Detention

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 Detention Content

December 5, 2018
This analysis reveals that individuals detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were commonly held in privately operated and remotely located facilities, far away from basic community...
September 6, 2018
The Legal Orientation Program (LOP) offers legal education, as well as referrals for free and low-cost legal counsel, to noncitizens in immigration detention.
August 16, 2018
This report presents findings from the first empirical analysis of asylum adjudication in family detention. Drawing on government data from over 18,000 immigration court proceedings initiated between...
May 23, 2018
Deportations of parents and family members have serious consequences that affect children and extend to communities and the country as a whole.
May 1, 2018
Over the last two decades, the federal government increasingly has utilized the criminal courts to punish people for immigration violations. This overview provides basic information about entry-...
September 19, 2017
Mexican migrants suffer a host of violations, abuses, and ill treatment while in the custody of U.S. immigration authorities.
May 9, 2017
Detained asylum seekers encounter numerous challenges, including the following problems detailed in this report.
August 31, 2016
This report examines what happens when “family detention” does not actually keep loved ones together and profiles the experiences of five asylum-seeking families who are divided by detention.
August 18, 2016
This report reveals that individuals are frequently held for days and sometimes even months in holding cells in Border Patrol sectors along the U.S.’ southwest border.
December 17, 2015
These accounts reveal the markedly dehumanizing conditions to which these women were subjected while in Border Patrol custody.
September 18, 2018

The American Immigration Council and American Immigration Lawyers Association submitted a written statement to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and...

This case challenges the punitive practice of keeping asylum seekers in custody for weeks or months without access to credible fear interviews or bond hearings and the lack of basic procedural protections—like hearing transcripts and written decisions—in bond hearings, as well as whether asylum seekers must bear the burden of proof in bond proceedings.
August 23, 2018

The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy led to not only to the forcible separation of thousands of children from their parents, but the extreme duress and coercion of...

July 31, 2018
The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for a July 31, 2018 hearing on “Oversight of Immigration Enforcement and Family Reunification Efforts.”
The American Immigration Council filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with ICE and CBP on October 13, 2017, seeking data on enforcement actions and outcomes since January 2016. With this data, the Council will be able to assess who is being targeted for removal and what the consequences are of the current enforcement framework.
This lawsuit seeks to compel government agencies to produce documents regarding family separation policies.
June 4, 2018

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association filed an administrative complaint with the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), the Office of the...

The requests ask for policies, guidelines, or procedures followed or used by immigration enforcement regarding the treatment of pregnant individuals in custody and any system used to track and monitor pregnant detainees.
The requests ask for policies, guidelines, or procedures followed or used by the governmental agencies to address the processing and treatment of families at the U.S.-Mexico border and specifically, the separation of adult family members from minor children and the criminal prosecution of adult family members.
This lawsuit challenges the actions of immigration judges in Charlotte, North Carolina who have refused to conduct bond hearings for people who properly file bond motions with the Charlotte Immigration Court.
August 20, 2018
This practice advisory provides an overview of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bivens, the benefits and risks of bringing a Bivens claim, and practical and legal information about filing a Bivens claim in federal court.
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...

June 1, 2008

This Practice Advisory offers a short introduction to habeas corpus, addressing when and how a petitioner may file a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the immigration context.

December 14, 2018

A federal court in Seattle on Tuesday permitted a case challenging unlawful delays in asylum screening interviews and bond hearings for asylum seekers to move forward over the government’s...

December 5, 2018

There is a lot that we don’t know about immigration detention. Although Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been in the headlines more often than in past years, the network of facilities...

November 30, 2018

Thousands of migrant children are currently being held at a tent city in Tornillo, Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border. Most of the children traveled alone in order to flee from violence in their...

November 29, 2018

Roxsana Hernández Rodriguez, a 33-year-old transgender woman from Honduras, died in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody in May, weeks after presenting herself at the San Ysidro...

November 19, 2018

After a summer in which almost 3,000 migrant children were separated from their parents at the border, the Trump administration admitted last week that it was holding a record number of children...

