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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Terrorist Material Support: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. 2339A and 2339B

Terrorist Material Support: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. 2339A and 2339B

Date: July 19, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report discusses the two federal material support statutes that have been at the heart of the Justice Department's terrorist prosecution efforts. One provision outlaws providing material support for the commission of certain designated offenses that might be committed by terrorists, 18 U.S.C. 2339A. The other outlaws providing material support to certain designated terrorist organizations, 18 U.S.C. 2339B. They share a common definition of the term "material support," some aspects of which have recently come under constitutional attack.
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Deprivation of Honest Services as a Basis for Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Convictions

Deprivation of Honest Services as a Basis for Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Convictions

Date: July 28, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: The United States Supreme Court in Skilling v. United States construed the honest services branch of the federal mail and wire fraud statutes to reach no more than cases involving bribery or kickbacks. The mail and wire fraud statutes, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1343, impose criminal penalties for the use of mail or interstate wire communications to deprive another of money or property through a "scheme or artifice to defraud." This report discusses wire and mail fraud and examines relevant court cases.
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U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: the Mérida Initiative and Beyond

U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: the Mérida Initiative and Beyond

Date: July 29, 2010
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare & Finklea, Kristin M.
Description: This report provides a framework for examining the current status and future prospects for U.S.- Mexican security cooperation. It begins with a brief discussion of the threat that drug trafficking and related crime and violence pose to both nations, followed by an analysis of the evolution of the Mérida Initiative. The report then provides an overview of the Peña Nieto government's security strategy and how it is affecting the Mérida Initiative. The report then examines key aspects of the current U.S.-Mexican security strategy and concludes by raising policy issues that may affect bilateral efforts.
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Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress

Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress

Date: August 4, 2010
Creator: Wyler, Liana Sun & Siskin, Alison
Description: This report focuses on international and domestic human trafficking and U.S. policy responses, with particular emphasis on the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) and its subsequent reauthorizations.
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Federal Cocaine Sentencing Disparity: Sentencing Guidelines, Jurisprudence, and Legislation

Federal Cocaine Sentencing Disparity: Sentencing Guidelines, Jurisprudence, and Legislation

Date: August 5, 2010
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Description: This report discusses legislation and several court cases to examine the changing nature of Crack Cocaine penalties in comparison to powder cocaine. Until 2005, the Guidelines were binding on federal courts: the judge had discretion to sentence a defendant, but only within the narrow sentencing range that the Guidelines provided. In its 2005 opinion United States v. Booker, the Supreme Court declared that the Guidelines must be considered advisory rather than mandatory, in order to comply with the Constitution. Instead of being bound by the Guidelines, sentencing courts must treat the federal guidelines as just one of a number of sentencing factors (which include the need to avoid undue sentencing disparity).
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Federal Efforts to Address the Threat of Bioterrorism: Selected Issues for Congress

Federal Efforts to Address the Threat of Bioterrorism: Selected Issues for Congress

Date: August 6, 2010
Creator: Gottron, Frank & Shea, Dana A.
Description: This report focuses on four areas under congressional consideration deemed critical to the success of the biodefense enterprise: strategic planning; risk assessment; surveillance; and the development, procurement, and distribution of medical countermeasures. This report also discusses the effectiveness and sufficiency of programs implementing these aspects of the federal biodefense efforts, outside analysts' suggestions for improving the government's efforts, and current issues under congressional consideration.
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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2011

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2011

Date: August 11, 2010
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Description: This report provides an overview of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) budget and operations. This report chronicles congressional action on the FY2011 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS), and Related Agencies Appropriations bills, as well as any FY2010 supplemental appropriations bills, that provide funding for ATF.
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U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: the Mérida Initiative and Beyond

U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: the Mérida Initiative and Beyond

Date: August 16, 2010
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare & Finklea, Kristin M.
Description: This report looks at the funding and Congressional oversight for this the joint U.S.-Mexico effort to curb drug trafficking and violence via the Initiative.
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Southwest Border Violence: Issues in Identifying and Measuring Spillover Violence

Southwest Border Violence: Issues in Identifying and Measuring Spillover Violence

Date: August 24, 2010
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.; Lake, Jennifer E.; Franco, Celinda; Haddal, Chad C.; Krouse, William J. & Randol, Mark A.
Description: This report focuses on how policy makers would identify any spillover of drug trafficking-related violence into the United States. This report provides an overview of Mexican drug trafficking organization structures, how they conduct business, and the relationship between the drug trafficking organizations in Mexico and their partnerships operating here in the United States; a discussion of the illicit drug trade between Mexico and the United States, as well as a discussion of factors implicated in drug trafficking-related violence; an analysis of the possible nature of any spillover violence that may arise, as well as issues involved in accurately identifying and measuring such violence; and an evaluation of available crime rate data and a discussion of how this data may or may not reflect changes in drug trafficking-related crime.
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Gun Control Legislation

Gun Control Legislation

Date: August 27, 2010
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Description: This report provides basic firearms-related statistics, an overview of federal firearms law, and a summary of legislative action in the 111th Congress. The report concludes with salient issues that have generated significant congressional interest, including the 1994-2004 LCAFD ban.
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Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Current Legislative Issues

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Current Legislative Issues

Date: September 15, 2010
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: This report provides an overview and analysis of issues Congress might choose to consider when taking up legislation to reauthorize the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
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Authority of State and Local Police to Enforce Federal Immigration Law

