Immigration Reform

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 Immigration Reform Content

October 14, 2019
Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, the federal government has spent an estimated $324 billion on the agencies that carry out immigration enforcement.
September 3, 2019
This fact sheet provides an overview of the Dream Act and other similar legislative proposals, explains changes made to DACA on March 13, 2019, and provides information about policies at the state...
August 11, 2017
The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act (RAISE Act) or S. 354 would mark a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. immigration system. It would significantly reduce levels of legal...
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...
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...
The Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (CAARP) is a secret and unlawful government vetting program that targets thousands of applicants who are Muslim or from certain Muslim-majority countries for delay or denial of immigration benefits.
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.
December 12, 2015
The statement shares our analysis and research regarding the Obama's administration removal and enforcement policies and the effect they have on communities.
February 25, 2015
The statement is comprised of three major parts that analyze the beneficial effects of these programs will have on society as a whole.
December 10, 2014
The statement provides a brief historical overview of presidential authority related to immigration which gives President Obama the authority for his Immigration Accountability Executive Action.
February 11, 2014
The United States government has failed to enact legislation, and in this has failed to recognize that enforcement with reform is the only effective way to repair our broken immigration system.
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.
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
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.
November 4, 2019

A federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s health care ban on Saturday, one day before it was scheduled to go into effect. The ban would have barred entry for any prospective...

October 18, 2019

President Trump has made the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border a cornerstone of his presidency. To date, not a single mile of new barriers has been erected. But the Trump...

October 14, 2019

The Trump administration suffered another immigration blow in court last Friday. The new “public charge” rule set to go into effect Tuesday, October 15, was blocked in three separate rulings by...

October 9, 2019

President Trump invoked the same legal authority used for the Travel Ban to impose a sweeping new ban on legal immigration last week. Under the new ban, which analysis suggests could block as much...

September 12, 2019

The Supreme Court issued an emergency ruling on Wednesday allowing the Trump administration to implement a ban on asylum seekers at the southern land border. The ban applies to people who...

May 6, 2019

In a move designed to ratchet up pressure on Congress, last week the White House sent an emergency budget request to Congress asking for $4.5 billion of funding to deal with increased numbers of...

April 10, 2019

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned from her position on Monday. She was reportedly forced from office after President Trump grew frustrated with the...

February 15, 2019
After months of threats, the longest government shutdown in history, and the passage of a bipartisan compromise on federal funding for homeland security, President Trump declared a national emergency to fund the building of a border wall without congressional approval. The president took this step despite strong bipartisan opposition to declaring a national emergency.
September 23, 2018
The Trump administration is proposing sweeping new regulations that could lead to the largest decline in legal immigration in generations. The new regulations propose to redefine the meaning of the legal term “public charge."
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.

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.

November 4, 2019

A federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s health care ban on Saturday, one day before it was scheduled to go into effect. The ban would have barred entry for any prospective...

October 18, 2019

President Trump has made the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border a cornerstone of his presidency. To date, not a single mile of new barriers has been erected. But the Trump...

October 14, 2019

The Trump administration suffered another immigration blow in court last Friday. The new “public charge” rule set to go into effect Tuesday, October 15, was blocked in three separate rulings by...

October 14, 2019
Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, the federal government has spent an estimated $324 billion on the agencies that carry out immigration enforcement.
October 9, 2019

President Trump invoked the same legal authority used for the Travel Ban to impose a sweeping new ban on legal immigration last week. Under the new ban, which analysis suggests could block as much...

September 12, 2019

The Supreme Court issued an emergency ruling on Wednesday allowing the Trump administration to implement a ban on asylum seekers at the southern land border. The ban applies to people who...

September 3, 2019
This fact sheet provides an overview of the Dream Act and other similar legislative proposals, explains changes made to DACA on March 13, 2019, and provides information about policies at the state...

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