November 16, 2018

Ronald Vitiello, President Trump’s nominee to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), had a nomination hearing in front of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on...

November 6, 2018

As Americans go to the polls, many will also be taking part in another form of government participation—submitting comments on the Trump administration’s proposal to expand family detention for...

October 22, 2018

The horrifying and tragic legacy of the Trump administration’s family separation policy—which allegedly ended by executive order in June this summer—is far from over. Even with many children still...

October 11, 2018

Senators grilled Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen about the Trump administration’s harsh immigration policies, including its practice of detaining migrant children...

October 3, 2018

When government officials conducted a surprise inspection of the immigration detention center in Adelanto, California this May, they were met by many signs of serious neglect and abuse, including...

December 13, 2018
A federal district court in Seattle, Washington issued an order rejecting the government’s arguments that recent asylum seekers who enter the United States without immigration status are not entitled to constitutional protections.
December 5, 2018
A report on immigration detention examines the United States’ complex, sprawling network of facilities used to detain immigrants. The report, “The Landscape of Immigration Detention in the United States,” reveals that detained individuals were commonly held in facilities operated by private entities and located in remote areas, far away from basic community support structures and legal advocacy networks.
September 21, 2018
Yesterday, plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit challenging the U.S. government’s targeted efforts to obstruct asylum seekers filed a motion for preliminary injunction demanding timely bond hearings that comport with due process.
September 6, 2018
The Trump administration proposed new regulations that could lead to the indefinite detention—and needless suffering—of asylum-seeking children.
August 23, 2018
The complaint points to numerous examples, including that of Mrs. D.P., who was separated from her 9-year-old daughter for 47 days as a result of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' "zero-tolerance" border policy.
August 16, 2018
As government officials and policymakers weigh the potential expansion of family detention, this report reveals how detention impacts asylum-seeking families and their claims for protection.
July 26, 2018
"The government’s failure to comply with the court order to reunify the thousands of separated children and parents confirms the administration’s utter disregard for the humane and fair treatment of families coming to our country in search of protection."
July 9, 2018
Leaders of several immigrant and human rights organizations were invited for the first time under the Trump administration to meet with Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.
June 27, 2018
The lawsuit asks the court to compel the agencies to produce family separation documents in response to FOIA requests submitted in April.
June 20, 2018
President Donald Trump signed an executive order today to try to stem criticism of his family separation policy. He has offered an unacceptable alternative: imprisoning mothers and fathers with their children.
December 14, 2018

A federal court in Seattle on Tuesday permitted a case challenging unlawful delays in asylum screening interviews and bond hearings for asylum seekers to move forward over the government’s...

December 13, 2018
A federal district court in Seattle, Washington issued an order rejecting the government’s arguments that recent asylum seekers who enter the United States without immigration status are not entitled to constitutional protections.
December 5, 2018

There is a lot that we don’t know about immigration detention. Although Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been in the headlines more often than in past years, the network of facilities...

December 5, 2018
A report on immigration detention examines the United States’ complex, sprawling network of facilities used to detain immigrants. The report, “The Landscape of Immigration Detention in the United States,” reveals that detained individuals were commonly held in facilities operated by private entities and located in remote areas, far away from basic community support structures and legal advocacy networks.
December 5, 2018
This analysis reveals that individuals detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were commonly held in privately operated and remotely located facilities, far away from basic community...
November 30, 2018

Thousands of migrant children are currently being held at a tent city in Tornillo, Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border. Most of the children traveled alone in order to flee from violence in their...

November 29, 2018

Roxsana Hernández Rodriguez, a 33-year-old transgender woman from Honduras, died in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody in May, weeks after presenting herself at the San Ysidro...

November 19, 2018

After a summer in which almost 3,000 migrant children were separated from their parents at the border, the Trump administration admitted last week that it was holding a record number of children...

November 16, 2018

Ronald Vitiello, President Trump’s nominee to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), had a nomination hearing in front of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on...

November 6, 2018

As Americans go to the polls, many will also be taking part in another form of government participation—submitting comments on the Trump administration’s proposal to expand family detention for...

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