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Immigration Law Research Guide: Organizations

Provides general and specialized sources for researching U.S. immigration law, including online government resources, statutes, regulations & case law, plus general and specialized secondary sources and immigration-related organizations.


Acacia Center for Justice.  Advocacy and legal defense organization.  "The Acacia Center for Justice seeks to provide legal support to immigrants facing deportation through the management of federal contracts that fund programs for immigrants across the country." Headquartered in Washington, D.C.


ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project.  Advocacy organization; includes press releases, information on asylum/refugees, detention, discrimination & workplace rights.  The site also includes select immigration cases and legislative testimony.


Al Otro Lado.  Bi-national advocacy and legal services organization. "Al Otro Lado provides holistic legal and humanitarian support to indigent refugees, deportees, and other migrants in the US and Tijuana through a multidisciplinary, client-centered, harm reduction-based practice." Has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Tijuana.


American Immigration Council (formerly the American Immigration Law Foundation). Non-profit, advocacy organization.  Includes detailed Practice Advisories for practitioners, topical reports, and a fact sheet on "How the United States Immigration System Works" (Oct. 2019).


Americans for Immigrant Justice (formerly the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center). Non-profit, direct-services law firm; "fights for justice for immigrants through a combination of direct representation, impact litigation, advocacy, and outreach."  National organization; based in Miami, Florida.  Founded in 1996. 


American Immigration Lawyers Association.  The professional organization for immigration attorneys; holds an annual conference.  Resources include immigration news (Daily News Clips), AILA Policy Briefs, Featured Issue Pages, and the AILA Blog: "Think Immigration."   Many of the materials are restricted to AILA members.


California Immigrant Policy Center.  Key policy areas include health & public benefits, economic justice, fighting detention and deportation and immigrant inclusion & civic participation. CIPC also focuses on organizing (Immigrant Day of Action; Regional Capacity Building Project) and communications. Founded in 1996 as the California Immigrant Welfare Collective; offices in Los Angeles and Sacramento. 


Center for Gender & Refugee Studies.  Based at UC Hastings School of Law, CGRS supports women asylum-seekers through scholarly research, policy work, and impact litigation. The site has a wealth of information on gender-based asylum, including general background information, US and international case law, country conditions information, scholarly articles and news.


Immigrant Defense Project.  Based in New York.  Conducts impact litigation, policy & advocacy work, and provides resources to communities to help defend against ICE raids and deportation.  IDP’s Padilla Support Center offers legal support to attorneys representing immigrants in New York City; part of a statewide network of regional (NY) immigration assistance centers (criminal & family court cases).


Immigrant Defenders.  "Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef) is a next-generation social justice law firm that defends our immigrant communities against injustices in the immigration system."  Provides legal representation in deportation cases through the "Community Defense Project"; also provides community legal education, addresses client wellness, and is involved in impact litigation and advocacy.  Headquarters located in Los Angeles; offices in Riverside, Santa Ana, and San Diego.


Immigrant Legal Resource Center.  Provides trainings, materials and advocacy to advance immigrant rights.  Many online resources for practitioners, including publications.  Headquartered in San Francisco, CA; has offices in California’s Central Valley, San Antonio & Austin, Texas, and Washington DC.


Immigration Advocates Network. "The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), a program of Pro Bono Net, is dedicated to expanding access to immigration legal resources and information through collaboration and technology."  Includes a National Immigration Legal Services Directory, where you can search by state.


Immigration Equality.  Advancing equal immigration rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV-positive community. Includes LGBT and HIV Immigration Basics, the LGBT/HIV Asylum Manual, news, and resources for lawyers.


Innovation Law Lab.  "Innovation Law Lab was founded to harness the power of technology, law, and activism all in a single organization to end the mass incarceration of children and mothers in secret jails and inhumane conditions. Innovation Law Lab leverages the work of coders, lawyers, and activists in order to end isolation and exploitation of immigrants and refugees, build permanent pathways to immigrant inclusion, and advance justice. ... Based in Portland, Oregon, Law Lab has team members in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Texas, Washington, and Mexico."


Justice Action Center.  "Dedicated to fighting for greater justice for immigrant communities by combining litigation and storytelling."  Focuses on impact litigation, creating "original, immigrant-centered content," and partnering with direct service providers and organizers.  Based in Los Angeles.


National Conference of State Legislatures - Immigration Policy Project.   Includes information on state immigration laws (including a searchable database of enacted state laws and resolutions since 2008), sanctuary policies, immigrants and public charge, and a U.S. Immigration Primer (June 2018). 


National Immigration Law Center.  Advocacy and policy organization for the rights of low-income immigrants, with a focus on employment rights and public benefits.  Includes issue briefs, news, select cases, and statistics.


National Immigrant Justice Center.  Advocacy and policy organization, based in the Midwest (Chicago, Indiana), but with additional offices in San Diego and Washington, D.C. Focuses on "ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers."  Also provides direct legal services.  Advocacy consists of policy reform, impact litigation, and public education.

National Lawyer's Guild: National Immigration Project.  Provides advocacy-oriented legal support on immigrant rights issues.  Specializes in defending the rights of immigrants facing incarceration and deportation.  Website includes practice advisories, description of litigation, policy and legal updates, and links to other organizations.  Members can access technical assistance and case support.


Refworld.  Extensive collection of reports on country conditions, and policy & legal documents.  A project of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).


Southern Poverty Law Center, Immigrant Justice Project.  Advocacy organization; conducts impact litigation.  Issues: Family separation, rights of asylum seekers, local policing and immigration enforcement; guest worker rights, and the Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative (SIFI), which "enlists and trains volunteer lawyers to provide free legal representation to detained immigrants facing deportation proceedings in the Southeast."