1st Edition

Conducting Immigration Evaluations A Practical Guide for Mental Health Professionals

By Mariela G. Shibley, Matthew Holt Copyright 2022
    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book prepares mental health professionals to conduct a thorough psychological assessment of individuals involved in immigration proceedings and present the results in a professional report. Written by a licensed clinical psychologist with input from an attorney certified in Immigration and Nationality Law, the book uses clear language that makes it accessible to experienced and novice therapists alike.

    Chapters present a basic legal understanding of various types of immigration cases and detail the process of conducting the clinical interview, choosing the psychological instruments appropriate for each case, and writing the report. The book also covers practical considerations such as testifying in immigration court and expanding your practice to include immigration evaluations. Vignettes and sample reports link theory to real-world situations, drawing from the authors’ multiple years of combined experience.

    This book is an essential guide for clinicians who want to assist the diverse and often disempowered population of immigrants and their families.

    1. What Is Unique about Immigration Evaluations? 2. Assessing Hardship for Waivers of Inadmissibility 3. The Appraisal of Exceptional and Extremely Unusual Hardship in Cancellation of Removal 4. Evaluating Factors Concerning Protection-Related Relief: Asylum/Withholding of Removal/Convention Against Torture (CAT) 5. Evaluations Related to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 6. Assessing Psychological Impact of Trauma in Victims of Violent Crime or Human Trafficking 7. Drafting the Report 8. Testifying as an Expert in Immigration Court 9. Cultural and Linguistic Considerations 10. Expanding Your Practice to Include Immigration Evaluations


    Mariela G. Shibley is a clinical and forensic psychologist with a private practice in San Diego, California. She specializes in conducting psychological evaluations for the United States Citizanship and Immigration Services and Immigration Court.

    Matthew G. Holt, Esq., is a certified specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law by the California State Bar and the managing attorney of a comprehensive immigration law firm headquatered in San Diego, California.

    "Shibley and Holt, collaborating as psychologist and lawyer, have designed a tool which empowers mental health professionals to better assist their work with immigrants, their families, and counsel on a variety of immigration benefits, including cases in the immigration courts. Drawing from their personal experiences to give practical instruction, this book provides important advice to novice and seasoned professionals alike on best practices for working with clients and their attorneys."

    -Allen Orr Jr., President, American Immigration Lawyers Association

    "Psychological evaluations are extremely important for torture survivors who are asylum seekers in the U.S. immigration system. This book guides clinicians to develop valuable expertise when conducting these much-needed psychological evaluations. Caring, knowledgeable licensed mental health professionals who provide this specialized service find it not only rewarding but also life changing."

    -Kathi Anderson, Executive Director - Survivors of Torture, International