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Practical, Interpretive Guidance of the Entire Asylum Process

Asylum Primer
Used by attorneys, government officials, law professors, law students, and nonprofit organizations, AILA's Asylum Primer will help you understand and resolve critical asylum issues and provide answers to help you through the asylum process--from the first meeting until you close the case.

AILA Posts Federal Agency Contact Information

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Did you know that AILA Liaison posts updated contact information for DHS, DOJ, DOL, and DOS? Check out the Federal Agency Contact Information page today!

Agency Memos, Cables, Letters & Guidance

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995 | 1994 - 1986

  • CBP I-94 FAQs(592 KB - 4/22/2014)
    CBP posted I-94 frequently asked questions, including what records a traveler has access to, obtaining travel records for previous or expired passports, filing a FOIA request, and the I-94 automation process.
    AILA Doc. No. 14042232.
  • Updated Asylum Division Officer Training Course on Credible Fear Determinations(1005 KB - 4/18/2014)
    Updated lesson plan on credible fear determinations for the USCIS Asylum Division Officer Training Course.
    AILA Doc. No. 14041846.
  • USCIS Asylum Division Memo Releasing Revised Credible Fear Lesson Plan(820 KB - 4/18/2014)
    USCIS memo releasing a revised credible fear lesson plan for its officer training course. The changes are made in light of an increase in credible fear referrals and include increased emphasis on the requirement for individuals to “demonstrate a substantial and realistic possibility of succeeding.”
    AILA Doc. No. 14041845.
  • USCIS FAQs on Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Updated 4/10/13) (4/10/2014)
    USCIS updated its Consideration for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals process page on 4/9/14 with information on renewals. FAQs were last updated on 1/18/13.
    AILA Doc. No. 12080365.
  • DACA SOP for Form I-821D and Form I-765(4629 KB - 4/3/2014)
    The National Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Forms I-821D and I-765, prepared by the Service Center Operations Directorate. Manual is dated April 4, 2013, version 2.0 and was provided to AIC and NILC in response to a FOIA request.
    AILA Doc. No. 14040340.
  • ICE Director Letter to Rep. Thompson on Detainers(590 KB - 3/28/2014)
    A 2/25/14 letter from Acting ICE Director Daniel H. Ragsdale to Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) clarifying that immigration detainers are not mandatory as a matter of law, but instead rely on the cooperation of law enforcement.
    AILA Doc. No. 14032846.
  • USCIS Request for Comments on Fraud and Willful Misrepresentation Inadmissibility and Waiver Guidance(727 KB - 3/25/2014)
    USCIS requests comments on updated and comprehensive policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual on the fraud and willful misrepresentation ground of inadmissibility and the corresponding waiver. Comments are due 4/7/14.
    AILA Doc. No. 14032550.
  • CIS Ombudsman Recommendation on Employment Eligibility for Derivatives of Conrad 30 Physicians(685 KB - 3/25/2014)
    CIS Ombudsman recommendation that USCIS publish new regulations and issue policy guidance on employment eligibility for derivatives of Conrad State 30 program J-1 physicians, permitting independently eligible J-2 dependents to change to other employment-authorized nonimmigrant classifications.
    AILA Doc. No. 14032545.
  • CBP Guidance on Exercises of Discretion and Prosecutorial Discretion(581 KB - 3/18/2014)
    CBP guidance, obtained through FOIA litigation filed by AIC, on CBP policies related to exercises of discretion and prosecutorial discretion. Includes information on waivers of documentary requirements, parole, deferred inspection, voluntary return, and NTA release. The litigation is still pending.
    AILA Doc. No. 14031849.
  • USCIS to Reopen I-601A Denials Based on “Reason to Believe”(689 KB - 3/18/2014)
    USCIS notice that starting on 3/18/14, USCIS will reopen all I-601A waiver applications that were denied prior to 1/24/14, solely because of a prior criminal offense, in order to determine whether there is reason to believe the prior criminal offense might render the applicant inadmissible.
    AILA Doc. No. 14031846.
  • USCIS on the Impact of Immigration Status on ACA Benefits(468 KB - 3/13/2014)
