Practice Advisory

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.
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.
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.