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Immigration Law Research Guide

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

Secondary Sources

Secondary Sources are used to provide background information on unfamiliar topics and to provide references to the relevant primary sources in a particular area of law.  Treatises (extensive overviews of an area of law, often with a scholarly slant) and other, shorter scholarly books can help you solidify your grasp of the overall framework in which your topic fits; identify principles, rules, trends; and find more research leads (to cases and statutes, and perhaps also to more articles, books, and other scholarship).

URSUS is the online catalog for the Garbrecht Law Library. It is the shared catalog for the libraries in the University of Maine System, the Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, and the Maine State Library. When doing a large research project, we recommend that you do not limit your search to just the law library's collection but take advantage of your access to all of the libraries in the system in order to find the material you need.  

The following titles will help you get up to speed on Immigration and the nuances in this area of law.

Law Reviews and Journals

Both Lexis and Westlaw include selected immigration law journals in full text. Generally they do not have articles before 1985, but coverage varies by journal. The advantages of searching on Lexis and Westlaw is that you can access Lexis or Westlaw from anywhere and have the full text of the articles right there. The main disadvantage is lack of coverage: you will not find articles more than 20 years old.

HeinOnline - Law Journal Library is the largest full-text source for law review articles. You can search it directly, or use it to pull up the full text of articles for which other sources gave only the citations. This database contains full-text coverage of almost all United States law reviews and journals, in most cases starting with the first volume of the journal and including all but the most recent volume.

Below are a list of some of leading Immigration Law Journals:

Georgetown Immigration Law Journal (HeinOnline, Lexis, Westlaw)

Immigration and Nationality Law Review (HeinOline)


Non-Legal Journals

Immigration issues often requires research that is interdisciplinary and you need to look for articles from non-legal journals.  We have access to many of the interdisciplinary journals via the Mariner portal. This portal provides an A-Z list of all of the databases we have access to as part of the University of Maine System. Here the researcher will find databases from the health sciences, the social sciences and much more.  

There are two ways in which to access the Mariner databases.  The first is via the sites One Search feature, in the Quick Search Box.  Here the researcher can enter search terms and One Search will search all of the databases in the Mariner portal and retrieve relevant material from them all.  The material retrieved can include both books as well as journal articles and newspaper articles.

The second way to access the Mariner databases is via the A-Z Database listing.  The clicking either the "Indexes and Databases" tab in the "Quick Search" box or by clicking the "Indexes and Databases" link in the yellow box near the center of the page, the researcher will be directed to an alphabetical listing of all of the databases to which they have access.  Clicking the links provided will take you directly to the database, where you can enter your search terms.

Below are just a few databases that may help you with your research. 

If you run into any roadblocks, consult with a Reference Librarian.