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 November 1, 2019 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the automatic extension of employment authorization and other documentation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan. Each of those TPS-designated countries was set to expire in 2020 but will now be automatically extended through January 4, 2021. This practice advisory lays out what community members need to know and should do now.
On October 25, 2019, Attorney General Barr issued a precedential opinion limiting when immigration authorities will give effect to a state court modification of an imposed sentence.  See  Matter of Thomas and Matter of Thompson, 27 I&N Dec. 674 (AG 2019), available at: (“Matter of Thomas/Thompson”)  While advocates plan to challenge this decision in the courts of appeals, it is now binding law. This advisory summarizes the case, provides advice to defenders, post-conviction practitioners, and immigrant advocates about its implementation, and suggests arguments to raise on appeal. 
This one-hour training, specifically for education and outreach providers, discusses what public charge is, who is affected by it, and what the new changes mean for immigrant families. This session includes a discussion on how to conduct outreach and education on public charge to immigrant community members.
The Department of Homeland Security uses government contracts to acquire immigration detention services. This graphic explains the procurement process, or the competitive bidding process, that government agencies use to purchase services from private contractors and how DHS can use this process to enter into contracts with private prison corporations. 
Gonzalez v. ICE is an important class action lawsuit raising fundamental questions about ICE enforcement practices, in particular the use of federal databases to target people for immigration detainers and arrests.  This advisory explains the latest developments in the federal courts and how advocates can use these legal theories to defend their clients and communities.
Sanchez v. Sessions was a landmark Ninth Circuit ruling on suppression of evidence and termination of removal proceedings.  This advisory explains the decision, lays out the different legal standards for suppression and termination in immigration court, and highlights key holdings that practitioners can use to better defend their clients.
While the best-case scenario would be for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to approve a person’s naturalization application, receiving a denial after a naturalization interview is not the end of the road. If USCIS denies the naturalization application, persons can seek a USCIS hearing to appeal the denial by submitting form N-336 (informally known as an administrative appeal). Although the process is simple, many do not take advantage of this process. 
The ILRC is pleased that Congress is engaging in a serious conversation about immigration policy and how to protect DACA recipients, TPS holders and those with DED - who are among the many groups of people of color and immigrants targeted by the Trump Administration's racist policies and discriminatory practices. 
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center created this template to help you draft your own comments in opposition to this interim rule with request for comment. The new rule can be found here. Comments are due by October 25, 2019.  We are very concerned about this rule’s “reorganization” at EOIR that eliminates OLAP, the office that has operated the Recognition and Accreditation (R & A) Program  and the legal orientation programs until now. The rule places the  remaining functions of OLAP under an Office of Policy.
It is unlikely U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will carry out immigration enforcement operations at an early childhood education center, childcare facility, or First 5 site. Nonetheless, it is important for facilities to have policies that address the concerns of the parents, families, and communities they serve. Accordingly, the ILRC put together model policies for early childhood education centers, childcare facilities, or First 5 sites in California. The model policies are meant to serve as a menu of options to choose from and adopt as relevant for your specific site. These policies can be incorporated into existing policies and do not need to be adopted in their entirety.
One of the most heartbreaking and galvanizing assaults on immigrant and human rights in 2018 was the administration’s policy of separating families seeking asylum, or other relief, at our borders. Read about how the ILRC responded in our 2018 Annual Report.
In this issue: In Focus: Goals for the new Austin, Texas office; Ending 287(g) agreements: An overview of the effort to keep local law enforcement out of the federal immigration enforcement work; Congress must take down Trump administration's barriers to citizenship; 2019 Phillip Burton Immigration & Civil Rights Awards; 2018 Annual Report 
Moving Texas Forward: Local Policies Towards Inclusive Justice was created for the many organizations and elected officials in Texas that are struggling to find solutions to disrupt the harmful arrest-to-deportation pipeline. Texas has helped deport more people than any other state. In fiscal year 2017, more than 395,000 people, or 17% of all deportations nationwide, were deported from Texas. Texas’ role in the detention and deportation of immigrants has increased under the Trump administration and will continue to increase because of SB 4. This guide attempts to provide a comprehensive and thorough look at some of the ways advocates, policymakers, and local law enforcement can work together to minimize the arrest-to-deportation pipeline.
This practice advisory is the second resource in a two-part series on Humanitarian Forms of Relief for noncitizen victims of violence, serious crimes and persecution. They include: T nonimmigrant status, U nonimmigrant status, VAWA self-petition, asylum, and special immigrant juvenile status.   The first advisory focused on giving an overview of VAWA, U, and T Visas.  Including, eligibility requirements and some factors to consider before applying.  This practice advisory will focus on giving an overview of asylum and special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS), including their eligibility requirements and some factors to consider before applying. 
In certain immigration cases, you may want to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the U.S. Department of State (DOS), such as to try to find information about previous visa applications and passport records. This Practice Advisory will go over the DOS FOIA process in detail and provide practice tips for obtaining personal records from them, including best practices.
Immigrant children and families in the child welfare system face unique barriers to permanency and well-being. In some cases, their involvement in the child welfare system also presents distinct opportunities for seeking lawful immigration status. With half of all children in California coming from an immigrant family, child welfare agencies in California must be equipped to effectively support immigrant children and families on the pathway to permanency. The objective of this Toolkit is to provide guidance to child welfare agencies in California working with immigrant children and families.
This community resource explains Freedom City Policies in Austin, Texas, an example of organizers, advocates and community members coming together to fight for the decriminalization of immigrants and communities of color. It gives an overview of the policies, why they were enacted, their impact on the community, individuals’ rights under the policies and actions that may be taken if police officers violate those rights. This information is useful for community members and advocates in Austin, Texas.
In a flawed but significant decision, the Ninth Circuit held that California Penal Code § 243(d), battery with injury, is a crime of violence. United States v. Perez (9th Cir. July 11, 2019). Because of Perez, criminal defenders must assume that § 243(d) is a crime of violence and seek other dispositions when necessary.  Immigration advocates should appeal adverse decisions and preserve the argument on appeal.  See this Advisory for a discussion of the decision, alternative pleas, and suggestions for arguments.