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Immigration Law: Immigration Laws


Under the federal system, laws related to the same subject are “codified”— structured as a cohesive law that governs a particular subject.  They are consolidated as codified law in the US in the United States Code or USC for short. 


Immigration Laws

The main statute governing U.S. immigration law is the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended (INA).

The INA is codified at Title 8 of the United States Code (U.S.C.);  Here is a conversion table between the sections of INA and the USC. However, other titles of the U.S.C. contain provisions relating to immigration.  The most relevant are:



Title 18, Crimes, Chapter 69 - Fraud in Obtaining Citizenship, Chapter 75, Fraud in Obtaining Visas, Chapter 77, Human Trafficking

Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse, Chapter 36 - Migration and Refugee Assistance

Title 29 – Labor, Chapter 20 - Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection, 20 USC Sec. 3248 -Nondiscrimination in workforce development programs

Title 42 – The Public Health and Welfare - 42 USC Sec. 1436a - Restriction on use of assisted housing by non-resident aliens, 42 USC Sec. 2000d - Prohibition against discrimination under federally assisted programs on grounds of national origin, 42 USC Secs. 2000dd - 2000dd-2 - Detainee Treatment, 42 USC Chapter 143 - Intercountry Adoptions


Many of the federal regulations relating to immigration are found at Title 8 of the C.F.R.  Other relevant titles include:


Title 3 – Presidential Documents

Title 6 – Domestic Security

Title 20 – Employee’s Benefits, Part 565 Labor Certification Process for Permanent Employment of Aliens

Title 22 – Foreign Relations

Title 28 – Judicial Administration

Title 29 – Labor

Title 42 – Public Health


Immigration Court decisions generally are not published.  The BIA, however, issues 3 types of decisions: Precedent (binding on Immigration Judges and DHS Bureau offices unless modified or overruled by the Attorney General or a Federal court), Indexed (have “value as a general guide to particular areas of law or fact patterns” but are not precedential), and Unpublished (considered “cumulative, factual, or self-evident” and are not precedential).  These decisions can be found: