Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Immigration Law: Habeas Corpus

After the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 after the September 11 attacks, the enforcement of immigration laws was transferred from the Immigration and Naturalization Service(INS) to the Department of Homeland Security.

Journal Articles

To find law journal and law review articles discussing habeas corpus and immigration law, use one of the following resources available via a link from the Law Library's Research Databases page:

  • Current Index to Legal Periodicals
  • Index to Legal Periodicals
  • LegalTrac
  • HeinOnline's Law Journal Library


HeinOnline, Lexis and Westlaw have selective full-text coverage of law review and law journal articles.

Primary Sources

Title 8 (Aliens and Nationality) and Title 28 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the United States Code govern habeas corpus in immigration.  See recommended resources for accessing these statutes in this guide's primary sources page.

Local Court Rules

Each court has its own set of rules which the parties appearing before it must follow.  To see what your jurisdiction's local federal court says about pleadings and procedure -- including petitions for a writ of habeas corpus -- you can consult the court's own website. Or, for the benefit of searchability, look to a subscription database. For example:

Westlaw Next:

  • From the home page, click the tab for "State Materials", and then select the state in which your court appears.  Under "Statutes and Court Rules", choose "[your jurisdiction] Federal Court Rules".  From there, select the specific court, and click on it to get a table of contents.  You can also enter search terms in the search box to search just within the source.

Lexis Advance:

  • From the home page, click the tab for "State", and then select the state in which your court appears.  Under "Statutes and Legislation", look for "[Your Jurisdiction] Local, State & Federal Court Rules".  Click on the list icon to the right of this link to see an expandable and browseable table of contents. 

Selected Websites and Databases

The following is a non-exhaustive list of databases to which the law library subscribes, along with websites for selected nonprofit groups, each with examples of tools useful for research.



This database from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is a fully searchable, web-based immigration law library filled authoritative resources useful to the practice of immigration law.  It provides access to statutes, regulations, cases, AILA publications (including Kurzban's sourcebook), and nearly 200 immigration forms.  Access is restricted to current NUSL students, faculty and staff.

Lexis Advance


Westlaw Next



Political Asylum / Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project provides pro-bono immigration services "to asylum-seekers and immigrants unjustly detained in Massachusetts."  ]

  • PAIR's free online legal resources include a guide to getting out of detention after a deportation order (post order custody review and habeas corpus) created with the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, and a training guide for attorneys representing asylum seekers. 


The American Immigration Council "works to strengthen America by honoring our immigrant history and shaping how America thinks about and acts towards immigrants and immigration" through policy advocacy, litigation, research, communications, and education.


Try some of the following keywords or terms in your searches:

Habeas corpus; deportation; exclusion; alien; detention

Quick Links

Scholar One Search Library catalog

Law Library Homepage

Law Research Databases  NU login credentials or passwords may be necessary

Map of the Law Library

Lexis Access restrictions apply

Westlaw Access restrictions apply

Bloomberg Law Access restrictions apply