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Immigration Law

Updated Feb. 25, 2015.
Prepared by Leslie Street and Carissa Vogel, law librarianship interns (2008); updated by Mary Whisner (2009) and Mary Thurston (2015).

This research guide provides an overview of immigration law materials including: general and secondary sources on immigration law as well as major laws, regulations, cases, and administrative decisions and material. For tips on researching asylum cases see the Gallagher Guide on Asylum Research.

For a good overview of the structure of immigration law regulation and enforcement, see Chapter 8 “Immigration Law” by Lourdes Fuentes and Ann Hemmens in Specialized Legal Research (Penny Hazelton, ed.). KF240.S63 2014 at Reference Office.

NOTE: In 2003, The Immigration Naturalization Services (The INS) was abolished and its duties transferred to the newly created U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP"). All of these administrative agencies are located within the Department of Homeland Security.

For information related to access to Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis Advance and Westlaw, please refer to Access to Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance & WestlawNext. HeinOnline is a UW Restricted source.


Bender's Immigration and Nationality Act Service (looseleaf service, updated periodically).
KF4806.54.M38 1999  at Reference Area & LexisNexis

Immigration Fundamentals: A Guide to Law and Practice.

Immigration Law and Crimes (under the auspices of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild).
KF4819.I472 current edition at Reference Area & Westlaw

Immigration Law and Defense, Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (updated annually).
KF8925.E4 N37 at Reference Area (current ed.) & Classified Stacks (earlier eds.)

Immigration Law and Procedure (20-volume looseleaf treatise by Gordon, Mailman, and Yale-Loehr; updated periodically).
KF4819.G6 at Reference Area & LexisNexis

Immigration Law and the Family.
KF4819.I36 at Reference Area

Immigration Law Service, 2d.

Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourebook: A Comprehensive Outline and Reference Tool.
KF4819.3.K87 at Reference Area

Steel on Immigration Law, 2d ed.

For other books in the Gallagher Law Library, search the Library catalog by these subjects:

  • Aliens -- United States
  • Deportation -- United States
  • Emigration and immigration law -- United States
  • Visas -- United States



Two specialized law reviews focus on immigration issues:

1. Georgetown Immigration Law Journal

  • Print: Shelved by title at Compact Stacks
  • Westlaw (limited availability 1989 -1994; full coverage 1994 - present)
  • HeinOnline : Law Journal Library: (1985 - 2013)
  • LexisNexis (1999-present) (Click on Browse > Sources  and type in the search box "Georgetown Immigration Law Journal")

2. Immigration Nationality Law Review.

To find other law review articles, search LegalTrac.


Research Guides & Other Secondary Sources

Research Guides

Lourdes Fuentes & Ann Hemmens, Chapter 8, Immigration Law, in Specialized Legal Research (Penny Hazelton, ed.).
KF240.S63 2014 at Reference Office.

Georgetown's Immigration Law (U.S.) Research Guide

UCLA's Immigration Law Research Guide

Cornell's Immigration Law Research Guide

UPDATE: Immigration Law – A Comparative Approach Guide to Immigration Law of Australia, Canada, and the United States (last updated 2011)

University of Maryland's Immigration Clinic Research Guide

Yale's Immigration Legal Services Resources

Other Secondary Resources

Ninth Circuit Immigration Outline

WestlawNext Immigration Secondary Sources

Click on Browse> Sources> By Practice Area>Immigration Law



United States Code Title 6, Chapter 1 – Homeland Security Organization. GPOAccess & Cornell Legal Information Institute

  • Sub IV –
  • Directorate of Border and Transportation Security (Cornell)
    • Part B: United State Customs Service
    • Part D: Immigration Enforcement Functions
    • Part E: Citizenship and Immigration Services
    • Part F: General Immigration Provisions

United States Code Title 8, Aliens and Nationality. GPOAccess & Cornell

Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1101-1537. GPO Access & USCIS website (conveniently gives both Act and U.S.C. citations)

Westlaw: Immigration Statutes and Court Rules

Click on Browse> Sources> and type in "USCS - United States Code Service Titles 1 -52"



Code of Federal Regulations. GPOAccess

LexisNexis: Code of Federal Regulations
Click on Browse> Sources> and type in the "search for a source" search box: "CFR- Code of Federal Regulations"

LexisNexis: Bender's Immigration Regulations Service.
Click on Browse> Sources> and type in the "search for a source" search box: "Bender's Immigration Regulations Service"

Westlaw: Immigration Regulations

Westlaw: Immigration Proposed & Adopted Regulations


Administrative Decisions

Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals Decisions

Federal Immigration Administrative Decisions, combined files

Interpreter Releases: Provides the text of decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals and a digest, 1923-date.

