waivers and Relief from Deportation Content

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...
May 14, 2012
How Gaps in ICE's Prosecutorial Discretion Policy Affect Immigrants Without Legal Representation While the Obama administration’s has expanded use of prosecutorial discretion in immigration cases,...
April 11, 2012
Discretion takes many forms throughout the immigration enforcement process. Every removal of a noncitizen from the United States, for example, reflects a series of complex choices which reflect...
July 20, 2011
On June 17, 2011, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton issued two significant memoranda on the use of prosecutorial discretion in immigration matters. Prosecutorial...
December 1, 2010
On June 30, 2010, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), John Morton, issued a memo to the agency that reflected the Obama administration’s oft repeated intent...
October 19, 2016
The Council, along with amici the University of Houston Law Center, AILA, and others, submitted a brief in response to a request from the Board of Immigration Appeals, arguing that lawful permanent residents who were initially admitted to the United States after being waved through a port of entry were eligible for cancellation of removal on the grounds that they had been “admitted in any status,” a requirement of the cancellation statute.
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 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
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.
January 26, 2015
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 27, 2014
This Practice Advisory is designed to assist attorneys without significant expertise in immigration law in determining whether individuals seeking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) might be eligible for immigration benefits that are more lasting and concrete than DACA. The forms of relief discussed in this Practice Advisory include adjustment of status, U and T visas, asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and more. The appendix includes a questionnaire that may be helpful in identifying individuals who qualify for one of these forms of relief.
January 21, 2014
This Practice Advisory provides background information about requesting stays of removal from the court of appeals, discusses the legal standard for obtaining a stay, and addresses the implications of the government’s policy with respect to return of individuals who are successful on their appeal.
November 13, 2013
This Practice Advisory addresses some of the factual scenarios and legal issues that may arise when seeking to suppress evidence unlawfully obtained at or near the border. This Practice Advisory supplements a prior American Immigration Council Practice Advisory, Motions to Suppress in Removal Proceedings: A General Overview, which has been updated to address certain strategic considerations concerning motions to suppress, including the advisability and timing of filing a concurrent request for prosecutorial discretion or a lawsuit for damages.
August 15, 2013
This Practice Advisory deals primarily with Fourth Amendment limitations on state and local immigration enforcement efforts and also briefly addresses Fifth Amendment violations that may arise from the same types of encounters with state and local officers. It also discusses some of the legal issues that may arise when noncitizens in removal proceedings move to suppress evidence obtained as a result of a constitutional violation by such officers.
August 5, 2013
On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in United States v. Windsor, holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. This practice advisory highlights some of the issues LGBT families will face in a post-DOMA world.
October 30, 2015

On Thursday, Secretary Jeh Johnson of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) addressed the 12th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, covering a wide-range of topics, from border...

October 8, 2015

This week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued draft guidance on what constitutes “extreme hardship” for purposes of an immigration waiver. The much anticipated guidance is a...

May 20, 2015

In a decision issued last week, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) reversed course and decided that a subset of Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) who have been convicted of certain crimes may...

May 22, 2014

On May 19, 2014, the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) filed an amicus curiae brief urging the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to

June 24, 2011

Washington, D.C.—The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) cautiously applauds last week’s

October 19, 2016
The Council, along with amici the University of Houston Law Center, AILA, and others, submitted a brief in response to a request from the Board of Immigration Appeals, arguing that lawful permanent residents who were initially admitted to the United States after being waved through a port of entry were eligible for cancellation of removal on the grounds that they had been “admitted in any status,” a requirement of the cancellation statute.
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 30, 2015

On Thursday, Secretary Jeh Johnson of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) addressed the 12th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, covering a wide-range of topics, from border...

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.
October 8, 2015

This week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued draft guidance on what constitutes “extreme hardship” for purposes of an immigration waiver. The much anticipated guidance is a...

May 20, 2015

In a decision issued last week, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) reversed course and decided that a subset of Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) who have been convicted of certain crimes may...

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.
January 26, 2015
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 27, 2014
This Practice Advisory is designed to assist attorneys without significant expertise in immigration law in determining whether individuals seeking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) might be eligible for immigration benefits that are more lasting and concrete than DACA. The forms of relief discussed in this Practice Advisory include adjustment of status, U and T visas, asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and more. The appendix includes a questionnaire that may be helpful in identifying individuals who qualify for one of these forms of relief.

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