Authority of State and Local Police to Enforce Federal Immigration Law

Date: September 17, 2010
Creator: Garcia, Michael John & Manuel, Kate M.
Description: This report discusses the authority of state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law through the investigation and arrest of persons believed to have violated such laws. It describes current provisions in federal law that permit state and local police to enforce immigration law directly, analyzes major cases concerning the ability of states and localities to assist in immigration enforcement, and briefly examines opinions on the issue by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) within the Department of Justice.
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Authority of State and Local Police to Enforce Federal Immigration Law

Authority of State and Local Police to Enforce Federal Immigration Law

Date: September 17, 2010
Creator: Garcia, Michael John & Manuel, Kate M.
Description: This report discusses the authority of state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law through the investigation and arrest of persons believed to have violated such laws. It describes current provisions in federal law that permit state and local police to enforce immigration law directly, analyzes major cases concerning the ability of states and localities to assist in immigration enforcement, and briefly examines opinions on the issue by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) within the Department of Justice.
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American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

Date: September 20, 2010
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P. & Randol, Mark A.
Description: Between May 2009 and August 2010, arrests were made for 19 "homegrown," jihadist-inspired terrorist plots by American citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States. The apparent spike in such activity after May 2009 suggests that at least some Americans - even if a tiny minority - continue to be susceptible to ideologies supporting a violent form of jihad. This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. This report also provides official definitions for terms such as "homegrown," "jihadist," and "violent jihadist." The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism, describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities.
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State Statutes Governing Hate Crimes

State Statutes Governing Hate Crimes

Date: September 28, 2010
Creator: Smith, Alison M. & Foley, Cassandra L.
Description: Concerns about hate crimes have become increasingly prominent among policymakers at all levels of government in recent years. This report compiles state statutes pertaining to hate crimes, including in the context of federal legislation such as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (the latter of which was signed by President Obama on October 28, 1999).
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Proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues

Proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues

Date: October 5, 2010
Creator: Bolle, Mary Jane
Description: This report examines three labor issues and arguments related to the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (CFTA; H.R. 5724 and S. 2830): violence against trade unionists; impunity (accountability for or punishment of the perpetrators); and worker rights protections for Colombians.
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Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. 924(e)): An Overview

Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. 924(e)): An Overview

Date: October 13, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report briefly explores the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e), which requires imposition of a minimum 15-year term of imprisonment for recidivists convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm under 18 U.S.C. 922(g). Section 924(e) applies only to those defendants who have three prior state or federal convictions for violent felonies or serious drug offenses. The report includes descriptions of constitutional challenges to the application of section 924(e), which have been generally unsuccessful.
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Guantanamo Detention Center: Legislative Activity in the 111th Congress

Guantanamo Detention Center: Legislative Activity in the 111th Congress

Date: November 4, 2010
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Description: This report analyzes relevant provisions in enacted legislation and selected pending bills relating to teh U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a facility in which alleged enemy belligerents are detained.
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Perjury Under Federal Law: A Brief Overview

Perjury Under Federal Law: A Brief Overview

Date: November 5, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report describes perjury under federal law, including a definition as well as in-depth explorations of the three general federal perjury laws. This report is available in abbreviated form - without footnotes, quotations, or citations - as CRS Report 98-807, Perjury Under Federal Law: A Sketch of the Elements.
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Perjury Under Federal Law: A Sketch of the Elements

Perjury Under Federal Law: A Sketch of the Elements

Date: November 5, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report discusses the three general federal perjury laws. This report is an abbreviated version of CRS Report 98-808, Perjury Under Federal Law: A Brief Overview, by Charles Doyle, stripped of most footnotes, quotations, citations, and bibliography.
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International Parental Child Abductions

International Parental Child Abductions

Date: November 22, 2010
Creator: Smith, Alison M.
Description: International child custody disputes are likely to increase in frequency as the global society becomes more integrated and mobile. Since 1988, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction ("Hague Convention" or "Convention") has been the principal mechanism for enforcing the return of abducted children to the United States. This report will discuss the applicability of the Hague Convention and current U.S. laws, both civil and criminal, which seek to address the quandary of children abducted by parents to foreign nations. In addition, pending legislation, including H.R. 3240 and H.R. 3487, is discussed.
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Hate Crime Legislation

Hate Crime Legislation

Date: November 29, 2010
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Description: This report provides an overview of the hate crime debate, with background on current law and hate crime statistics, and a legislative history of hate crime prevention bills in recent Congresses. This report does not analyze the constitutional or other legal issues that often arise as part of the hate crime debate.
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American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

Date: December 7, 2010
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. "Homegrown" and "domestic" are terms that describe terrorist activity or plots perpetrated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, legal permanent residents, or visitors radicalized largely within the United States. The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism and describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts.
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Securing America's Borders: The Role of the Intelligence Community

Securing America's Borders: The Role of the Intelligence Community

Date: December 7, 2010
Creator: Best, Jr., Richard A.
Description: Maintaining the security of U.S. borders is a fundamental responsibility of the federal government. This report discusses the contribution of intelligence agencies to the border security efforts of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies that work in cooperation with state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Much of the intelligence community's border security-related efforts are classified, however.
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