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New Report on Asylum Work Authorization “Clock” Released

Released on Fri, Feb 12, 2010

Washington, D.C. - Today, Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights and the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center released a new study, "Up Against the Clock: Fixing the Broken Employment Authorization Asylum Clock." The report examines the laws, policy, and practice of the “Employment Authorization Document (EAD) asylum clock”— a clock which measures the number of days after an applicant files an asylum application before the applicant is eligible for work authorization. The law requires asylum applicants to wait 150 days after filing an application to apply for a work permit and in some instances, permits the government to extend this waiting period by “stopping the clock” for certain incidents caused by the applicant. Nevertheless, the report reveals that applicants often wait much longer than the legally permitted timeframe to receive a work permit.

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New England

DREAM Delayed in the Senate

Released on Tue, Sep 21, 2010

Washington D.C. - Today, the Senate voted 56 to 43 against proceeding to the Defense Authorization Act. This procedural vote, which basically followed party lines, ends consideration of critical social issues that affect the military and were to be offered as amendments to the bill. Among the amendments not considered is the DREAM Act, an immigration bill that would provide legal status to young people who graduate from high school and pursue college or military service.

The following is a statement from Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center:

"The political gridlock that has immobilized the Senate has resulted once again in a lost opportunity for the American people. By refusing to allow the Defense Authorization Act to proceed, America will not see, at this time, an up or down vote on the DREAM Act, which would have been a first legislative step in resolving our immigration crisis. The Senators who voted "no" today are ignoring unequivocal evidence that the DREAM Act is good for military readiness, the American workforce and the U.S. economy. 

The energy and enthusiasm of thousands of young people who have poured themselves into promoting the DREAM Act has not been wasted, however. Because of their efforts, more people today understand the importance of DREAM to our economy, our military, and the future of our country than ever before."


For more information contact Wendy Sefsaf at or 202-507-7524.

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Elizabeth Kennedy

Elizabeth Kennedy is a Fulbright Fellow currently working with returned child and youth migrants from Mexico and the United States in El Salvador. Her work and research focuses on the experiences and needs of child, youth and forced migrants. She has over a decade’s experience in youth programming and organizing and co-founded and directs an internship program for undergraduates to mentor detained child migrants. She received her MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from Oxford University in 2011, and since beginning her doctoral program in 2011, has published in academic and popular press. She has also provided expert testimony in Central American asylum seekers’ cases in Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

House Subcommittee Continues Assault on All Forms of Immigration

Released on Tue, Apr 05, 2011

Washington D.C. - Opponents of immigration reform are often quick to differentiate their disdain for unauthorized immigration from their alleged support of legal immigration. However, finding any evidence of that support has always been elusive and, over the past several months, the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement has conducted hearings that question the value of all forms of immigration. They continue to perpetuate the myth that all immigrants - including legal immigrants - are stealing jobs from native-born workers.

Today, the committee continues these same attacks on legal channels of immigration with a hearing on diversity visas, a program which provides 55,000 green cards annually by lottery to persons from countries that do not currently send many immigrants to the United States. The diversity visa is a relatively small program designed to increase the diversity of our immigrant flows. One prime example of a diversity visa winner is famed soccer player Freddy Adu.Read more...

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The LAC Docket | Volume V, Issue 3

The Newsletter of the American Immigration Council 

June 17, 2015

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     Enforcement

DHS: Prioritizing Enforcement and Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion

Experts Welcome New Guidance, But Agree the Devil is in the Details

Released on Mon, Aug 22, 2011

Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council hosted a briefing to discuss the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) announcement last week that it would issue agency-wide guidance to make certain that prosecutorial discretion is exercised in a manner that ensures the agency's enforcement resources are used to remove those who pose the greatest risk to public safety. DHS also announced the creation of a joint committee with the Department of Justice (DOJ) that will review nearly 300,000 cases currently in removal proceedings to determine which ones are low priority and can be administratively closed in order to begin unclogging immigration courts. While it is unclear how these proposals will play out in practice, the federal government must continue to assert its authority over immigration given the rise of state legislative initiatives that seek to impose different priorities on immigration enforcement.

Melissa Crow, Director of the Legal Action Center at the American Immigration Council discussed the practical implications of the use of greater prosecutorial discretion and had a warning for immigrants not in removal proceedings:

“Prosecutorial discretion is not a new concept, and is exercised on a daily basis by law enforcement agencies. It refers to the authority of a law enforcement agency or officer to decide whether – and to what extent – to enforce the law in a particular case. Prosecutorial discretion can take a variety of forms, depending on the nature of the case involved.Read more...

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Asian Americans Mobilize for Immigration Reform

Published on Thu, Aug 20, 2009

For the first time in the nation

Published in the New American Media

The American Immigration Council Honors Immigrant Achievement in Music at the 2012 American Heritage Awards

Released on Mon, Jun 11, 2012

Washington D.C. - The American Immigration Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 American Heritage Awards. The Awards celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of immigrants to America and this year we recognize immigrant achievement in music. The Council will celebrate the honorees and enjoy live performances on Friday, June 15, 2012, in Nashville, Tennessee during the Council’s Annual Benefit and as part of the American Immigration Lawyers Association's Annual Conference. Read more...

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Clayton students take first, second and third in immigration essay contest

Published on Mon, Apr 20, 2009

Three fifth graders at Clayton Elementary School won awards in the "Celebrate America" Creative Writing Contest with their essays on the theme "Why I am glad America is a nation of immigrants."