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),, 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.

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

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.
Texas-based organizations comprised of, representing, and serving individuals and communities directly impacted by border enforcement measures write to Texas Members of Congress to seek solidarity and to implore not to worsen the crisis by layering over sweeping new federal border and asylum restrictions. The organizational letter highlights how these changes would have disastrous consequences not only for migrants but for Texas communities, who are presently living under the oppressive and unconstitutional Operation Lone Star.
Criminal Convictions can have serious consequences on peoples’ lives – especially non-citizens who wish to stay in the United States. Many immigration benefits have criminal bars, meaning that certain convictions will prevent you from getting a lawful immigration status, like permanent residence (green card). This Community Explainer offers some options for those who have had certain convictions related to domestic violence or human trafficking, with insights about how to define these crimes, some example scenarios, and explanations about the benefits of a legal tool called a “vacatur.”
ILRC submitted this comment on the many proposed changes to U Visa Forms I-918, I-918A, and I-918B. ILRC commended the agency for many changes, including shortening Forms I-918 and I-918A and removing many questions about rare grounds of inadmissibility. ILRC also provided suggestions for how the agency could further streamline Forms I-918 and I-918A, and raised concerns about the expansion of Form I-918B.
This slide deck was created by a coalition of organizers, activists, and attorneys in Texas to be publicly available for use as a resource when conducting know-your-rights presentations on Texas SB 4/ HB 4.

Community leaders, organizers, and activists are welcome to use this full slide deck as provided, or select the slides that are applicable to your presentation needs.
This practice advisory addresses what a practitioner can and should do when DHS submits an I-213 to prove “alienage” or any other facts in a case. After a brief discussion of the purpose of an I-213 and why DHS often submits it during removal proceedings, this advisory discusses objections that practitioners should consider making in order to exclude the I-213 from the record in removal proceedings or, at a minimum, to argue that the I-213 should not be given any significant weight by the immigration judge. It discusses how to overcome the presumption that I-213s are inherently trustworthy and concludes with a synopsis of when and how to submit a motion to suppress in cases involving regulatory or constitutional violations.
ILRC wrote to USCIS leadership on behalf of local programs representing naturalization applicants with disability waivers in LA County USCIS. Despite major changes to the USCIS Policy Manual and Form N-648 on October 22, 2022, this office of USCIS resists implementation of the new guidance and continues to be dismissive and hostile towards applicants with disability waivers.
Protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) is an important relief option for individuals who are unable to qualify for asylum or withholding of removal. This advisory reviews the legal standard for CAT protection. It also provides an overview of seminal Board of Immigration Appeals and federal circuit court decisions that discuss the various elements of a CAT claim. The end of the advisory contains a useful chart which compares asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT.