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Immigration Law

Being a border state, California has a long history in the public debate over immigration law.  This research guide aims to provide a basic framework and research strategy for students doing work in this area of law.

The basic regulatory framework of immigration law resides in Congress.  Although this power is not among the powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution, the federal courts have repeatedly ruled that the power to regulate and control immigration resides with Congress.  In exercising this power, administrative agencies have been created to regulate within their statutory authority.  These agencies include the Department of Homeland Security, Labor, State, Health and Human Services, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Social Security Administration.

Some of the materials listed in this guide are available online only in legal subscription databases such as Lexis and Westlaw.  Use of these databases is limited to current UC Davis School of Law affiliates.  If you have questions about accessing certain resources, please contact the Mabie Law Library reference librarians at

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