News / archive

US Immigration Resources

Immigration is a complicated and often emotional process, one that can leave an individual, a community and a country confused. Below is a list of resources to help explain the rules and agencies that govern U.S. immigration, as well as the people and organizations working to support those navigating the process.

VOA News
Government Sources

Bureau of Consular AffairsU.S. Department of State 
The Bureau issues the travel documents that allow Americans to travel the world and lawful immigrants and visitors to travel to the U.S.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor
Search “foreign born” on this site to pull up tables and reports on foreign-born workers in the U.S., including data on earnings and workplace injuries.

U.S. Census Bureau
The Census Bureau produces data about the people and economy of the U.S., based on the Census survey conducted every 10 years, as well as dozens of other surveys. The website has special reports on the foreign-born population, available here, and community-specific databases, like the American Fact Finder, available here. The Census Bureau also conducts demographic, economic and geographic studies of more than 200 other nations and areas of the world, which is helpful in learning about countries of origin. The International Data Base can be found here.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) www.dhs.gov, USCIS processes immigrant visa petitions, citizenship applications, as well as asylum and refugee applications. The site has great resources for people looking to start a new life in the U.S. and offers helpful information and data about U.S. immigration past and present.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
One of DHS’s largest components, CBP is focused on “keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S.” On a daily basis, though, CBP agents can be found apprehending undocumented immigrants, including a growing number of children from Latin America. The site includes statistics on budget, border patrol agents and the barrier that’s growing along the U.S.-Mexico border.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
ICE is the main investigative unit of DHS and the second biggest investigative agency in the federal government. Notoriously tight-lipped with the media, it is difficult to get specific data and information from ICE about the detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants. The site provides some data but not an exhaustive archive of information.

Executive Office for Immigration Review, Department of Justice
The EOIR adjudicates immigration cases through court proceedings, apellate reviews and administrative hearings across the U.S.

U.S. Research and Policy Groups

Brookings Institution
Experts from the liberal-leaning research and policy group examine the demographic, economic, social and political impact of immigration.

Center for Immigration Studies
The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-profit research group in Washington, DC that advocates stricter immigration control and enforcement.

Heritage Foundation
This conservative research group recently issued a controversial report on the cost of  legalizing the undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The group offers a counter argument to those who say creating a path to citizenship will help boost tax revenue and create jobs.

Migration Policy Institute
The Migration Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to the analysis of the movement of people worldwide. It offers articles, information and statistics for the U.S. and other countries, as well as interactive and its data hub has easy-to-navigate migration and settlement maps, found here.

NumbersUSA
The right-leaning NumbersUSA seeks to reduce U.S. immigration levels to pre-1965 levels, advocating greater restrictions on immigration to “stabilize” the U.S. population.

Pew Hispanic Center
The nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center’s research focuses primarily on the U.S. Latino population, but it also has studies and surveys on other populations, like Asian-Americans. Its work focuses on a range of subjects, including identity, economics, immigration, politics and remittances.

The Urban Institute, Immigration Studies Program
Policy experts at the Urban Institute study how the foreign-born population in the U.S. is growing, integrating, and changing.

Advocacy, Legal and Support Groups

American Civil Liberties Union
The ACLU is a nonpartisan, non-profit group working to “defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country,” including immigrants who are not necessarily U.S. citizens. Its lawyers defend thousands of civil liberties cases each year, while its legislative advocates push civil liberties issues on Capitol Hill.

American Immigration Lawyers Association
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is a voluntary bar association of over 12,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. It offers a helpful daily roundup of immigration news clips from major media outlets, found here.

America's Voice
Founder Frank Sharry has been at the forefront of the pro-immigration reform movement for two decades.

Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence
The national resource center on domestic violence, sexual violence, trafficking, and other forms of gender-based violence in Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

Asylumlaw.org
Asylumlaw.org was founded on March 1, 1999, with the sole purpose of using the internet to help lawyers worldwide prepare the best asylum cases they can.

Citizenship Works
CitizenshipWorks provides easy-to-use online tools to help low and moderate-income individuals answer questions about their eligibility for naturalization, to better understand the naturalization process, and to prepare for the naturalization tests.

Define America
Define America is a campaign started by award winning-journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, an undocumented immigrant who grew up in the U.S., to ask, “How do we define an American?”

Detention Watch Network
The Detention Watch Network is a research and advocacy group focused on the U.S. immigration detention and deportation systems. Its national network of members is pushing for what it considers to be more humane treatment of immigrant detainees.

EthnoMed
EthnoMed is an ethnic medicine website containing medical and cultural information about immigrant and refugee groups. It is a joint program of the University of Washington Health Sciences Libraries and Harborview Medical Center's Interpreter Services Department/Community House Calls Program. 

Immigration Equality
Immigration Equality is a national organization fighting for equality under U.S. immigration law for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV-positive individuals. The group provides legal aid and advocacy for LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants and their families.

ImmigrationLawHelp.org
A searchable online directory of over 940 free or low-cost nonprofit immigration legal services providers in all 50 states.

Immigrant Legal Resource Center
The national non-profit resource center provides legal trainings, educational materials, and advocacy to educate immigrants, community organizations, and the legal sector on immigrant rights.

National Council of La Raza
The National Council of La Raza is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S.

United We Dream
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the U.S., working to win citizenship for the entire undocumented community and end deportations and abuses.

International Sources

Amnesty International
Global human rights group concerned about the wellbeing of the displaced, detained and exploited.

International Labor Organization
The U.N. agency advocates internationally recognized human and labor rights around the world.

International Organization for Migration
The inter-governmental organization works with states and non-governmental organizations to settle migrants. With 151 member states, IOM provides services and advice to governments and migrants around the world.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The U.N. agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide.

The World Bank
The Data & Resesarch section of the World Bank website includes publications and reports on international migration.

Media

AILA InfoNet
Daily immigration news clips curated by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Harvest of Empire
Based on the book by award-winning journalist and Democracy Now! Co-host Juan González, Harvest of Empire is a feature-length documentary exploring the connection between the history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration dilemma America is currently facing.

Lost in Detention
PBS’s FRONTLINE and the Investigative Reporting Workshop examine the Obama administration’s controversial get-tough immigration policy.

Migration News
Migration News, from the University of California - Davis, summarizes the most important immigration and integration developments of the preceding quarter.

New America Media
New America Media is a collaboration and advocate of 2,000 ethnic news organizations, delivering news about immigration and how local and international policies affect ethnic communities in the U.S. and around the world.

The Dream is Now
A 30-minute documentary film by Davis Guggenheim, the Academy Award-winning director of An Inconvenient Truth, tells the story of undocumented children of immigrants and how the Congressional reform process could affect them.

More Immigration-Related Films
T
houghtful list of Hispanic and immigration-related documentaries, with descriptions.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs