Skip to main content

Immigration Law: Federal Agencies

GUIDE OUTLINE

Home
     Scope
     Ask A Librarian

Primary Sources
     Statutes
     Regulations
     Cases
     Legislative History
     Westlaw and Lexis

Secondary Sources
     Treatises and Reference Works
     Journals

Federal Agencies
    Agency Materials
    Administrative Rulings
    Immigration Statistics
    Other Federal Government Resources

News and Current Awareness
     News Sources
     Immigration Law Blogs 

Immigration Organizations

IMMIGRATION STATISTICS

U.S. Census Bureau
The U.S. Census Bureau provides statistics on immigration and emigration through its International Migration Main page.

Department of Homeland Security Immigration Statistics
This Department of Homeland Security website provides access to the Department's Yearbook of Immigration Statistics as well as news releases, reports, and other data.

OTHER GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

Congressional Budget Office
The Congressional Budget Office provides information, links and reports on the impact and nature of immigration on the US economy and workforce.

Social Security Administration
The immigration website for the SSA describes the resources available to immigrants and how to get an SS card while applying for U.S. citizenship.  It also provides information for refugees and asylees, information to other non-citizens, and provides links to other relevant agencies.

National Archives Immigration Records
The National Archives web page contains information on researching and accessing the naturalization records of immigrants.

USA.gov
The USA.gov website has immigration and citizenship information provided by the federal government.  It includes reports of adoption from other countries and human trafficking.  There is also information about visas and refugee resettlement programs.

AGENCY MATERIALS

Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security’s mission is to ensure the safety and security of the nation.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
USCIS is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. The USCIS website has information about services and benefits, laws and regulations, and immigration forms.

  • USCIS Policy Manual: This web page is the agency's repository for their immigration policies.
  • USCIS Official FormsDownloadable USCIS forms.
  • E-Verify.gov: E-Verify.gov is an online system that allows employers to confirm their employees’ eligibility to work in the United States.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforces federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration. The ICE website provides information about illegal immigration enforcement news. The site also describes the mission of ICE as well as various ICE programs designed to implement the many federal statutes enacted to help protect national security and public safety.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP): The primary mission of Customs and Border Protection is to keep terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. It also has a responsibility for enforcing U.S. trade laws and facilitating international travel. The website offers contact information for Customs and Border Control, answers to frequently asked questions, forms, and CBP news.

Department of Justice (DOJ)
The DOJ, headed by the Attorney General, controls federal law enforcement and handles the legal business of the United States. The Attorney General represents the United States in legal matters generally and gives advice and opinions to the President and to the heads of the executive departments of the Government when so requested. 

Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR): The Executive Office for Immigration Review adjudicates immigration cases through immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and administrative hearings. The main EOIR webpage has links to immigration courts nationwide and to the Immigration Court Practice Manual. It provides information about immigration from the court’s point of view.

  • Board of Immigration Appeals: Hears appeals of decisions made in individual cases by Immigration Judges, DHS District Directors, or other immigration officials.
  • Office of the Chief Immigration Judge: Establishes operating policies and oversees policy implementation for the immigration courts.
  • Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer: Adjudicates cases concerning employer sanctions, document fraud and immigration-related employment discrimination.
  • EOIR Virtual Law Library: Includes links to Attorney General and Bureau of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decisions and index, C.F.R. Title 8, Immigration-related notices in the Federal Register, the Immigration and Nationality Act, BIA Practice Manual, immigration courts control list, and practitioner roster. 

Department of State
The Department of State is responsible for issuing visas.  It publishes the Foreign Affairs Manual, which contains information on citizenship and nationality (Volume 7) and interpretations and instructions on provisions for issuing visas and waivers (Volume 9). 

Visa Information Center: The Visa Information center handles visa requests from abroad.   The website provides information about visa types and eligibility, visa application forms, and a directory of U.S. embassy locations around the world.

Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration: The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration provides aid for refugees and victims of conflict around the world. The website offers information about the Bureau’s work on behalf of refugees, funding opportunities, and how to contact the Bureau.

Department of Labor
The Department of Labor enforces all of the labor laws in the country through various administrative courts. In order to hire foreign workers, U.S. employers must go through a process called "labor certification" with the Department of Labor. The DOL website offers an electronic system for filing labor certification applications, official forms relating to employment-based immigration, and pertinent regulations.                

Office of Foreign Labor Certification: The Office of Foreign Labor Certification website provides hiring information for employers and foreign workers, and overviews of foreign labor policies and regulations, and downloadable foreign labor certification forms.

ADMINISTRATIVE RULINGS

Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Decisions

Immigration Non-Precedent Decisions – BIA, AAO/AAU: BIA and AAO Decisions from February 1985 to present (Lexis password required).

Immigration Precedent Decisions – BIA, AAO/AAU: From August 1940 to present (Lexis password required).

  • Westlaw: August 1940 to present (Westlaw password required).
  • Administrative Decisions Under Immigration and Nationality Laws 

HeinOnline: Volume 1 (1940) to prior year (available on campus or remotely with ASURITE).

Hathitrust: Volumes 1-22.

U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) (formally the Administrative Appeals Unit (AAU)) Decisions

  • USCIS: Administrative Decisions from 2005 to present. The decisions are organized by subject area and are available in PDF format.
  • Lexis

Immigration Non-Precedent Decisions – BIA, AAO/AAU: BIA and AAO Decisions from February 1985 to present (Lexis password required).

Immigration Precedent Decisions – BIA, AAO/AAU: From August 1940 to present (Lexis password required).

  • Westlaw: 1989 to present (Westlaw password required).

OCAHO Decisions (Immigration-related decisions issued by the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer of the Department of Justice)

  • OCAHO: arranged by volume number.
  • Lexis: March 1988 to present (Lexis password required).
  • Westlaw: March 1988 to present (Westlaw password required).

BALCA Decisions (Decisions of the Department of Labor Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals)