CALS Asylum Case Research Guide
This guide supports researching asylum cases and has information on tracking human rights conditions by country.
This guide supports researching asylum cases and has information on tracking human rights conditions by country.
This guide describes sources for research on behalf of individuals seeking asylum in the United States. It was primarily designed for law students at the Center for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), the asylum law clinic at Georgetown Law and it was developed and is maintained by the librarians of the John Wolff International and Comparative Law Library at Georgetown Law.
Most of the links available from this Guide are available without charge, though a few of the links are subscription databases and available only to subscribers. Also, not all reference sources pertinent to asylum cases are online. This guide includes references to useful print materials. Links and materials marked with Try-It are recommended and considered "best bets" by the librarians.
General Research Tips
Much of this research involves locating legal and factual information in various countries. While there are many tools to assist you, there are a few things to remember before jumping in.
- Consider the time period. This is important when deciding which resources to search. If researching an event before 1996, free web sites may not be productive. Most of the information posted on the web does not go back that far.
- If you located something useful on the web, bookmark it, download it or print it off. There is no guarantee that the material or the site will be there the next day.
- When using the web, evaluate the quality of information. Consider some of the following: objectivity, expediency, timeliness, accuracy, authenticity, and scope.
- Consult both legal and non-law sources. For researching country conditions, you will need to consult sources such as newspapers, journal articles, directories, yearbooks, etc. This includes verifying spelling (alternate spelling) or names, and determining the exact name of organizations and political parties. If you need legal information (national legislation, international instruments, case law), you may need to search difference sources.
- When researching factual information, you will trudge through many resources to locate a nugget. You may have to use a combination of resources. Some of the best information may be buried in an article or a report. The only way to locate the information is to review the material carefully.
- Not everything is available on the web. Some of the tools will only identify possible sources, and then you have to go to a print version and read through the material.
- Don't forget people and organizations. You may need to email or pick up the phone.
- Keep in mind, no matter how hard you look, you may not find anything.
- Do not hesitate to contact one of the librarians in the Wolff Library. To schedule an appointment simply email or give us a ring at (202) 662-4195.
One major component of your research is confirming the details of the client's persecution and other country conditions. Some examples include: was there a violent demonstration on a certain day, or do certain tribal groups require widow's to marry their husband's brother, or are members of a certain political party beaten and jailed? You may have to consult a myriad of resources including newspapers, human rights reports, and foreign governmental reports.
- Country of Origin Research (Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada) Try-It
Extensive research by Canadian government on human rights abuses in many countries. The Responses to Information Requests (RIRs) database is a compilation of responses to requests for information submitted to the Research Directorate in the course of the refugee protection determination process. These questions are very similar to CALS research. RIR reports prior to 2003 are found on Refworld. The National Documentation Packages contain documents and links relevant to researching country conditions and they are updated annually.
- European Country of Origin Information Network - ECOI
This site compiles and provides access to recent country information specifically geared to asylum claims. Select a country and browse the documents or add additional search terms to narrow your results.
- Forced Migration Online
Forced Migration Online is a comprehensive resource coordinated by the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford with the help of international advisors. The group includes under the term of "forced migration" displacement due to war, development, and disaster. Documentation can be accessed using the button menu for regional resources, thematic resources, and working papers. FMO is building a digital library using the specialized collections of institutional partnerships and provides full text searching and access to these documents. Research guides are also provided for several jurisdictions. A very good resource.
- Refworld Try-It
This is vast collection of country information, reports, policy documents, national legislation, maps, position papers, case law, and much more. The simplest method to access information is to use the country name and then use "filter" to refine the results. Use the advanced search screen for more targeted research. The Special Features portion of the welcome screen offers topics such as children, women, refugee status determination, and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Much of the information on this web site has migrated to Refworld, but there are still some useful sources such as maps or research and evaluation. The advanced search function is a useful tool to search across multiple segments of the web site to access UNHCR documents, news stories, press releases, and other relevant material.
