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Immigration Law Research Guide

This guide provides resources for locating sources for U.S. Immigration Law

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 URSUS, such as immigration and nationality act and legislative history.  A good starting places for legislative history research include: 

Proposed Legislation

This guide makes no attempt to detail proposed immigration bills. The following resources will allow you to monitor proposed legislation:

  • from the Library of Congress (search Current Legislation for bills from the 114th Congress; search All Legislation for earlier bills and laws).
  •  ProQuest Congressional by keywords including immigration to find current and past legislation and legislative histories.
  • Lexis (Content Type > Statutes and Legislation >Bill Text > Congressional Full Text Bills - Current Congress).
  • Westlaw (Content Type > Statutes and Court Rules > Bill Tracking).