    USCIS alert with helpful resources on the impact of immigration status on eligibility for health care benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
    AILA Doc. No. 14031340.
  • USCIS Policy Manual Update on Vaccination Requirements for Pregnant or Immuno-Compromised Applicants(508 KB - 3/11/2014)
    USCIS notice of a technical update to the USCIS Policy Manual to replace the list of vaccines contraindicated for pregnant or immuno-compromised applicants with a reference to the CDC’s Vaccination Technical Instructions, to ensure that the Policy Manual includes the most up-to-date information.
    AILA Doc. No. 14031146.
  • DHS Use of Deadly Force Policy (6/25/04)(577 KB - 3/7/2014)
    DHS policy on use of deadly force, dated 6/25/04, establishes that DHS may use deadly force only when the officer has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.
    AILA Doc. No. 14030749.
  • ICE Interim Use of Force Policy (7/7/04)(7091 KB - 3/7/2014)
    ICE interim use of force policy, dated 7/7/04, intended to create a comprehensive policy to unify operational elements in the critical area of firearms and the related disciplines. Policy includes general guidelines, reporting requirements, intermediate force devices, and marine enforcement.
    AILA Doc. No. 14030747.
  • CBP Redacted October 2010 Use of Force Policy Handbook (3/7/2014)
    CBP released a redacted version of its October 2010 Use of Force Policy Handbook from the Office of Training and Development.
    AILA Doc. No. 14030746.
  • CBP Memo on Use of Safe Tactics and Techniques(596 KB - 3/7/2014)
    CBP 3/7/14 memo from Michael Fisher, Chief of U.S. Border Patrol, clarifying existing guidelines contained in the CBP Use of Force Policy, to lessen the likelihood of deadly force situations and reduce the risk of injury or death to agents and others.
    AILA Doc. No. 14030745.
  • USCIS Employee Information Sheet on Form I-9(512 KB - 3/6/2014)
    USCIS Form I-9 Employee Information Sheet, updated on 1/28/14, including information for employees on the purpose of the Form I-9, instructions on completing Section 1 of the form, and who to call if they have questions or need more information.
    AILA Doc. No. 14030657.
  • USCIS Consolidated Guidance for Refugee and Asylee-Based Adjustments under INA §209(613 KB - 3/4/2014)
    USCIS policy alert that the USCIS Policy Manual has been updated to address adjustment of status applications filed by refugees and asylees under INA §209(a) and 209(b). The guidance in Volume 7 of the Policy Manual consolidates and supersedes the Adjudicator’s Field Manual and related policy memos.
    AILA Doc. No. 14030442.
  • CBP Memo on Policy of Nondiscrimination in Law Enforcement Activities(581 KB - 2/24/2014)
    CBP memo from Thomas Winkowski, Acting Commissioner of CBP, on the prohibition of the consideration of race or ethnicity in law enforcement, investigations, and screening activities, in all but the most exceptional circumstances including “compelling government interests.”
    AILA Doc. No. 14022441.
  • Guidance for Individuals Granted DACA by ICE (Updated 2/21/14)(1073 KB - 2/21/2014)
    USCIS guidance for those granted deferred action under the DACA process by ICE who have an EAD expiring in the next 120 days. DACA renewals must be approved prior to expiration of the initial period of deferred action to avoid a lapse in employment authorization or accrual of unlawful presence.
    AILA Doc. No. 14022042.
  • USCIS Affirmative Asylum Procedures Manual (November 2013)(3523 KB - 2/19/2014)
    USCIS Affirmative Asylum Procedures Manual from the Asylum Division, updated and revised as of November 2013, provides instruction for asylum office personnel on how to process affirmative asylum applications.
    AILA Doc. No. 03111341.
  • CBP Service Motion to Reopen Finding Utah Wrong Appropriation Conviction Not CIMT(663 KB - 2/19/2014)
    CBP service motion to reopen on Form I-192, finding that a conviction of wrongful appropriation, in violation of 76 6 404.5 of the Utah Criminal Code, does not constitute a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) and thus has no effect on admissibility. Courtesy of J. Christopher Keen.
    AILA Doc. No. 14021946.
  • Q&As from Meeting Between AILA and USCIS Verification and ICE HSI(761 KB - 2/18/2014)
    Q&As from USCIS from the 11/19/13 meeting between the AILA Verification and Documentation Liaison Committee and the USCIS Verification Division and ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Topics include I-94s and E-Verify, birth certificates, new barcode on Form I-9, E-Verify, and OSC.