Refugee, Asylum and International Operations, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services
This office serves Asylum Officers and Refugee Adjudicators and is responsible for the collection, production and distribution of materials regarding human rights conditions around the world. It is neutral between USCIS Counsel and applicants' representatives and its officials are friendly and helpful. They produce excellent reports that are sometimes found on the Department of Homeland Security web site which is difficult to navigate. This link list most reports, but only reports from before 2005 are listed. Try searching for these reports using advanced search entering the country name and limiting to resources.
RIC is located at 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. It is technically not open to the public, but in practice, it permits representatives of asylum applicants to visit by appointment. To make an appointment, call 202-272-1609.
Advocates should be polite with RIC staff and respect their need to do their own work even though they may be willing to answer your questions. Also, RIC staff prefer that advocates not phrase questions to staff members adversarially. It is more appropriate to ask "Do you have some materials on guerrilla movements in Peru?" and not "How could I argue that my client's brief participation in a guerrilla movement in Peru should not bar asylum?" The RIC collection includes reports, periodicals and yearbooks by all of the major human rights groups; the manuals for Asylum Officers training courses; boxes on particular subjects such as "homosexuals" and "gender issues;" and very detailed country conditions information organized by country such as:
- Index Media Reviews, produced by the Canadian government. These are all of the current media reports, downloaded weekly from Nexis, on Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia, China, Croatia, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Romania, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yugoslavia and Zaire.
- Newspapers and magazines on human rights conditions in many countries and regions. Some of the most recent issues may not yet have been shelved, so do ask for help.
- For each country, a book called "A Country Study" (e.g., "Angola: A Country Study"), which, although outdated for country conditions, includes good information on what groups and nationalities exist in the country and is therefore useful in making claims of persecution based on nationality .
- Boxes for each country in the world with very detailed published information about human rights abuses in those countries. If there are recent cables from US Embassies containing information that may be relevant for asylum cases, those cables will be in the country box.
- The latest State Department updates of "country condition profiles," and this may be the only place in the country where they are available. Even those that eventually make it to the Refworld come to the RIC long before they are on Refworld.
Reports (government, IGO, NGO)
- U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices Try-It
Information from this annual report should always be supplemented by additional research, but it is a great starting point for most immigration judges and INS asylum officers. Electronic Archived versions (1993-1999) are available and the Wolff Library has the print version from 1979 - present.
- Trafficking in Persons Report
This report has been produced by the U.S. Department of State since 2001 and provides a country by country summary of the trafficking situation, prosecution, and protection information.
- Human Rights Watch World Report 2012
This IGO annual report (previous years available under publications tab) summarizes conditions from around the world. There are many other useful reports available on a variety of topics, such as child domestic workers, labor conditions, forced evictions, etc. You can access a list of other reports or try searching a country name.
- Amnesty International Annual Report
In addition to the annual report, AI produces other country or topic specific reports. The digital library search function is useful. The AI USA office web site is well organized and also offers easy access to older annual reports. The easiest way is to select a country and then look for links to previous years reports.
- Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Publications
This portal provides access to many useful publications such as country reports, annual reports, and topical research reports (such as women, specific prison conditions, indigenous peoples, etc).
- Annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom
This is another U.S. Department report and is produced by the Office of International Religious Freedom. It monitors religious persecution and discrimination worldwide.
- Freedom in the World (Freedom House)
The annual Freedom in the World offers comparative data and information by country.
- The State of the World's Refugees (UNHCR)
2012 is the latest edition of this publication. Some earlier year editions are also available (look to the lower right box).
- World Refugee Survey (U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants -USCRI)
2007-2009 editions are available electronically and older editions are available in print at the Wolff Library. Good links to gang-related asylum claims. For more information on reports, cases, etc, try searching the country name in the website search box. Be sure to click on the Search button to start the search.
- Human Rights in China
This Chinese NGO provides reports and some books that focus on issues in China.
- Access World News (Georgetown only)
This database provides articles from over 700 electronic editions of newspapers from around the world.
