fbpx The U.S. Immigration System — A Glossary - Documented

The U.S. Immigration System — A Glossary

This is a glossary of the court cases, government departments, visas, and other terms that make up the U.S. immigration system

The U.S. immigration system is full of shorthand references to court cases, government departments, visas, and much more. Documented’s reporting is also packed with those intricacies, so we’ve put together this glossary to explain them. Click any of the below terms to see a detailed definition of what it means.


Asylum Seeker

Border Zone

Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (CARRP)

Corrections Corporation of America (CoreCivic)

Credible Fear Interview

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Department of Health and Human Services

Department of Homeland Security

EB-1 Visa

EB-5 Visa

Executive Office of Immigration Review

Family Detention

Flores Settlement Agreement

Flores v. Sessions


GEO Group

The Golden Venture

Green Card

H-2B Visa

Homeland Security Act of 2002

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)




Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996

Immigration Bond

Immigration Act of 1990

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA)

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

Intergovernmental Service Agreements (Contract Detention Center)

Lawful Permanent Resident

Lora v. Shanahan

Mariel Boatlift

O Visa

Office of Refugee Resettlement

Operation Streamline



Sanctuary Cities

Sanctuary Movement

Special Agricultural Workers

Temporary Protected Status

Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act

Unaccompanied Minor

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Voluntary Departure

The Wall

Early Arrival Newsletter
Receive a roundup of all immigration news, and the latest policy news, in New York, nationwide, and from Washington, in your inbox 3x per week.
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]