Policy Briefs

AILA’s policy briefs provide in-depth insight and analysis on significant issues impacting the practice of immigration law, and offer recommendations to make the immigration law system more fair, efficient, and just. Check out all of AILA’s policy briefs below, with the most recent policy brief appearing first, and make your voice heard by supporting AILA’s advocacy priorities. 

REMOVAL AND RELIEF
Electronic Service of NTAs
AILA outlines what ICE must do to preserve due process when implementing electronic systems for processing and serving Notices to Appear.
ASYLUM
High-Stakes Asylum
This first-of-its-kind report explains asylum timelines and offers recommendations for how to make the asylum process more efficient while also ensuring its integrity.

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Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: AILA Analysis of the Border and Immigration Provisions of the “Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024”

With unprecedented levels of global migration and an outdated U.S. immigration system pushing more migrants to the southern border, solutions are urgently needed. The Senate’s emergency spending bill includes the most extensive border funding and security measures proposed in decades, perhaps ever.

2/5/24 AILA Doc. No. 24020433. Admissions & Border, Asylum, Removal & Relief
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: Why Limiting or Removing Parole Is Disastrous for Border Management

AILA provides a policy brief explaining why legislating away or limiting the authority to grant parole would needlessly strain the United States’ resources at the southern border and undermine efforts to manage it.

12/19/23 AILA Doc. No. 23121932. Humanitarian Parole
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: Border Solutions Are Attainable, But Proposals Under Consideration Fall Far Short

America urgently needs solutions to manage unprecedented migration levels arriving at the U.S. southern border. With volumes exceeding capacity, there is a greater imperative for the country to exercise control over its borders and process migrants more rapidly, efficiently, and fairly.

AILA Doc. No. 23121835. Admissions & Border, Asylum
Policy Briefs

By the Numbers: Nationwide Expansion of Expedited Removal Will Endanger Millions of Mixed-Status Families Across the United States

AILA joined organizations who represent undocumented community members and their families in assessing the impact of proposals to expand expedited removal to the interior as part of congressional border supplemental package negotiations.

12/18/23 AILA Doc. No. 23121931. Expedited Removal, Removal & Relief
Policy Briefs

What Would Be the Impact of Expanding Expedited Removal Nationwide?

AILA provides a policy brief about why we oppose a nationwide expansion of expedited removal. It would undermine due process, not improve border security or border processing of migrants, and could be used for mass deportations that would be disastrous for American communities and the economy.

12/12/23 AILA Doc. No. 23121203. Expedited Removal, Removal & Relief
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: What Would Be the Impact of Capping Asylum

AILA provides a policy brief on the idea of limiting the number of people who could receive asylum, which has been proposed as a way to reduce or limit migration at the U.S. southern border. A cap intended to block or limit asylum seekers is not an effective solution to managing border migration.

12/6/23 AILA Doc. No. 23120603. Asylum
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: The Asylum Credible Fear Standard

Proposed legislation has threatened to further restrict access to asylum. AILA opposes this change. This brief explains the current law governing this part of the asylum process called the credible fear interview.

11/27/23 AILA Doc. No. 23112244. Asylum
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: Barriers to Immigrant Visas Driving Migrants to the Southern Border

AILA provides a policy brief that connects visa delays at the Department of State with pressure on migrants to cross the southern border without authorization. Most of these delays are a result from a lack of resources and insufficient funding, as well as inefficiencies in the agencies’ processing.

11/6/23 AILA Doc. No. 23110601. Admissions & Border
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: Guiding Principles for an Electronic Service of the Notice to Appear

Recent developments in technology and increased migration encounters have generated interest in creating electronic systems for processing and serving NTAs. AILA provides a policy brief that outlines the parameters electronic systems and electronic service must have in order to preserve due process.

7/11/23 AILA Doc. No. 23071200. Removal & Relief
Policy Briefs

High-Stakes Asylum: How Long an Asylum Case Takes and How We Can Do Better

AILA released a first-of-its-kind report on asylum timelines, High-Stakes Asylum: How Long an Asylum Case Takes and How We Can Do Better. The report is based on a survey of over 300 asylum attorneys about how much time it takes to prepare an asylum application.

6/14/23 AILA Doc. No. 23061202. Asylum
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: What Does Effective Border Management Look Like?

To ensure lasting and meaningful change at the border, border security reforms must happen in tandem with other improvements to the immigration system. AILA offers recommendations for efficient, fair border processing, and managing migration.