- Ethnic News Watch (Georgetown Only)
Full-text bilingual (Spanish and English) collection of newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press. Includes articles editorials, columns, and reviews which provide a broad diversity of perspectives and viewpoints. Coverage is back at least to 1994.
- FBIS Daily Reports Digital Collection (Georgetown only)
This Foreign Broadcast Information Service collection consists of translated broadcasts, news agency transmissions, newspapers, periodicals and government statements from nations around the globe for the 1979-1996 time period. This is an incredible resource if your research is during that time period. If the digital collection is unavailable, we also have the documents on microfiche in the Wolff Library. Use the FBIS electronic index to search for materials and then locate the correct fiche. For news after 1996, try World News Connection or other resources referenced below.
This source lists what newspapers are available in your client's country and provides titles and links. Other websites with similar information are NewspaperCatalog and Refdesk.com. Provides links to newspapers from all over the world. Good resource for learning which newspapers exist in a particular country.
- World News Connection (Georgetown Only)
An online foreign news service from the U.S. government offering an extensive array of translated and English-language news and information. Coverage begins with 1995 and articles are compiled from thousands of non-U.S. media sources around the world. World News Connection covers significant socioeconomic, political, scientific, technical, and environmental issues and events. Also available on Westlaw (database identifier: WNC), but coverage begins only in 2003.
- Lexis (Georgetown only)
There are numerous news sources available from the News & Business tab. Try under both regional and individual jurisdictions. Coverage and news sources vary greatly depending on the region and country.
- Westlaw & WestlawNext (Georgetown only)
When using WestlawNext, select News from the Browse All Content tab. For more targeted searching, use the links below to search specific databases. There are many useful databases for news research. In Westlaw Classic, you can use the Westlaw Directory > International/Worldwide Materials > select region and then country. There you will find a complete listing of news sources for a particular country.
Combination database that includes full-text, English-language articles and English-language abstracts for non-English-language sources with news and business information from newspapers, magazines, trade journals, newsletters, and news services. Coverage varies by publication. (directory > international/worldwide materials > multi-national materials > business & news). Note: the default date limit is the past three years. Be sure to specify an earlier date range if needed.
Covers political, economic, and social developments in Africa. Coverage begins 01/2000. There is also ALLAFRFR for searching African news in French. Note that AllAfrica.com is on the web, but only today's news is available for free. Use Westlaw to search past news.
- AFP-ENG (Agence France Presse English Wire)
Full-text articles in English relating to national, international, business, and sports news, distributed worldwide. Begins with October 1999. There is also an Agence France Presse French (AFP-FR) available for searching in French.
Other Useful Databases
- AccessUN (Georgetown Only)
Readex United Nations Index is a comprehensive index of current and retrospective (1945 - current) U.N. documents and publications. This can be a good place to find the UN symbol number for a particular document. Some full-text documents are available.
This is a human rights search engine developed by the Human Rights Information and Documentation System (HURIDOCS) and searches 3000 human rights web sites indexing only those pages with a main focus on human rights.
- United Nations Official Document System (ODS)
This is a fully searchable electronic repository for UN materials which offers full text documents issued since 1993 along with resolutions and decisions adopted by the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and the Trusteeship Council since 1946. Documents are presented in image format with easy printing. This web site provides us with invaluable and speedy access to UN documents, but it can be difficult to search without a document number. You may need to use the AccessUN electronic index to locate the document number.
- University Of Minnesota Human Rights Library
Provides links to over 800 web sites and full text primary human rights treaties, instruments, and reports. The Refugee and Asylum Resources section and the list of Resources for Researching Country Conditions are particularly helpful. Bluebook citations are provided.
Journals & Indexes
Journal articles can a very useful for documenting county conditions. Westlaw and Lexis provide full text coverage of American law reviews, but you should consider searching European legal and non-legal journals listed below as well as non-legal journal databases. Also, you may need to use indexes which are more comprehensive than the full text databases on Westlaw and Lexis. For other indexes, see the Library's journal indexes page.
