Guide to Immigration Law


This guide is intended to provide primary and secondary sources for both legal and illegal immigration information.  Included are both print and online sources. 


The Criminal Lawyer's Guide to Immigration Law: Questions and Answers

McWhirter, Robert James
This treatise includes sections on aliens and government, criminal convictions, crimes such as alien smuggling and immigrant document fraud, reentry after deportation and illegal entry, and alien witnesses and defendants. The book answers hundreds of common practical questions, such as “Where can an alien get a visa?,” “Does Miranda apply at the border?,” and “What can happen to employers with unauthorized employees?”   In most instances the answers direct you to specific cases or more in-depth resources.
Law Treatises, KF4819 .M39 2005
Essentials of Immigration Law
Boswell, Richard A.
This is a practice-oriented manual. It offers a practical overview of topics such as citizenship and naturalization, asylum, criminal violations, labor certification, family-based immigration, employment-based immigration, and administrative/judicial review. The treatise also includes a glossary of terms and acronyms, a list of immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, and a United States Code to Immigration and Naturalization Act conversion chart.
Law Treatises, KF4819 .B67 2009
Immigration Pleading and Practice Manual
Gallagher, Anna M. 
This manual contains motions, notices, and applications frequently required in immigration practice.  The included CD-ROM has editable electronic copies of the motions and memoranda. The print volume also includes "Practitioners' Notes," which explain the legal principles and the practical considerations applicable to use of particular motions.
Law Treatises, KF4819 .G35 2006  
Law Media, KF4819 .G35 2006  Forms CDROM

Immigration Law and Procedure in a Nutshell
Weissbrodt, David S.
This nutshell is a compact explanation of immigration law. It begins with an overview of the history of U.S. immigration law and policy and covers the source and scope of the federal power to regulate immigration, the administrative structure of immigration law, and the Congressional role in the immigration process. It also addresses immigrants, nonimmigrant visitors and temporary workers, nonimmigrant students, and grounds for inadmissibility and removal.
Law Study Skills Collection, KF4819.3 .W4 2011

A Guide for Immigration Advocates
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
This treatise covers the basics of immigration law, including visa petitions, relief from removal, political asylum, removal proceedings, and constitutional and statutory rights of immigrants. It is organized as a practical how-to manual and has sample applications, charts, and practical advice on working with clients, as well as basic practice tips such as how to organize your files and prepare case filings. 
Law Treatises, KF4819 .I544 2005

Board of Immigration Appeals Practice Manual Questions and Answers
United States Board of Immigration Appeals
This is a guide for attorneys and representatives on practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Among other topics it explains filing with the BIA, motions before the BIA, and oral arguments. It also contains a BIA directory and organizational chart, as well as mailing addresses, sample forms, and citation guidelines. The Manual can be accessed online at
Law Treatises, KF4819.U54 B61 2005
Immigration Stories
Martin, David A. and Peter H. Schuck
Immigration Stories focuses on 13 important court cases that illustrate the formation of federal immigration law. The authors of the 13 case accounts emphasize the decisions made before and during each case by immigrants, advocacy groups, lawyers, Congress, the executive branch, and judges. The accounts are less concerned with the legal doctrine of the cases than with the human dramas behind them.
Law Treatises, KF4819 .A2 I56 2005

Navigating Immigration Law in Arizona
Ausdemore, Michelle S.
This treatise was written by two practicing immigration lawyers in Phoenix, Arizona, and approaches immigration law from a practical perspective. It has sections on understanding current legislation and statutory guidelines and staying in compliance with employment verification guidelines, and covers the visa application, processing, and renewal process.
Law Reserve, KFA2814 .A87 2005

AILA's Global Immigration Guide: A Country-by-Country Survey
Borene, Scott M.
This book is published by the American Immigration Lawyers Association and offers information concerning moving workers into more than 44 countries. Through the answers to 25 frequently asked questions, the text provides information on entry issues, new hires, work permits, international transfers of key personnel, employment visas, taxation, local employment law, and employment-based residence, in addition to work permit/visa options for spouses, children, and domestic employees accompanying expatriate workers.
Law Treatises, K3275 .A45 2005

