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The Immigration Clinic at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law has provided these resources to assist the general public in researching United States asylum law. Resources provided include both online materials and print materials available at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law’s Thurgood Marshall Law Library.
This should not be construed as legal advice. If you are seeking representation, please contact a lawyer or the Immigration Clinic.
NOTE: Although a majority of the links provided are accessible to the public free of charge, a few consist of databases designed for the exclusive use of paying subscribers. Access to these databases will require you to submit an online payment.
Consider the following suggestions before beginning your research:
- Verify research quality – Just as important as finding information is making sure that information is reliable. When looking over your research, consider accuracy, authenticity, objectivity, and the origination date of the information, or the most recent update for such information.
- Thorough review – Much of the information you may be seeking will require a careful reading of both legal and non-legal resources. Particularly when looking for factual information, a thorough reading of the material is necessary.
- Save your research – Always remember to download or print useful information. As websites update their databases, important information you may have found one day may be in a different location or scrapped altogether the very next day, forcing you to re-engage in the research process
The following legal databases are helpful:
- Bender’s Immigration Bulletin Daily Edition – The site provides immigration news articles from outside media sources, as well as its own articles (“inside news”). There is also a database providing access to archived materials and the option to join an email update list.
- Citizenship Laws of the World – This is a directory prepared by the United States Office of Personnel Management Investigations Service that provides a synopsis of the citizenship laws for most of the world’s countries
- EOIR Virtual Law Library – The site provides Board of Immigration Appeals’ precedent decisions.
- Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) & Foreign Affairs Handbook (FAH)
- LexisNexis – Under All Sources > Area of Law – By Topic > Immigration, you will find a wide array of immigration materials.
- National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild – This site requires that you become a paying member. Among the many helpful immigration materials is an online brief bank which contains over 230 unpublished decisions and briefs.
General Resources on Human Rights and Displacement
General Resources on Human Rights and Human Displacement
- Refworld - UNHCR resource with helpful materials including, but not limited to, the following:
- Country reports
- Country policy documents
- Country legislation
- Responses to Information Requests (RIRs) prior to 2003
- Position papers
- Case law
- Research tip: Use the country name of interest to access information. From there you can then “filter” your findings to refine your results
- African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights – includes periodic reports on the implementation of human rights treaties in several African nations.
- AllAfrica.com – a current events website on African nations
- Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative – contains reports prepared every two years by CHRI in preparation for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. Each report focuses on a different, critical theme related to human rights.
- Derechos Human Rights – a comprehensive source for human rights materials including international organizations, governments, NGOs as well as legal information. It is also available in Spanish.
- Ethnic News Watch– a subscription database that features newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic and minority press. The database has nearly 1.6 million full-text articles of which nearly one quarter is also presented in Spanish.
- Very good source for those searching for diversity in viewpoints among media coverage
- NOTE: Thurgood Marshall Law Library does not provide access to this resource but other libraries in the USMAI group might.
- Forced Migration Online
- Information on displacement due to war, disaster and development.
- Regional resources including resource summaries and research guides for several nations
- Thematic resources
- Working papers
- Organizations Directory
- NOTE: this resource is no longer being updated, but it is still searchable
- Information on displacement due to war, disaster and development.
- Human Rights Internet – A Canadian website providing access to human rights databases
- Huridocs.org – A search engine of over 4,500 human rights websites engineered by the Human Rights Information and Documentation System. The site is available in nine languages including Spanish, French and Portuguese.
- Immigration Advocates Network - "A free national online network that supports legal advocates working on behalf of immigrants' rights."
- Inter-American Commission on Human Rights - includes reports by country, as well as thematic reports
- Inter-American Human Rights Database– A database provided by the American University Washington College of Law with annual reports, reports on sessions, and special reports provided in both English and Spanish
- International Boundaries Research Unit
Articles and other documents on country conditions in areas where there are disputed boundaries
- Netherlands Institute of Human Rights
- Documentation Centre – contains a library and a case law database. The case law database is particularly helpful as it contains jurisprudence of the Human Rights Committee, the Committee Against Torture, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. [documentation now held at the UN]
- Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe
- Onlinenewspapers.com – Provides links to newspapers around the world.
- Project Diana: Online Human Rights Archive– an online database created by Yale Law School containing information on a multitude of human rights cases.
- Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
- Publications – This includes a list of books and journals which one may consider consulting during their research.
- Research – Includes reports and listings of many other helpful sources for a wide range of topics including children rights, humanitarian law, rights of indigenous people, and more.
- Union of International Associations – contains online databases on a wide range of topics including world problems, global strategies, human values, human development and more which together total 1,971,457 links.
- United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights– useful for recent news and events concerning human rights
- United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS):
- Electronic Reading Room includes many resources.
- Immigration Handbooks, Manuals, and Guidance.
- Packets – Information Packets produced by the Resource Information Center (RIC), are compilations of articles and reports on a given country or subject from a broad spectrum of sources produced by the RIC. On the website, only the table of contents will be made available.
- U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants - provdes a collection of research reports
- University of Minnesota Human Rights Library – Available in eight different languages, the site currently has more than 85,000 human rights documents and materials and also links several helpful human rights websites. There is also a helpful human rights search engine available.
- Westlaw and LexisNexis – Contains excellent databases providing full-text journal articles and law reviews on country conditions and human rights violations. Both sites also contain excellent databases for news sources and research.