- Academic Search Premier (Georgetown Only)
Provides full text for over 4,600 publications covering academic areas of study including social sciences, humanities, education, and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, and ethnic studies. Over 8,200 titles are abstracted and indexed, of which approximately 3,600 are peer-reviewed. Coverage: 1975 ‹ present.
- Cambridge University Press Journals (Georgetown Only)
Full text access to journals published by Cambridge University Press. Search by title, abstract, or by full text. You can also limit by journal title or subject. Some relevant subjects besides law include African studies, history, latin american studies and history.
- Jstor (Georgetown Only)
This database includes the full text of the articles from 340 scholarly paper journals. Searching is available across all bibliographic fields and in the full text. There can be useful information in the African, Asian, and Latin American area studies journals as well anthropology, population studies, and sociology. Coverage excludes articles from the most recent 3 to 5 years.
- Legal Periodicals and Books (formerly ILP) and Legal Resource Index (Georgetown Only)
These are two indexes (meaning not full text) that are more comprehensive than the full text on Westlaw and Lexis. These are not full text, so you can be somewhat general with your search terms.
- Oxford University Journal Press Journals (Georgetown Only)
Online access to journals covering legal, regional affairs, social sciences, and other subjects. Search by title, abstract, or by full text. You can also limit by journal title or subject.
Want to find out if you can get electronic access to a journal article through the library? Just search for the title of the journal in Gulliver and look for the computer icon and any call number with the word electronic. If we don't have the journal in print or electronically, you can request the article through interlibrary loan. We'll ask another library to copy the article and send it to us.
Resources on Torture
- Treatment Centers
This information is provided in case your client needs a referral or an expert is sought. The National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs provides a list of centers. The Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture also maintains a list.
- International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)
The IRCT "is an independent, international health professional organization that promotes and supports the rehabilitation of torture victims and works for the prevention of torture worldwide." Useful to researchers is the RCT Documentation Centre (DC), a collection of over 40,000 items covering all aspects of torture, torture prevention, and rehabilitation of torture victims. The IRCT maintains a sister web site on preventing torture which offers resources on legal investigations and medical documentation.
- State Reports for the Convention Against Torture (CAT)
Parties to this convention are obligated to submit periodic reports providing information on their implementation of the treaty. NGOs can also submit reports and these can be very useful. Use "Find in Page" to locate your country and then click into the session to access the reports.
Resources on Gender
- Center for Gender and Refugee Studies
This organization supports women asylum seekers and has many useful resources. CGRS prepares research memos and detailed packets on country conditions. You can search for nationality or type of persecution, but then must fill out a form to receive the actual document.
- Gender Watch (Georgetown Only)
GenderWatch is a full-text database of publications on the impact of gender across a broad spectrum of subject areas. GenderWatch supports programs in business, education, literature and the arts, health sciences, history, political science, public policy, sociology and contemporary culture, gender and women's studies and more. Publications include academic and scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, regional publications, books, booklets and pamphlets, conference proceedings, and government, NGO and special reports. Some of the materials in this database date back to the 1970's.
- International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)
Provides country information including reports, press reports, etc.
Other Useful Sites
- Asylum Aid
This is a charitable organization which provides advice and representation to asylum seekers in the United Kingdom. There are excellent reports on researching country conditions and guidance on seeking asylum. Look under the Publications, Policy, and Campaigns tab for a complete listing.
The focus is on humanitarian and disaster emergencies, but they serve as a gateway to documents and links collected from a variety of sources.
Foreign Legislation & Cases
Information on foreign citizenship and immigration laws can be useful in asylum research. The Law Library collects primary legal materials for some countries, but also acquires secondary sources for many other jurisdictions. The sources below are a good starting point to locate resources. For extensive information on researching foreign law, please see our Foreign and Comparative Law Research Guide.
- Center for Gender and Refugee Studies
This organization supports women asylum seekers and has many useful resources. CGRS maintains databases of US and foreign asylum cases, summaries of unpublished cases and US briefs. You may have to fill out a form to receive the actual document.
