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.

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.
This is ILRC’s comment on the proposed EOIR rule (the rescission of what we referred to as Trump’s “Death to Due Process Rule”). The Trump rule attempted to change case briefing schedules, case timelines, judges’ control over cases, etc. – all in ways that would make it even harder for folks in immigration court to obtain immigration relief. ILRC has engaged in substantial advocacy to get rid of this rule, including being a plaintiff in the case challenging this Trump rule
On November 7, 2023, the ILRC submitted this comment on USCIS’s proposed changes to Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The comment provides detailed suggestions for alterations to the proposed form as well as suggested language the agency should include. ILRC urged the agency to revise the form to reduce barriers to permanent residence for applicants and adjudicators and to focus on ensuring that the form is accessible for pro se applicants.
If you are a DACA recipient living in California and facing financial challenges, you can get your renewal filing fees covered by connecting with and getting support from a participating direct services organization found in the directory below. Note that this support is only available until the end of 2023.
On May 11, 2023, the Biden administration issued a new regulation creating a bar to asylum for people arriving at the southern U.S. border with certain narrow exceptions. Although there is an ongoing court challenge, the bar, known as the “lawful pathways” rule, remains in effect. This Community Alert explores the exceptions to the bar with a focus on some of the exceptions that apply to children and youth traveling with their families.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) builds a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through the ILRC’s policy and advocacy efforts, we promote a vision of racial justice that advances the rights of all immigrants, including those who have had contact with the criminal legal system.

The ILRC is dedicated to the long-term goal of dismantling systems undergirded in racial inequities and investing in the power of local communities to organize and create solutions. To achieve our goals, we focus on disrupting the arrest to deportation pipeline that has led to expansive over-policing and immigration enforcement and has contributed to the mass incarceration and exile of Black people and people of color in the United States.

This work is carried out through policy advocacy and implementation at the local, state, and federal level; cultural change work that amplifies a counternarrative to mass criminalization; deep coalition building efforts and collaborative work particularly with directly impacted individuals; and capacity building efforts that equip system stakeholders and impacted communities with the tools to create change that works towards a shared vision of justice for all people
This practice advisory covers what to do when inadmissibility factors are discovered or triggered outside the U petitioning process such as after applying for or receiving U nonimmigrant status, adjusting status through INA § 245(m), adjusting status under a different petition, or traveling outside the country.
On September 13, 2023, Judge Andrew S. Hanen, a federal judge in the Southern District of Texas, ruled that the Biden administration’s final DACA rule, issued in August 2022, is unlawful. Judge Hanen previously ruled in July 2021 that the 2012 DACA memorandum, which preceded the rule, was. His earlier ruling was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, but the appellate court sent the case back to Judge Hanen to consider whether there are any material differences between the DACA rule and the 2012 memo.

This Practice Alert goes over Judge Hanen’s latest ruling. It’s important to note that the amended order does not change the status quo. Current DACA recipients, or those whose DACA has lapsed for less than a year, can continue to renew their DACA and work authorization, as well as apply for Advance Parole. However, first-time DACA applications continue to be blocked and cannot be processed.
On September 13, 2023, a Federal District Court in Texas issued a ruling in Texas v. United States declaring that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) rule is unlawful. It is important to note that while this judge once again found DACA to be unlawful, the decision does not change the current status of who is eligible to apply. This Community Alert walks through the details, as of September 18, 2023.
This advisory provides basic information on how to obtain the SIJS predicate order in juvenile court. It describes the benefits, requirements, and deadlines associated with SIJS, and discusses the role of the juvenile defense or children’s attorney in the process. It includes a sample SIJS predicate order from juvenile justice proceedings.
In December 2022 USCIS announced that it was starting a pilot project to redesign the English/civics test for naturalization. If the pilot test is adopted, applicants will face a more difficult English/civics exam. This community explainer breaks down some of those challenges, and how advocates can push for a more inclusive process of naturalization.
In June 2023, the California Dignity Not Detention Coalition passed a budget initiative in California called HEAL (Healthy Economies Adapting to Last). HEAL dedicates 5 million dollars to incentivize California localities to divest from immigration detention by providing them funding to invest in new industries and jobs. HEAL presents a new tool in our advocacy toolbox to close detention centers once and for all. This community FAQ breaks down Dignity not Detention’s newest initiative.