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Immigration Law Research Guide: 1. Statutory Authority

Provides general and specialized sources for researching U.S. immigration law, including online government resources, statutes, regulations & case law, plus general and specialized secondary sources and immigration-related organizations.

Statutory Authority

The majority of federal statutes governing immigration law are contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), initially signed into law in 1952, and amended many times since then.  Statutory provisions can be cited according to the section of the INA, or U.S. Code section.  For example, INA Section 208 deals with asylum, and the corresponding section in the U.S. Code is 8 U.S.C. Section 1158.

The INA is codified at Title 8, U.S.C., Aliens and Nationality, §§ 1101-1178.  Other code sections are scattered throughout the U.S. Code, for example, in Title 18 (Crimes and Criminal Procedure), and Title 22 (Foreign Relations).

For a comprehensive collection, see resources such as the following:



Where to locate the U.S. Code:



Westlaw:: USCA (annotated); FIM-USCA (immigration titles)
LexisNexis:: CODES;USCS (annotated)
Internet:: Gov Info: United States Code; Office of the Law Revision Counsel: United States Code

In print:

United States Code (USC). (Official version.) KF 62 2006 .A2 (East Reading Room)

United States Code Annotated (USCA) (West.) Includes annotations. KF 62 1927 .W47 (East Reading Room)

United States Code Service (USCS) (LexisNexis.) Includes annotations. KF 62 1972 .U5 (East Reading Room)