The Library subscribes to two databases with country constitutions. Try HeinOnline: World Constitutions Illustrated or Constitutions of the Countries of the World (both Georgetown Only) as they both have full text of constitutions (in English) from 190 countries, plus introductory and historical notes. Best used with Internet Explorer and please log off when finished. The print edition of Constitutions of the Countries of the World is also is available in the library and includes an archive of older constitutions.
- Foreign Law Guide (Georgetown Only) Try-It
This guide is the primary source for information on the sources of law for many foreign jurisdictions. It provides the researcher with relevant information on sources of foreign law, including complete bibliographic citations to legislation, the existence of English translations whenever possible, and selected references to secondary sources in English. It is arranged by country and includes an introduction to the legal system of that country as well as the availability of codes, session laws, and court reports. Each chapter contains a section arranged by subject that outlines the major laws for a given subject and provides references to English translations, when available.
- International Migration Law Database
This database is maintained by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and includes useful laws from many jurisdictions. You can access by topic, jurisdiction, or by searching. Note that many of the laws are not available in English.
- Michigan Refugee Case Law Site
This site, prepared by the University of Michigan Law School, collects and indexes cases on refugee and asylum issues from the highest national courts of Austria, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. For searching case law, use the Guided Search page.
- Refworld Legal Collection Try-It
This section of Refworld has an impressive collection of foreign legislation often translated into English and in pdf. Coverage varies by jurisdiction. Select country for easy access.
- World Legal Information Institute (WorldLii) Try-It
This is a joint project of academic legal information institutes providing access to resources from over 120 countries. The simplest way is to click on all countries and select the specific country of interest. Then, see what is available under the topics legislation, courts & case law, and parliament to see what is available. Alternatively, you can search by database across jurisdictions.
U.S. Immigration Law & Procedure
The Law Library has a research guide, U.S. Immigration Legal Research, which provides complete details on this area of U.S. law. The selected sources below are offered here as they are some of the more popular resources. Please consult the immigration research guide for more information.
- Administrative Appeals Unit Decisions
Decisions from 2005 forward are available on the web and arranged by topical folders. There is no search ability. Try Westlaw or Lexis for searching.
- Lexis (Georgetown Law only) Legal > Area of Law - By Topic > Immigration > Find Administrative Materials > Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) & AAU Non-Precedent Decisions
- Westlaw (Georgetown Law only) (FIM-AAU)
- American Immigration Lawyers Association, Immigration & Nationality Law Handbook Williams KF4819.A2 A415
Two volumes, published annually. An excellent analysis of complex aspects of immigration law, with particular attention to recent developments.
- Board of Immigration Appeals Decisions
These rulings are available at the Executive Office for Immigration Review Virtual Law Library which includes the Board of Immigration Appeals' precedent decisions (a BIA Precedent Table compiled from BIA headnotes organized by topic is also available); an alphabetical subject index of those decisions; and copies of some (but not all) of the "indexed" Board decisions, with the annotation that these "indexed" decisions have not been published and accordingly have no value as precedent. The decisions were indexed to provide internal guidance, and are offered here to the public as a courtesy. Citation to unpublished decisions is disfavored by the Board. There is no index to the "indexed" decisions.
- Lexis (Georgetown Law only) Legal > Area of Law - By Topic > Immigration > Find Administrative Materials > Immigration Precedent Decisions
- Westlaw (Georgetown Law only) (FIM-BIA)
- Citizenship Laws of the World (U.S. Office of Personnel Management)
This document provides a brief summary of foreign laws concerning citizenship.
- Gordon, Mailman and Yale-Loehr, Immigration Law and Procedure Williams KF4819 .G62 1988
This multi-volume looseleaf service, updated periodically, is the most highly regarded general work on immigration law. You may find it particularly useful if your case takes you beyond the narrow confines of asylum law.