5/9/23 AILA Doc. No. 22122790. Admissions & Border
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: Timing Considerations for Effective Representation in Asylum Cases

AILA provides a policy brief on how mandating asylum processing times tread into territory that imperils our nation’s commitment to due process by creating inflexible timelines that on a practical level do not allow meaningful access to counsel for asylum seekers. s

12/5/22 AILA Doc. No. 22120501. Asylum
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief: Case Management: An Effective and Humane Alternative to Detention

AILA summarizes current DHS alternative to detention options and urges Congress to fund a new approach. Case management programs are a more humane and effective approach to obtaining compliance with immigration requirements while also helping migrants navigate complex removal proceedings.

11/2/22 AILA Doc. No. 22110305. Detention & Bond, Removal & Relief
Policy Briefs

Making Headway: An Update on DOS’s Progress toward Addressing Inefficiencies and Delays Created by COVID-19

AILA provides a policy brief on the status of our June 2021 recommendations to DOS for reducing backlogs and delays resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as additional recommendations that might help the agency.

10/4/22 AILA Doc. No. 22100305. Consular Processing
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: Use of Virtual Hearings in Removal Proceedings

AILA and the American Immigration Council make detailed recommendations on the use of virtual technology in immigration hearings, describing the challenges of video teleconferencing and recommending agency standards and guidance.

5/3/22 AILA Doc. No. 22050500. Removal & Relief
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief: Recommendations on the Expansion and Implementation of Immigration Legal Representation Programs

AILA provides recommendations on the implementation of immigration legal representation programs based on the findings of the AILA Legal Representation Task Force.

3/1/22 AILA Doc. No. 22040504. Removal & Relief
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief — Righting the Ship: The Current Status of USCIS Processing Delays and How the Agency Can Get Back on Course

AILA provides an update on the current state of USCIS processing delays and offers 11 recommendations for how USCIS and members of Congress can right the ship and get the agency back on course toward efficient processing of benefits.

3/1/22 AILA Doc. No. 2202285.
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: Reopening America - How DOS Can Reduce Delays and Eliminate Backlogs and Inefficiencies to Create a Welcoming America

AILA provides sensible recommendations for policies and procedures that the Department of State and Biden administration can implement to overcome the hurdles created by the COVID-19 global pandemic, while reestablishing America as a welcoming nation.

6/29/21 AILA Doc. No. 21062930. Consular Processing
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: Moving the Nation Forward by Leaving Immigration Detention Behind

AILA issued a policy brief calling on Congress and the Biden administration to move away from the nation’s harmful and grossly overused detention system. The brief provides recommendations for reducing and phasing out immigration detention, including community-based case management support.

3/25/21 AILA Doc. No. 21032532. Detention & Bond, Removal & Relief
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: How USCIS Can Dismantle the Invisible Wall Slowing Case Adjudication

AILA offers a policy brief with recommendations for actions that USCIS can take to improve its efficiency in adjudications, including eliminating mandatory in-person interview requirements for routine cases, reusing biometrics and waiving the biometrics requirement for certain groups, and more.

3/24/21 AILA Doc. No. 21032530.
Policy Briefs

Walled Off: How USCIS Has Closed Its Doors on Customers and Strayed from Its Statutory Customer Service Mission

Over the last four years USCIS has strayed far from its customer-oriented mission. AILA highlights many of the measures responsible for this shift and offers smart, sensible solutions for the agency to rebuild its public services and ensure efficiency and transparency in its operations.

2/12/21 AILA Doc. No. 21021236.
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: Why President Biden Needs to Make Immediate Changes to Rehabilitate the Immigration Courts

In just four years, President Trump implemented radical changes that fundamentally compromised the integrity of the immigration courts. This policy brief explains the most critical and urgent changes President Biden should make to the immigration court system to ensure fairness and impartiality.

2/12/21 AILA Doc. No. 21021232. Removal & Relief
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: The Biden Administration and Congress Must Guarantee Legal Representation for People Facing Removal

AILA and the Council issued a policy brief calling upon the Biden administration to expand federally-funded legal representation programs for people facing removal, arguing that legal representation ensures due process and efficiency, reduces the detention of immigrants, and reduces court backlog.

1/15/21 AILA Doc. No. 21011501. Detention & Bond, Removal & Relief
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: Increase in Indefinite ICE Detention Without Foreseeable Removal Dates During COVID-19 Pandemic

AILA and the Council released a policy brief on the increase in indefinite ICE detention during the pandemic. The brief outlines how ICE has failed to comply with limitations on its authority to indefinitely detain people, thus violating due process and endangering public and detainee health.

1/7/21 AILA Doc. No. 20122802. Detention & Bond, Removal & Relief
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief: USCIS’s “No Blank Space” Policy Leads to Capricious Rejections of Benefits Requests

This AILA policy brief describes how USCIS upended long-standing practice, without notice, and began rejecting forms that left questions blank or did not use specific terminology to indicate that a question was inapplicable, leading to capricious rejections.

10/22/20 AILA Doc. No. 20101990.