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Immigration Law: Legislation

A guide to the major sources of immigration law, including a breakdown of agency courts.


The Immigration and Nationality Act, or INA, was created in 1952. Before the INA, a variety of statutes governed immigration law but were not organized in one location. The McCarran-Walter Act of 1952, Public Law No. 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, collected and codified many existing provisions and reorganized the structure of immigration law. The Act has been amended many times over the years, but is still the basic body of immigration law. The current text of the law is also contained in Title 8 of the United States Code.

Legislative Histories

Legislative history is a collection of the documents produced as a bill becomes a law. It is used to determine the intent of Congress in the case of ambiguity in the statute. See the Legislative History guide for more information.

All links are to HeinOnline, a for-pay database that can only be accessed via FAMU's proxy server.