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Criminal Justice: Immigration Law

Immigration & Asylum Law

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Federal Agencies

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contains the following agencies:

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): USCIS is the agency responsible for administering immigration benefits and services.  Sections of the website include Forms, News, Citizenship, Green Card, Tools, and Legal Resources.  The Legal Resources section includes Federal Register announcements, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the Code of Federal Regulations ( 8 CFR), and policy memoranda.  Contains useful information for practicing attorneys and members of the public.  An expanded Spanish USCIS site is also available.
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): ICE is responsible for investigations, detention and removal, intelligence and the administration of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP): CBP conducts inspections and enforces immigration and customs law at U.S. ports of entry, through border patrol and customs agents.


The Department of Justice (DOJ) webpage now has a Spanish version; see " en español."  The Department of Justice contains the following agencies:

  • Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR): The EOIR oversees adjudications of DHS administrative actions, the immigration judges, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Office (OCAHO), and the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO).  The main page has a link to immigration courts nationwide and to the Immigration Court Practice Manual.  See the "Statistics and Reports" tab for the BIA Practice Manual.
    • EOIR Virtual Law Library: Includes links to Attorney General (AG) and BIA decisions (I & N Dec. Volumes 8, 1958 - ) and index, OCAHO decisions (1988- ), AG and BIA Precedent Decisions, C.F.R. Title 8, Immigration-related notices in the Federal Register (FR), the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), TPS information, and Country Conditions information. 
  • Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER): (formerly OSC, the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices): The IER enforces the anti-discrimination provisions of the INA, Section 274B (8 U.S.C. 1324b.)  Located within the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, the IER protects U.S. citizens and legal immigrants from employment discrimination based upon national origin and citizenship or immigration status, unfair documentary practices during the employment eligibility verification process, and retaliation.


Department of Labor: In order to hire foreign workers, U.S. employers must go through a process called "labor certification" with the Department of Labor.  If an employer's labor certification application is denied, the employer can appeal to the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA).  For general information, see the link for "Foreign Labor" (Topics > Hiring > Foreign Labor.) There is also a webpage for the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) with links on the many issues involved in submitting a labor certification application, including forms.

Office of Administrative Law Judges, Immigration Collection: Provides access to decisions from the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) and several other types of immigration-related decisions.  Includes links to the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, selected statutes and regulations, and agency contact information.


The State Department is responsible for issuance of visas.  It publishes the Foreign Affairs Manual, which contains information on citizenship and nationality (Volume 8) and interpretations and instructions on provisions for issuing visas and waivers (Volume 9).  The monthly Visa Bulletin, which shows the waiting times for immigrant visas in different categories and from different countries, is available on the State Department's website.


Source:  UCLA Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library

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