    AILA Doc. No. 14021843.
  • ICE SEVP Sends Broadcast Message on Unpaid Employment(136 KB - 2/6/2014)
    A 2/6/14 broadcast message confirming SEVP's guidance on unpaid employment and noting some OPT STEM extension applications were erroneously denied by USCIS because applicants had or intended to work in volunteer or unpaid intern positions. AILA & NAFSA first raised this issue with USCIS in November.
    AILA Doc. No. 14020651.
  • CBP October 2010 Use of Force Policy Handbook(3897 KB - 2/4/2014)
    CBP Office of Training and Development’s October 2010 Use of Force Policy Handbook, which sets forth the policy for use of force within CBP and provides all CBP personnel with a single, unifying use of force reference.
    AILA Doc. No. 14020443.
  • USCIS Releases Revised N-400(510 KB - 2/4/2014)
    USCIS alert that it has revised and released an updated Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. USCIS will not accept older versions of the Form N-400 after 5/5/14.
    AILA Doc. No. 14020440.
  • USCIS Memo on Revised Procedures Regarding Trafficking Victims in the AAPM(633 KB - 1/30/2014)
    USCIS 11/26/13 memo from John Lafferty, Chief of the Asylum Division, announcing the issuance of revised procedures for asylum office personnel regarding the handling and identification of trafficking victims to replace current procedures in the Affirmative Asylum Procedures Manual (AAPM).
    AILA Doc. No. 14013055.
  • USCIS Memo on Changes to Case Categories Requiring Asylum Headquarters Review(595 KB - 1/30/2014)
    USCIS 1/27/14 memo from John Lafferty, Chief of the Asylum Division, with the revised categories of affirmative asylum cases that require USCIS Headquarters review. The revisions are effective immediately.
    AILA Doc. No. 14013044.
  • USCIS Policy Alert on Civil Surgeon Centralization at NBC(668 KB - 1/28/2014)
    USCIS guidance, issued in the USCIS Policy Manual, announcing that the civil surgeon designation process will be formalized with an application and filing will be centralized at the National Benefits Center (NBC) effective March 11, 2014.
    AILA Doc. No. 14012844.
  • USCIS Policy Alert with Guidance for Health-Related Grounds of Inadmissibility and Waivers(547 KB - 1/28/2014)
    USCIS guidance, issued in the USCIS Policy Manual, on the health-related grounds of inadmissibility under INA 212(a)(1) and corresponding waivers under INA 212(g). Policy Manual guidance updates old guidance and supersedes any prior guidance that may be inconsistent.
    AILA Doc. No. 14012843.
  • USCIS Issues Guidance on Provisional Waivers and “Reason to Believe”(525 KB - 1/24/2014)
    USCIS 1/24/14 memo instructing officers to review all evidence filed with an I-601A and, if it appears that the offense is not a CIMT or qualifies for the petty offense or youthful offender exception, to not find a reason to believe that the applicant may be inadmissible under INA 212(a)(2)(A)(i).
    AILA Doc. No. 14012455.
  • USCIS PowerPoint on the Humanitarian Parole Program(514 KB - 1/22/2014)
    Undated USCIS PowerPoint on the Humanitarian Parole Program under the Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate, including legal authority, who can apply, application form and documentation, re-paroles, and more.
    AILA Doc. No. 14012243.
  • USCIS Response to AILA on its Urging for TPS Designation for Philippines(512 KB - 1/6/2014)
    USCIS response to AILA’s 11/14/13 letter urging DHS Acting Secretary to designate the Philippines for TPS. Director Mayorkas indicates that DHS and USCIS are monitoring the situation in the Philippines and highlights non-TPS options available for individuals affected by the typhoon and its damage.
    AILA Doc. No. 14010644.
  • USCIS Policy Memo on Determining Habitual Residence in the U.S. for Children from Hague Convention Countries(551 KB - 1/3/2014)
    USCIS 12/23/13 policy memo clarifying the criteria to follow in determining whether or not the Hague Adoption Convention applies to the adoption in the U.S. of a child from a Hague Adoption Convention country other than the U.S. Comment period ends 1/17/14 and memo is in effect until further notice.
    AILA Doc. No. 14010341.
  • USCIS Revised H-1B Anti-Fraud Operational Guidance(1366 KB - 1/2/2014)
    In response to a FOIA request, USCIS released its 6/3/13 Revised H-1B Anti-Fraud Operational Guidance memorandum, which rescinds and supersedes a 10/31/08 policy memorandum (memo can be found at AILA Doc. No. 12052252). Special thanks to David Gluckman.
    AILA Doc. No. 14010245.