Immigration Law (U.S.) Research Guide

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


This research guide provides information on locating sources of U.S. immigration law at the Georgetown University Law Library.  The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides the foundation for U.S. immigration law; it was passed in 1952 and has been amended many times since. For more on this and other immigration statues, see the Statutes & Legislation page of this guide.

U.S. immigration law, specifically the enforcement of these laws, changed dramatically after the attacks of September 11th and the subsequent passage of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), replacing the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).  Other agencies such as the Department of Justice also play key roles in U.S. immigration law and enforcement.  See the Federal Agencies and Regulations & Administrative Materials pages of this guide for more.

Given the complexity of laws on this topic, we typically recommend that you start your research with secondary sources such as treatises or legal encyclopedias to help you more quickly identify the specific laws and agencies that may govern in your specific area of research. 

Key Resources

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Update History

Revised and Updated 06/2020 
Updated 09/2023 (MK)