- Interpreter Releases Williams KF4700.A15 A54
This is a weekly publication with the latest developments in asylum law and practice. INS Interpretations are also available electronically on Lexis (Georgetown Law Only).
- Ira Kurzban, Kurzban's Immigration Law Sourcebook Williams KF4819.3 .K87 2010.
A quick, one-volume outline of immigration law, accurate but not as thorough as Gordon, Mailman and Yale-Loehr or, for the topics covered, the AILA Handbook.
- TRAC Immigration Try-It
This resource has a wealth of immigration related data. Check out the Immigration Judges Reports where you can search by city and or judge to see grant rates, percentages of cases from particular countries and comparisons with national data.
- WestlawNext (Georgetown Law only)
The best way to access the many immigration sources is to click the "topics" tab and select immingration. Then your search will be limited to those sources. You can find many government manuals, treatises, administrative law materials, current awareness, etc.
- Lexis (Georgetown Law only)
There is a wealth of information, including primary, secondary and current awareness resources, available here. We provide direct links to selected materials in this guide, but you should explore the Immigration Library at Legal > Area of Law - By Topic > Immigration.
General Asylum Law Resources
- Asylee Eligibility for Resettlement Assistance - Updated Guide 2008
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) recently updated its short guide to asylee eligibility. The guide is designed to give service providers the tools and information needed to address the barriers to resettlement and integration faced by aisles and to better assist their clients. The guide contains crucial and timely information about the benefits and services for which asylees are eligible, including job placement assistance, English language classes, health screening, cash assistance, social security cards, employment authorization cards, adjustment of status, I-94s, travel authorization, petitioning for immediate relatives, and federal student financial aid.
- Regina Germain, AILA's Asylum Primer: A Practical Guide to U.S. Asylum Law and Procedure (6th ed.) Williams KF4836 .G37 2010
This book is a good basic asylum guide. It includes a nice overview of the asylum process, flags issues, examines U.S. asylum law, and includes practice pointers, sample documents, checklists, charts and resources. It should not be used as a substitute for in-depth treatises on asylum and refugee law.
- Human Rights First - Refugee Protection
HRF produces various reports on asylum topics. The site also includes letters, statements, memoranda and recommendations that have been included in communications with the DOJ, BIA, DHS and other governments entities.
- David A. Martin, Asylum Case Law Sourcebook : Master Index and Case Abstracts for U.S. Court Decisions (9th ed.) CALS KF4836.A53 M37 2009 and on Westlaw.
This book has abstracts (with citations to the full cases) of every federal court decision in an asylum case from 1980 through 2004. It is organized by year but indexed by issues decided, countries involved, and case names. A master list of categories appears in the front. Unfortunately, it does not include any decisions (published or unpublished) of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Note also the caveat in the pre-introduction, warning that some cases have been overruled by court decisions or the 1996 statute. Finally, keep in mind that it does not include the many decisions favorable to asylum-seekers decided by Courts of Appeal, especially the Ninth Circuit, after 1997.
- Migration Information Source - Asylum Data Tools
A hard data site with an interactive interface that can help you answer the questions: How many asylum seekers are there? Where are asylum seekers going? and Where are asylum seekers coming from?
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status: Under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the status of refugees INTL K3230.R45 H36 1992
A guide to the definition of "refugee" under the 1951 Convention (it is not binding on U.S. judges, but it is often persuasive). This handbook is also available on the UNHCR web site. Note that some provisions of the Convention have been further interpreted by decision of the Executive Committee. These decisions are posted on the UNHCR web site.
Key Government Entities
- U.S. State Department, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM)
PRM has primary responsibility for formulating policies on population, refugees, and migration, and for administering U.S. refugee assistance and admissions programs. The web site provides access to fact sheets and press releases.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
With the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the reorganization and streamlining of the functions of the executive branch relating to counter terrorism and the safety of the people of the United States, the DHS has administered the nation's immigration laws since March 1, 2003 when the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) became part of DHS. INS is later renamed the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
- U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
The Attorney General of the U.S. delegates authority to EOIR to administer and interpret federal immigration law and regulations through the conduct of immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and administrative hearings. There are three components:
- Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) hears appeals of decisions made in individual cases by Immigration Judges, DHS District Directors, or other immigration officials.
