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Immigration Law: Primary Sources


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Primary Sources
     Legislative History
     Westlaw and Lexis

Secondary Sources
     Treatises and Reference Works

Federal Agencies
    Agency Materials
    Administrative Rulings
    Immigration Statistics
    Other Federal Government Resources

News and Current Awareness
     News Sources
     Immigration Law Blogs 

Immigration Organizations


Practitioner Insights for Immigration (Westlaw password required)
Westlaw's Pracitioner Insights for Immigration compiles a wide variety of immigration-related primary law and secondary sources.

Lexis Immigration Resources (Lexis password required)
Immigration law resources on Lexis include Bender’s Immigration Regulations Service and federal immigration administrative decisions and guidance.


Federal Legislative History LibGuide
The Law Library's Federal Legislative History research guide details the steps and resources for conducting federal legislative history research.

HeinOnline Immigration Law & Policy in the U.S.
This HeinOnline resource provides a compilation of historical documents and legislation related to immigration in the United States as well as current hearings, debates and recent developments in immigration law. It includes BIA Precedent Decisions, legislative histories, scholarly articles, bibliography, and related works.


The United States Code is the official federal statutory code and is published by the United States Government. It has 54 titles, with each title divided into chapters and further subdivided into sections. 

The two U.S. Code titles most applicable to immigration issues are:

  • Title 8 Aliens and Nationality (The Immigration and Naturalization Act, found in Title 8 of the US Code, serves as a base for immigration law)
  • Title 18, Chapter 69 Nationality and Citizenship

The Law Library's Federal Legislature: Statutes and Legislation LibGuide provides information on where federal statutes can be accessed. 


The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) contains the general and permanent regulations of the agencies and executive departments of the federal government.  It is divided into 50 Titles.

Selected CFR Titles related to immigration, citizenship, and nationality
Title 8 CFR (Dept. of Homeland Security, Immigration & Naturalization)
Title 22 CFR (Dept. of State)
Title 6 CFR (Dept. of Homeland Security, Office of Security) 
Title 20 (Dept. of Labor)  Part 655--Temporary Employment of Aliens in the United States.
Title 20 (Dept. of Labor) Part 656 Labor Certification Process for Permanent Employment of Aliens In the United States

Free Resources for the CFR
eCFR:  The federal government’s eCFR website provides a compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments. It is updated daily.

Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute (LII): Cornell Law School provides  an electronic version of the current CFR.

Subscription Resources for the CFR
HeinOnline (coverage begins in 1938, available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)

Proquest Congressional (coverage begins in 1938, available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)

The Federal Register is published daily and contains the rules, proposed rules, and notices of federal agencies and departments.  It also includes presidential documents including executive orders and proclamations.

Free Resources for the Federal Register The federal government’s GovInfo website provides access to the Federal Register starting with 1936. It also has a Federal Register Index. This website, a joint project  between the Office of the Federal Register of the National Archives and Records Administration and the U.S. Government Publishing Office, provides access to the Federal Register and information on the rule-making process. It also has a Federal register Index.  

Subscription Resources for the Federal Register
HeinOnline (coverage begins in 1936, available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)

Proquest Congressional (coverage begins in 1936, available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)


The Law Library's Federal Courts LibGuide provides information on where federal case opinions can be accessed. Immigration cases are typically heard in federal courts.