Kurzban's Immigration Law Sourcebook: A Comprehensive Outline and Reference Tool
Kurzban, Ira J.
Kurzban’s Sourcebook is an excellent quick-reference publication written for practitioners and students, with multiple tables of authorities that direct the reader to federal and administrative cases, regulations and statues, and INS, DOS, and DOL rulings on significant issues related to immigration law. It is designed to provide a condensed reference source to all major areas of immigration and nationality law.
Law Reference, Law Reserve KF4819.3 .K87 2010

A Judge's Guide to Immigration Law in Criminal Proceedings
Goldberg, Pamela and Carol L. Wolchok
This is a bench book published by the American Bar Association and designed for use by judges sitting in criminal court. It provides in-depth coverage of immigration law-related issues that may arise in bond and custody decisions, pre-trial motions, pleas and sentencing, and post-conviction relief. It also provides an overview of immigration law and procedures, utilization of interpreters, and cultural considerations.
Law Treatises, KF4819 .J83 2004

U.S. Immigration Made Easy
Siegel, Martha S. and Ilona M. Bray
This book addresses how to legally enter and live in the United States. It includes information on how to obtain student visas, work visas, green cards, refugee status, and citizenship, as well as providing instructions on filling out filing forms, contacting immigration offices, and navigating the processing system. 
Law Reserve, KF4819.6 .S56 2004

Bender's Immigration and Nationality Act Service
Matthew Bender
This treatise provides comprehensive coverage of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the main statute governing U.S. immigration law. It covers all aspects of the act, including definitions, the immigration selection system, qualifications for admission of aliens, issuance of entry documents, penalty provisions, loss of nationality, refugee assistance, and alien terrorist removal procedures.
Law Treatises, KF4806.54 .M38 2003

AILA's Asylum Primer: A Practical Guide to U.S. Asylum Law and Procedure
Germain, Regina
The Asylum Primer, written by a veteran asylum attorney and published by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, offers guidance on asylum procedures and practice tips. It includes citations to case law and statutes, and has extensive appendices which offer guidance on interviewing techniques and sample forms (such as sample briefs and a sample asylum petition for review).
Law Treatise, KF4836.Z9 G47 2010

Immigration Policy in the United States: An Update
This online book brings the Congressional Budget Office’s February 2006 paper Immigration Policy in the United States up to date.  It presents data through 2009 on permanent and temporary admissions of foreign nationals to theUnited States, the number and types of visas issued, the naturalization of residents, and enforcement of immigration laws—and makes comparisons with 2004, which was the most recent year for which most data were reported in the earlier paper.

Immigration Law and Procedure
Gordon, Charles, Stanley Mailman & Stephen Yale-Loehr
A comprehensive 21-volume publication that is often referred to as the authoritative treatise on immigration law. It covers all aspects of immigration law and provides essential primary source materials, plus a detailed index, table of cases, and table of statutes, rules, and regulations.
Law Treatises KF4819. G6 1988
Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook
Browning, Stephanie L. and  Gregory P. Adams. 
The Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook, published by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, contains nearly 100 articles written by immigration law practitioners.  Topics covered include practice basics and strategies, immigration law advocacy, naturalization and citizenship, and human rights and protection.
Law Treatises KF4819.A2 I66 2005  

Online Federal Government Information

Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security’s mission is to ensure the safety and security of the nation.
  • The Immigration page of the Department of Homeland Security includes information about the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.  There are resources about benefits and resources available to new immigrants.  Included is information about visas to visit the U.S.  There are also links to illegal immigration enforcement news.  
USCIS Administrative Appeals Office decisionsThis website offers a pdf version of appeals from decisions on immigration petitions and applications that have entered the USCIS regional service centers and district offices.
USCIS Case Status Service Online: This website provides online access to check the status of cases filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) The Immigration and Customs Enforcement website  provides information about illegal immigration enforcement news. The site also describes the mission of ICE as well as various ICE programs designed to implement the many federal statutes enacted to help protect national security and public safety.
Immigration Detention FacilitiesThis webpage provides information on detention management and facilities.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  The primary mission of Customs and Border Protection is to keep terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. It also has a responsibility for enforcing U.S. trade laws and facilitating international travel. The website offers contact information for Customs and Border Control, answers to frequently asked questions, forms, and CBP news.
Department of Justice (DOJ):
The DOJ, headed by the Attorney General, controls federal law enforcement and handles the legal business of the United States. The Attorney General represents the United States in legal matters generally and gives advice and opinions to the President and to the heads of the executive departments of the Government when so requested. 
  • Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) The Executive Office for Immigration Review adjudicates immigration cases through immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and administrative hearings. The main EOIR webpage has links to immigration courts nationwide and to the Immigration Court Practice Manual. It provides information about immigration from the court’s point of view.
Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer

EOIR Virtual Law Library: Includes links to Attorney General and Bureau of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decisions and index, C.F.R. Title 8, Immigration-related notices in the Federal Register, the Immigration and Nationality Act, BIA Practice Manual, immigration courts control list, and practitioner roster. 
Department of State
The Department of State is responsible for issuing visas.  It publishes the Foreign Affairs Manual, which contains information on citizenship and nationality (Volume 7) and interpretations and instructions on provisions for issuing visas and waivers (Volume 9). 
  •  Visa Information Center The Visa Information center handles visa requests from abroad.   The website provides information about visa types and eligibility, visa application forms, and a directory of U.S. embassy locations around the world.
  • Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration  The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration provides aid for refugees and victims of conflict around the world. The website offers information about the Bureau’s work on behalf of refugees, funding opportunities, and how to contact the Bureau.
  • Family Immigration This Department of State page provides information and resources for immigrants that are part of families.  There is information about types of visas, temporary immigrant visas, spouses of American citizens, forms, manuals and bulletins.
Department of Labor
The Department of Labor enforces all of the labor laws in the country through various administrative courts. In order to hire foreign workers, U.S. employers must go through a process called "labor certification" with the Department of Labor. The DOL website offers an electronic system for filing labor certification applications, official forms relating to employment-based immigration, and pertinent regulations.
  • Office of Foreign Labor Certification The Office of Foreign Labor Certification website provides hiring information for employers and foreign workers, and overviews of foreign labor policies and regulations, and downloadable foreign labor certification forms.
  • Office of Compliance Assistance Policy The Office of Compliance Assistance Policy website provides information on the federal employment laws.  Also included is specific information about the Immigration and Nationality Act and resources on how to comply with the federal employment laws as a non-citizen. 
  •  The Congressional Budget Office The Congressional Budget Office provides information, links and reports on the impact and nature of immigration on the US economy and workforce.
  • United States House of Representatives Immigration Reform Caucus The website for the Immigration Reform Caucus of the House of Representatives provides links to immigration news of the day.  It also provides links to press releases and immigration news items on TV.  Additionally, there is a section on the specific issues that the Immigration Reform Caucus is particularly concerned about.
The White House
The White House Immigration Information page describes the guiding principles of the Obama Administration's policy on immigration.  The page explains how the Obama Administration plans to implement its immigration policy.

The Social Security Administration
The immigration website for the SSA describes the resources available to immigrants and how to get an SS card while applying for U.S. citizenship.  It also provides information for refugees and asylees, information to other non-citizens, and provides links to other relevant agencies.

The National Archives Immigration Records
The National Archives webpage contains information on researching and accessing the naturalization records of immigrants.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Immigration Outline
The Immigration Outline has been prepared by Staff Attorneys of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and provides guidance to attorneys.  It includes the following parts:  Jurisdiction, Standards of Review, Relief from Removal (e.g. Asylum, Cancellation of Removal, Adjustment Status), Motions to Reopen or Reconsider, Criminal Issues, Due Process, and Attorney Fees.
The website has immigration and citizenship information provided by the federal government.  It includes reports of adoption from other countries and human trafficking.  There is also information about visas and refugee resettlement programs.

Federal Statutes

The US Code
The US Code contains the general and permanent laws of the United States. It is divided into 51 Titles and is published by the Office of Law Revision Counsel of the US House of Representatives.

Selected US Code Titles related to immigration, citizenship and nationality
Title 8 Aliens and Nationality: The Immigration and Naturalization Act, found in Title 8 of the US Code, serves as a base for immigration law.
Title 18, Chapter 69 Nationality and Citizenship

Online Locations for the United States Code

Print Location of the US Code in the Law Library
The United States Code is available in print in the Law Library on the first floor in the Core Collection.  Two annotated print versions of the code are also available in the Core Collection:  The United States Code Annotated (West) and The United States Code Service (Lexis).