- Office of the Chief Immigration Judge (OCIJ) oversees all the Immigration Courts and their proceedings.
- Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) adjudicates cases concerning employer sanctions, document fraud, and immigration-related employment discrimination.
- Office for Special Counsel for Immigration-related Unfair Employment Practice (OSC)
- Office for Immigration Litigation (OIL)
- Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
- AR-11 Alien's Change of Address Card
- AR-11SR Alien's Change of Address Card
- G-28 Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative
- EOIR-26A Fee Waiver Request
- EOIR-28 Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative Before the Immigration Court
- EOIR-33/IC Alien's Change of Address Form/Immigration Court
- G-639 Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Request
- I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition and Instructions for I-730
- I-131 Application for Travel Document
- I-765 Application for Employment Authorization
- SS-5 Application for a Social Security Card and Instructions
- EOIR-26 Notice of Appeal from a Decision of an Immigration Judge
- EOIR-33/BIA Alien's Change of Address Form/Board of Immigration Appeals
Interviewing, Counseling, Fact Investigation and Other Practice Skills
There are many fine books on legal skills and only those most relevant to our work are listed here. Although some of these titles are old, they are considered classics on this topic.
- Robert M. Bastress and Joseph D. Harbaugh, Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiating Williams KF311 .B37 1990
This book is used in a large number of law school courses on these subjects, throughout the country.
- Gary Bellow and Bea Moulton, The Lawyering Process Williams KF282 .B4 1978
Probably the greatest book ever written on how to do the things lawyers do (followed by hundreds of questions about whether they make sense, and whether they are ethical). Fine chapters on interviewing, case planning, fact gathering, counseling, and other aspects of practicing law.
- David A. Binder, Lawyers as Counselors: A Client-Centered Approach Williams KF311 .B52 2004
This is one of the leading book on legal interviewing and counseling. It seeks to present a model in which lawyers let clients do more of the leading than many lawyers typically permit.
- David A. Binder and Paul Bergman, Fact Investigation : From Hypothesis to Proof Williams KF8935 .B5 1984
A model (complete with many charts) of how to think about and organize the search for facts in order to win a case.
- Steven Lubet, Modern Trial Advocacy : Analysis and Practice 3rd edition) Williams KF8915 .L82 2010
This book, published by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, stresses the importance of theory and analysis in the trial process. Rather than providing "recipes" for the various parts of a trial, this book emphasizes the many ways to think about the delivery of argument, the presentation of evidence, and the development of ideas at trial.
- Thomas A. Mauet, Trial Techniques (6th edition) Williams KF8915 .M38 2010
A leading book on how to present a case in court. It includes formulas for meeting all possible evidentiary objections, many of which are not necessary in asylum cases. On the other hand, it also has plenty of good advice on how to present a persuasive case through witness testimony and how to use cross-examination effectively.
- Peter Murray,Basic Trial Advocacy Williams KF8915 .Z9 M87 1995
This book systematically examines the rationales underlying the various trial techniques, in order to teach law students to understand why trial lawyers do what they do and design their presentations based on this knowledge, rather than copy standard practices. It is focused on the presentation process during the trial itself, and emphasizes the centrality of ethical decision-making in trial practice.
Other Research Guides
Want more information about researching asylum law? These other research guides may help. And don't forget: Georgetown Law Library offers research guides on many other related topics (e.g. Refugee Protection, Human Rights, United Nations, Immigration Law (U.S.) and more!
- Refugee and Asylum Resources (University of Minnesota)
- Immigration Law - A Comparative Approach: Guide to Immigration Law of Australia, Canada and the United States (GlobaLex)
- Guide to International Refugee Law Resources on the Web (LLRX)
- Guide to Country Research for Refugee Status Determination (LLRX)
Updated January 2012 (mms)
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