Areas of Expertise

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) immigration attorneys’ expertise focuses on family-based immigration, humanitarian relief, naturalization and citizenship, immigration enforcement, and removal defense.

Since 1979 we have helped expand the immigration expertise of attorneys, nonprofit staff, criminal defenders, and others assisting immigrant clients.

In addition to authoring the ILRC’s practice manuals, our expert attorneys have been published by Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), ILW.com, Huffington Post, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Center for Law and Social Policy, The Hill, LexisNexis Emerging Issues, and Fox News Latino.
 
We have also provided training to National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), American Bar Association Commission on Immigration, Federal Bar Association, The State Bar of California, Legal Aid Association of California, Judicial Council of California and more.

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) provides a pathway to a green card for young people who have been “abandoned, abused, or neglected” by a parent. This Community Explainer unpacks what that means, what the SIJS key benefits are, and how one may become eligible to apply for this path to relief.
Everyone, regardless of immigration status, has a constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech and lawful assembly. Noncitizens, however, are uniquely placed at a disadvantage when exercising those rights if law enforcement intervene and make arrests. Read and share our one-pager in English and Spanish to learn about the top 10 things noncitizen protestors should know before they take to the streets to exercise their rights.
On April 1, 2024, the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new version of Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. All applicants for naturalization must use this new form. To help attorneys, USDOJ accredited representatives, and others learn how to complete this new version of the form, we have developed a new step-by-step guide. It provides instructions on how to complete the Form N-400 and includes tips on how to best approach common issues related to eligibility and possible red flags, as well as practical considerations for submission.
This updated guidance, written with our partners Immigrant Legal Defense (ILD), International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Legal Services for Children (LSC), includes recommendations for what information to include in state court predicate orders for special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS) in California. It incorporates guidance from the 2022 SIJS regulations as well as the USCIS Policy Manual, and includes helpful citations to California law. It also includes sample predicate orders from family, probate, dependency, and delinquency courts.
This resource - created in partnership with the End SIJS Backlog Coalition, CILA, and NIPNLG - addresses common questions and myths about the visa bulletin, how to talk to clients about the SIJS backlog, and how both advocates and directly impacted young people can get involved in the Coalition’s work to end the backlog and its harms.
Throughout the Biden administration the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) has called on the President to both restore the systems that offered protection and access to immigration benefits decimated during the Trump years and steer us on a new path toward dignity and justice. This proposal highlights the critical actions immigrant communities need before this administration ends include ensuring immigration benefits are equitable and accessible for low-income immigrants of color and ending immigration arrests, immigration detention, and deportations.
Throughout the Biden administration the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) has called on the President to both restore the systems that offered protection and access to immigration benefits decimated during the Trump years and steer us on a new path toward dignity and justice. This proposal highlights the critical actions immigrant communities need before this administration ends include ensuring immigration benefits are equitable and accessible for low-income immigrants of color and ending immigration arrests, immigration detention, and deportations.
On Feb. 20, 2024, the ILRC sent a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick Garland urging the release of regulations in 2024. The purpose of the letter is to encourage the Biden Administration to publish regulations regardless of the political concerns of the upcoming election year. The ILRC focused on the release of some proposed regulations that have been scheduled for publication, and also urged the administration to rescind and replace asylum regulations leftover from the previous administration, and also to refrain from publishing additional regulations that restrict asylum at the southern border.
This map displays the counties in Texas that have implemented policies and actions against immigrants, particularly under Operation Lone Star
(OLS) and anti-immigrant legislation. It is important to note that these findings are within the context of Texas being a state with a strong pro-incarceration and anti-immigrant stance.

Este mapa muestra los condados en Texas que han implementado políticas y acciones contra inmigrantes, en particular bajo el Operativo Lone Star (OLS). Es importante tomar en cuenta que lo que muestra el mapa es bajo el contexto de que Texas es un estado con opiniones fuertes a favor del encarcelamiento y sentimientos anti-inmigrantes.

En Texas, inmigrantes, migrantes y personas de color enfrentan riesgos de diferentes niveles. Sin embargo, ningunas áreas pueden ser consideradas santuarios o jurisdicción donde no estén bajo amenaza de los departamentos de policía local, estatal, y federal.

Para obtener más recursos sobre el Operativo Lone Star, visite https://www.endlonestar.com/



      
On January 31, 2024, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a final fee rule that will go into effect April 1, 2024. This Community Alert delves into the provisions of the new rule including increased fees, expanded fee exemptions, and changes to fee waiver policy. This downloadable guide also offers some key takeaways and resources to find support for your immigration case.
In October 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its T Visa Law Enforcement Resource Guide. The guide, published alongside updated guidance on T visas in the USCIS Policy Manual (USCIS-PM), advises law enforcement agencies on providing T visa certifications, a crucial form of evidence in T visa applications. This practice advisory gives an overview of the resource guide and how practitioners can utilize it to advocate for law enforcement agencies to provide law enforcement certifications to survivors.
Recently, USCIS has conflated guidance for naturalization disability waivers of English and civics with waivers of the oath requirement for persons with disabilities. The confusion stems from USCIS’s addition of a question on oath waivers on the N-648 disability waiver form. These are separate waivers with distinct purposes, legislative histories, and administrative guidance.

This practice advisory will describe the enactment of the oath waiver and current USCIS guidance as well as describe the ways that it is distinct from a waiver of the English/civics requirement.
Law enforcement agencies in California have been responding to requests for U visa certifications for many years to allow immigrant survivors of crime and their family members to apply for U nonimmigrant status. However, until 2016 there was no statewide standard or protocol for certifications. Several bills have passed in the meantime to further streamline the process. Most recently, AB 1261 was signed into law in October 2023 and went into effect on 01/01/2024. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center and the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice wrote this advisory to summarize California state laws on U visa certifications, including the newest provisions.