The text of the IMBR is derived from a large body of international law, including human rights law, refugee law and international labor law, among many others. These sources are set out in a detailed set of Legal Commentaries that ground each provision of the IMBR in relevant sources in international law – including areas of progressive development.

The most recent version of the IMBR Legal Commentaries are published in Volume 28 of the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal.