Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

CALS Asylum Case Research Guide

How to research asylum cases and track human rights conditions by country.

General Asylum Law Resources

  • Asylee Eligibility for Resettlement Assistance - Updated Guide 2012
    Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) recently updated its short guide to asylee eligibility. The guide is designed to give service providers the tools and information needed to address the barriers to resettlement and integration faced by aisles and to better assist their clients. The guide contains crucial and timely information about the benefits and services for which asylees are eligible.
  • Regina Germain, AILA's Asylum Primer: A Practical Guide to U.S. Asylum Law and Procedure(6th ed.) CALS KF4836 .G37 2015
    This book is a good basic asylum guide. It includes a nice overview of the asylum process, flags issues, examines U.S. asylum law, and includes practice pointers, sample documents, checklists, charts and resources. It should not be used as a substitute for in-depth treatises on asylum and refugee law.
  • Human Rights First - Refugee Protection
    HRF produces various reports on asylum topics. The site also includes letters, statements, memoranda and recommendations that have been included in communications with the DOJ, BIA, DHS and other governments entities.
  • David A. Martin, Asylum Case Law Sourcebook : Master Index and Case Abstracts for U.S. Court Decisions (9th ed.) CALS KF4836.A53 M37 2009 and on Westlaw.
    This book has abstracts (with citations to the full cases) of every federal court decision in an asylum case from 1980 through 2004. It is organized by year but indexed by issues decided, countries involved, and case names. A master list of categories appears in the front. Unfortunately, it does not include any decisions (published or unpublished) of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Note also the caveat in the pre-introduction, warning that some cases have been overruled by court decisions or the 1996 statute. Finally, keep in mind that it does not include the many decisions favorable to asylum-seekers decided by Courts of Appeal, especially the Ninth Circuit, after 1997.
  • Migration Policy Institute - Data Hub
    A hard data site with an interactive interface that can help you answer the questions: How many asylum seekers are there? Where are asylum seekers going and where are asylum seekers coming from?
  • Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status: Under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the status of refugees INTL K3230.R45 H36 1992
    A guide to the definition of "refugee" under the 1951 Convention (it is not binding on U.S. judges, but it is often persuasive). This handbook is also available on the UNHCR web site. Note that some provisions of the Convention have been further interpreted by decision of the Executive Committee. These decisions are posted on the refworld web site.