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Immigration Law (U.S.) Research Guide

This resource provides information on locating sources of U.S. immigration law.

Statutes & Legislation

CURRENT STATUTES

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides the foundation for immigration law. It was passed in 1952 and has been amended several times since (The USCIS wepage provides a list of amendments to the INA by public law number since the 99th Congress). The INA is found in Title 8 of the United States Code.

The following is a guide to finding the Immigration and Naturalization Act and other applicable statutes.

United States Code

FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE HISTORIES

For many federal immigration laws, there are compiled legislative histories available in the Library. These compilations usually include bills, Congressional Record debates, reports and hearings. To find a compiled legislative history, try a keyword search in GULLiver, such as immigration and nationality act and legislative history. For complete legislative history information, read our Legislative History Research Guide. Good starting places for legislative history research include: 

PROPOSED LEGISLATION

This guide makes no attempt to detail proposed immigration bills. Rather, a search for "immigration" in Thomas' Legislation in Current Congress database will retrieve these bills and provide their status. Additionally, here are other that monitor proposed legislation:

  • Congress.gov from the Library of Congress (search Current Legislation for bills from the 114th Congress; search All Legislation for earlier bills and laws).
  • CRS Reports on current immigration legislation available from ProQuest Congressional (complete an Advance Search, specifying CRS reports, and search on keywords including immigration).
  • Lexis (Browse > Sources > Congressional Full Text Bills - Current Congress).
  • Westlaw
  • National Journal's CongressDaily (subscription accessed through Law Library).