  • Print: KF4800.A15 I57, current issues at Reference Area; previous issues at Classified Stacks
  • Westlaw: Interpreter Releases

Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA)


Other Administrative Materials


  • LexisNexis: Bender's Immigration Litigation Forms
    Click on Browse> Sources> and type in the "search for a source" search box: "Bender's Immigration Litigation Forms")
  • Westlaw: Immigration Official Forms, more than 180 official forms


Foreign Affairs Manual: Used by consular officers worldwide in making visa determinations

  • Westlaw: Foreign Affairs Manual
  • LexisNexis: Foreign Affairs Manual-Citizenship and Nationality
    Click on the Research Tab> Go to> Areas of Law-By Topic>Immigration>Find Administrative Materials> Immigration Law & Procedure - Foreign Affairs Manual-Citizenship and Nationality
  • LexisNexis>: Foreign Affairs Manual-Documents
    Click on the Research Tab> Go to> Areas of Law-By Topic>Immigration>Find Administrative Materials> Immigration Law & Procedure - Foreign Affairs Manual-Documents
  • LexisNexis: Foreign Affairs Manual-Visa
    Click on the Research Tab> Go to> Areas of Law-By Topic>Immigration>Find Administrative Materials>Immigration Law & Procedure - Foreign Affairs Manual-Visas

Board of Immigration Appeals Practice Manual: Information on the procedures, proceedings, and decisions of the BIA.

Immigration Policy and Procedure Memorandum from U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service: Provides guidance for dealing with applications and petitions.

Other Sources

U.S. State Department, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Includes reports about human rights issues by country and useful in determining country conditions for asylum claims.

Visa Bulletin: Useful for determining wait times for visa backlogs.

  • Search for "Visa Bulletin" and the year for specific Bulletins



Westlaw: Immigration Cases

LexisNexis: Click on the Research Tab> Go to> Areas of Law-By Topic>Immigration>Federal Immigration Cases


Current Awareness


Interpreter Releases
KF4800.A15 I57 at Reference Area & Westlaw: Interpreter Releases

Bender's Immigration Bulletin
: Click on the Research Tab> Go to> Areas of Law -By Topic>Immigration>Bender's Immigration Bulletin



ABA Directory of Immigration Law Blogs

BlawgSearch Immigration Law

Legislative Updates

Westlaw: Immigration Proposed & Enacted Legislation

General News Sources

News from assorted journals, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, transcripts, and wire services

Westlaw: Immigration News Westlaw


Federal Agencies

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Parent agency that oversees the three major immigration agencies.

U.S. Executive Office for Immigration Review
Provides links to Immigration Courts nationwide, including the Seattle Immigration Court. and a link to the Immigration Court Practice Manual.

U.S. Department of State
Includes links to laws, policies, and regulations; a directory of U.S. embassies and consulates; and Visa Services.

U.S. Department of Labor
Maintains O*Net Online, that includes occupational descriptions needed for certain types of immigration petitions and links to statutes and regulations on labor certification and immigration.



National Immigration Law Center

  • Provides analysis of proposed legislation and advocacy work to promote the rights of low-income immigrants
  • Provides training and conferences throughout the U.S.
  • Maintains a newsletter about immigrants' rights

American Immigration Lawyers Association

  • A source for important news, information, and developments
  • Provides access to some cases and administrative agency materials
  • Provides practice-based materials for immigration law practitioners, including information on practice management and professionalism
  • Maintains AILA InfoNet, a members-only database, with USCIS bulletins, letters, and other information
  • Also provides information on AILALink, a fee-based comprehensive immigration law database



Syracuse University, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reports on immigration: Covers aggravated felonies and deportation, border protection, criminal convictions and prosecutions, criminal enforcement, DHS enforcement priorities, the immigration courts, immigration inspections, and related topics.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration Statistics, includes individual statistical reports and the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics (1996-2013). Hard copies available at JV6461.S8 at Classified Stacks 2003- 2011. Previously titled Statistical Yearbook of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

  • Also available through LexisNexis: Go to Browse> Sources> and type in the "search for a source" search box: "DHS Yearbook Immigration Statistics"


State Laws

LexisNexis: Immigration State Laws Pending
Click on the Research Tab> Go to> Areas of Law -By Topic>Immigration>Emerging Issues>Immigration State Laws Pending

National Conference of State Legislatures, State Laws Related to Immigration and Immigrants






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