Federal Regulations

Code of Federal Regulations
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) contains the general and permanent regulations of the agencies and executive departments of the federal government.  It is divided into 50 Titles.

Selected CFR Titles related to immigration, citizenship and nationality

Title 8 CFR (Dept. of Homeland Security, Immigration & Naturalization)
Title 22 CFR (Dept. of State)
Title 6 CFR (Dept. of Homeland Security, Office of Security) 
Title 20 (Dept. of Labor)  Part 655--Temporary Employment of Aliens in the United States.
Title 20 (Dept. of Labor) Part 656 Labor Certification Process for Permanent Employment of Aliens In the United States

Print Location of the Code of Federal Regulations in the Law Library
The most current version of the CFR is available in print in the first floor reading room.  It is located on the Index Table near the Reference Librarian offices.

Online locations
The Federal Register
The Federal Register is published daily and contains the rules, proposed rules, and notices of federal agencies and departments.  It also includes presidential documents including executive orders and proclamations.
Print Location of the Federal Register in the Law Library
The print version of the Federal Register is located in the law library on the Index Table in front of the Reference Librarians offices in the first floor reading room.
Online Locations for the Federal Register  
Online Sources for Immigration Statistics

Law Reviews and Newsletters

Bender’s Immigration Bulletin
Bender’s Immigration Bulletin is a newsletter published twice monthly. It includes analysis of new court and administrative cases, regulations, and legislation affecting immigration law. The Bulletin also has reproductions of government documents, such as reprints of Federal Register pages, and administrative documents. The Bulletin is available on Lexis Nexis in the IMMBUL database. Some Bulletin content is available on the online Bender’s Immigration Bulletin Daily Edition.
Georgetown Immigration Law Journal
The Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, published quarterly since 1985, is a specialized law review that focuses exclusively on issues relating to immigration law. Each issue includes articles by scholars and legal practitioners, student notes and comments, and a section reviewing current legislative, executive, and judicial developments in immigration. The journal can be accessed on Westlaw in the GEOILJ database and on Lexis Nexis in the GILAWJ database.
International Journal of Refugee Law
The International Journal of Refugee Law  publishes original articles on the protection of refugees and other displaced persons in international law. It also includes case law, book reviews, and annotated bibliographies of reports and other publications. The Journal is available on Westlaw in the INTJREFL database and on Lexis Nexis in the UKREFU database.
Interpreter Releases
Interpreter Releases is a weekly West Group publication which is widely read by practitioners of immigration law. It includes analysis of proposed regulations in the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Labor, and State, as well as analysis of legislation, agency decisions, and judicial decisions. The publication also contains summaries of recent cases from immigration court, BIA, and the federal courts. Interpreter Releases is available on Westlaw in the INTERREL database.


Immigration Related Organizations

American Immigration Council
The American Immigration Council is a non-profit organization that works to educate citizens about the contributions of immigrants to the United States and advocates for immigrants.
American Immigration Lawyers Association
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is a national association of immigration lawyers which works to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law practice.
Center for Immigration Studies
The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent non-profit research organization with the mission of providing immigration policymakers, the academic community, and news media with reliable information about the impact of legal and illegal immigration on the United States.
National Immigration Law Center
The National Immigration Law Center works to defend and advance the rights of low-income immigrants. 
National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
The National Immigration Project is a national non-profit that provides legal assistance and technical support to immigrant communities, legal practitioners, and advocates working to advance the rights of noncitizens. 


Current Awareness

ImmigrationProf Blog
A blog written by professors who teach in the field of immigration law.
Working Immigrants Blog
A weblog about the business of immigrant work: employment, compensation, legal protections, education, mobility, and public policy.
Refugees International Blog
The blog of Refugees International, an organization that advocates for assistance and protection for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises.
crImmigration Blog
A blog that focuses on the “practical analysis of key cases about the immigration consequences of criminal violations.”
Immigration Visa Attorney Blog An immigration blog published by Fong & Chun, a Los Angeles law firm. 

Updated 06/11

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