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. 

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.
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.

Join AILA’s advocacy efforts.

Use our templates and tools to call for legislative and policy reforms that reflect AILA’s principles and priorities.
Browse the Policy Briefs collection
26 - 44 of 44 collection items
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.
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief: Crisis Level USCIS Processing Delays and Inefficiencies Continue to Grow

AILA’s analysis of USCIS data from FY2019 reveals a continued rise in USCIS processing delays for applications and petitions for immigration benefits. The results of this analysis underscores the importance of robust congressional oversight of USCIS to ensure transparency and good governance.

2/26/20 AILA Doc. No. 20022502.
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief: Questions Remain After AILA Joins Laredo Tent Court Tour

On January 24, 2020, at DHS invitation, an AILA delegation attended a tour and briefing of the tent facility in Laredo. This policy brief addresses what AILA learned during that tour of the processes and procedures for migrants, attorneys, and observers.

1/30/20 AILA Doc. No. 20013031. Admissions & Border, Asylum
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief: Restoring Integrity and Independence to America’s Immigration Courts

The U.S. immigration court system suffers from profound structural problems that have severely eroded its capacity to deliver just decisions in a timely manner. This policy brief outlines how the courts have been pushed to their breaking point, and what it will take to fix them.

1/24/20 AILA Doc. No. 18092834. Removal & Relief
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief: Proposed Asylum Rule Blocks Asylum Seekers from Humanitarian Protection

AILA issued a policy brief on the Trump administration’s notice of proposed rulemaking on bars to asylum eligibility, noting that it would undermine the protections currently available to people who flee to the United States to escape persecution, torture, or even death in their home countries.

1/22/20 AILA Doc. No. 20012236. Asylum
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief: Public Access to Tent Courts Now Allowed, but Meaningful Access Still Absent

AILA issued a policy brief following DHS’s announcement that it has opened the Laredo and Brownsville tent courts for court observers. DHS and DOJ have operationalized this directive in a way that fails to allow meaningful access to the tent court facilities and imposes new hurdles to transparency.

1/10/20 AILA Doc. No. 20011061. Admissions & Border, Asylum, Removal & Relief
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief: DHS and DOJ Are Opening Secretive Port Courts Along the Southern Border

AILA issued a policy brief that shares the little information regarding the DHS and DOJ port courts that has been made publicly available by media reports and elevates the outstanding operational issues of concern that have yet to be addressed by agencies.

9/6/19 AILA Doc. No. 19090631. Admissions & Border, Asylum
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief: Effective Border Management Begins with Improving the U.S. Asylum System

AILA issued a policy brief with solutions to the recent increase in migration at the U.S. southern border, which will prove to be more effective in providing a fair, orderly, and efficient system for processing asylum seekers and other migrants.

6/13/19 AILA Doc. No. 19060701. Admissions & Border, Asylum
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief: Facts About the State of Our Nation’s Immigration Courts

AILA issued a policy brief in response to EOIR’s Myths vs. Fact memo that was disseminated on May 8, 2019. AILA explains that EOIR’s skewed portrayal only demonstrates the urgent need for Congress to create an independent court, separate from DOJ.

5/14/19 AILA Doc. No. 19051438. Asylum, Removal & Relief
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief: Florida Senate Bill 168 Contains Anti-Immigrant Provisions

On 5/2/19, the controversial Florida Senate Bill (SB) 168 passed 22-18 in the Senate and 68-45 in the House. Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, is expected to sign SB 168 into law. The law will take effect on 7/1/19, except for the section establishing penalties which will take effect on 10/1/19.

5/2/19 AILA Doc. No. 19052236.
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief: Seven Ways USCIS Is Defying the Will of Congress

This policy brief examines seven ways in which USCIS is transforming from the immigration benefits service that Congress intended, into another DHS enforcement arm.

2/25/19 AILA Doc. No. 19022570.
Policy Briefs

AILA’s Policy Brief: FOIA Reveals EOIR’s Failed Plan for Fixing the Immigration Court Backlog

AILA issued a policy brief analyzing EOIR’s failed plan for reducing the immigration court case backlog. Contrary to EOIR’s stated goals, the agency’s “Strategic Caseload Reduction Plan” exacerbated the due process crisis in the immigration courts and in some instances, contributed to the backlog.

2/21/19 AILA Doc. No. 19021900. Removal & Relief
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief: “Remain in Mexico” Plan Sows Chaos, Puts Asylum Seekers at Risk

This policy brief examines how the administration’s cruel and likely illegal “Remain in Mexico” policy will make it nearly impossible for asylum seekers to access the protections they are entitled to under the law and explores the solutions that the administration should implement instead.

2/1/19 AILA Doc. No. 18122112. Admissions & Border, Asylum
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief: USCIS Processing Delays Have Reached Crisis Levels Under the Trump Administration

AILA’s analysis of USCIS data reveals crisis-level delays in its processing of applications and petitions for immigration benefits under the Trump administration. This brief examines how current USCIS policies lengthen the delays and what steps USCIS and Congress can take to remedy this crisis.

1/30/19 AILA Doc. No. 19012834.
Policy Briefs

AILA Policy Brief: Trump Shutdown Bill Full of Extreme Restrictionist Provisions

The “End the Shutdown and Secure the Border Act” bill should be rejected as representing hardline restrictionist views, rather than a genuine attempt at compromise. It would provide weak DACA and TPS protections, ramp up funding for enforcement, and all but eliminate asylum for certain minors.