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Zimmerman's Research Guide



The main U.S. agency regulating immigration is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a bureau of the Department of Homeland Security. Useful Internet sites include the USCIS Web site, the EOIR Virtual Law Library and the Tarleton Law Library's Immigration Law Research Guide. Leading treatises on immigration law include the Immigration Law Sourcebook (American Immigration Council) by Ira J. Kurzban and the Immigration Procedures Handbook (West) by Austin T. Fragomen. For more treatises, see the Immigration Law Treatises of the Georgetown Law Library's Treatise Finder.

Immigration cases are handled by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), a division of the Department of Justice. Cases first go to the Immigration Court, then get appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The Immigration Court Practice Manual is posted on the EOIR home page. For information on BIA decisions, see "Board of Immigration Appeals." The EOIR also handles administrative hearings.

Detention: The Detainee Locator posted by U.S. Immigration and customs let you look up whether (and, if so, where) an immigrant is being held in a U.S. detention center.

Forms: Most immigration forms can be downloaded from the USCIS Forms page.

Note: A few immigration forms are reprinted in immigration treatises, such as Fragomen's Immigration Procedures Handbook and his 3-volume looseleaf. If you use these, be sure you have both sides of the form and that the form is on the right color paper.

ILCR (I.L.C.R): "ILCR" is a citation abbreviation for the Immigration Labor Certification Reporter (also written: Immigration--Labor Certification Reporter), formerly published by Matthew Bender. The reporter published ALJ Decisions and Orders as well as Court Opinions. Back issues are available at the Library of Congress and the Los Angeles County Law Library, among other places.

Immigration & naturalization records: You can get someone's immigration and/or naturalization records by filing a Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Request on Form G-639 with the INS. The USCIS post information on How to Make a FOIA or Privacy Act Request.

Note: Old "naturalization files" are kept by the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.

Immigration and Naturalization Service: The predecessor to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The duties of the INS were transfered to the USCIS by the National Strategy for Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

See Also
Board of Immigration Appeals
United States Department of Justice

For comments, questions and suggestions, email the author
Copyright 2014 Andrew Zimmerman