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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents
This report provides a background to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012, the Authorization to use Military Force act, and the President's power to detain "enemy combatants." It then gives a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals and an overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to national security. It concludes by discussion Congress's role in prescribing rules for wartime detention as well as legislative proposals in the 112th Congress to address the detention of U.S. persons. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93921/
Alien Smuggling: Recent Legislative Developments
This report discusses issues surrounding aliens within the United States including an overview of currently-proscribed activities, exemptions, sentencing provisions, and proposed legislative changes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94148/
Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean
This report looks at instances of trafficking in persons (TIP) in Latin America. It looks at current legislation in the U.S. to combat this problem. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94019/
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has, to date, opened cases exclusively in Africa. Cases concerning 25 individuals are open before the Court, pertaining to crimes allegedly committed in six African states: Libya, Kenya, Sudan (Darfur), Uganda (the Lord's Resistance Army, LRA), the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic. This report provides background on current ICC cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94168/
U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond
Increasing violence perpetrated by drug trafficking organizations and other criminal groups is threatening citizen security and governance in Mexico. Escalating violence has increased U.S. concerns about stability in Mexico, a key political and economic ally, and about the possibility of violence spilling over into the United States. In recent years, U.S.-Mexican security cooperation has increased significantly, largely as a result of the development and implementation of the Mérida Initiative, a counterdrug and anticrime assistance package for Mexico and Central America that was first proposed in October 2007. This report looks at the funding and Congressional oversight for this Initiative. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93841/
Southwest Border Violence: Issues in Identifying and Measuring Spillover Violence
There has been an increase in the level of drug trafficking-related violence within and between the drug trafficking organizations in Mexico. This violence has generated concern among U.S. policy makers that the violence in Mexico might spill over into the United States. This report looks at the nature of the drug trafficking conflict and assessments of how the conflict could spill across the border. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93823/
The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement
This report looks at issues for Congress, such as how legislative and oversight roles can bolster U.S. law enforcement's abilities to confront modern-day crime, including operations in cyberspace. It also examines whether federal law enforcement is utilizing existing mechanisms to effectively coordinate investigations and share information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96708/
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96720/
Mail and Wire Fraud: A Brief Overview of Federal Criminal Law
This report discusses ways in which mail and wire fraud can be federal crimes and penalties for conducting such crimes. It is a federal crime to devise a scheme to defraud another of property, when either mail or wire communications are used in furtherance of the scheme. Misconduct that constitutes mail or wire fraud may also constitute a violation of one or more other federal crimes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96709/
The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement
This report looks at issues for Congress related to expansion of legitimate and criminal operations across physical borders and through cyberspace as a result of globalization and technological innovation. In particular, it considers how Congress can leverage its legislative and oversight roles to bolster U.S. law enforcement's abilities to confront modern-day crime and whether federal law enforcement is utilizing existing mechanisms to effectively coordinate investigations and share information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98012/
Gun Control Legislation
This report looks at past gun control legislation and also how recent events (such as the shooting in Tucson, Arizona on January 8, 2011 which notably wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords) have influenced current legislation. This report concludes with discussion of other salient and recurring gun control issues that have generated past congressional interest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98058/
Cybercrime: Conceptual Issues for Congress and U.S. Law Enforcement
This report gives an overview of cybercrime, which can include crimes such as identity theft, payment card fraud, and intellectual property theft. The report discusses where the criminal acts exist (in both the real and digital worlds), motivations for cybercrimes, and who is committing them, as well as government definitions, strategies, and methods of tracking cybercrime. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98020/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cybersecurity glossaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98018/
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98017/
Proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Background and Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98099/
Closing the Guantanamo Detention Center: Legal Issues
This report provides an overview of major legal issues that are likely to arise as a result of executive and legislative action to close the Guantanamo detention facility. It discusses legal issues related to the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees, the continued detention of such persons in the United States, and the possible removal of persons brought to the United States. It considers selected constitutional issues that may arise in the criminal prosecution of detainees. Issues discussed include detainees’ right to a speedy trial, the prohibition against prosecution under ex post facto laws, and limitations upon the admissibility of hearsay and secret evidence in criminal cases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99006/
Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings
This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The report addresses all Supreme Court decisions concerning enemy combatants. It also discusses notable circuit court opinions addressing issues of ongoing relevance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99017/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cybersecurity glossaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99065/
Davis v. United States: Retroactivity and the Good-Faith Exception to the Exclusionary Rule
This report covers the legal causes and implications of Davis v. United States. The Supreme Court will consider whether evidence that was seized in violation of the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights is admissible at trial because the police seized the evidence in good-faith reliance on then-controlling case law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99064/
Supreme Court Appellate Jurisdiction Over Military Court Cases
This report discusses events in which the U.S. Supreme Court would have jurisdiction over military court cases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99117/
Privacy: An Abridged Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act
This report provides an overview of federal law governing wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99041/
Protecting Classified Information and the Rights of Criminal Defendants: The Classified Information Procedures Act
This report gives an overview of the Classified Information Procedures Act, enacted by the 96th Congress, which provides uniform procedures for prosecutions involving classified information. It provides a background of the act and discusses its various sections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99046/
Closing the Guantanamo Detention Center: Legal Issues
This report provides an overview of major legal issues likely to arise as a result of executive and legislative action to close the Guantanamo detention facility. It discusses legal issues related to the transfer of Guantanamo detainees, the continued detention of such persons in the United States, and the possible removal of persons brought into the country. It also discusses selected constitutional issues that may arise in the criminal prosecution of detainees, emphasizing the procedural and substantive protections that are utilized in different adjudicatory forums. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103051/
Federal Crime Control Issues in the 111th Congress
This report aggregates various issues surrounding federal crime control into five broad themes: violent crime control, combating fraud and theft, drug control, sentencing reform, and state and local justice assistance. Within these themes, the report examines more specific issues that confronted the 111th Congress. Issues discussed under the umbrella of violent crime control include hate crimes, gangs, and gun control. Issues related to the federal government's efforts to combat fraud and theft include identity theft and organized retail crime. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103065/
Federal Efforts to Address the Threat of Bioterrorism: Selected Issues and Options for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103084/
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt. U.S.-Egyptian relations are complex and multi-faceted, and this report addresses the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103184/
Gun Control Legislation
This report provides basic firearms-related statistics, an overview of federal firearms law, and a summary of legislative action in the 111th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103179/
The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)—Responsibilities and Potential Congressional Concerns
This report looks at inadequacies present in the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) which prevent the Center from adequately performing its duty. These inadequacies include issues with agency organization, lack of resources, and a focus on threats from Yemen over domestic threats. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103072/
Comparison of the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program and the World Trade Center Health Program Created by Title I of P.L. 111-347, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010
This report compares the current federally-supported medical screening and treatment program offered to various persons affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, with the federal program established by Title I of P.L. 111-347, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103098/
Sexual Violence in African Conflicts
This report focuses on conflicts in Africa in which sexual violence is reported to be widespread or systematic. It describes the context in which such violence takes place, selected cases where it is currently occurring, and U.S. policy responses. The report concludes with a discussion of potential policy considerations, including the design and effectiveness of U.S. programs; coordination between agencies and between international donors; and the question of whether policy responses to sexual violence can be separated from the broader context in which such violence occurs. The report includes a detailed case study of DRC, which has drawn particular attention from the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103070/
International Criminal Court and the Rome Statute: 2010 Review Conference
This report is a summary of the 2010 International Criminal Court (ICC) Review Conference in which several countries discuss political and legal ramifications of the ICC. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103148/
U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: the Mérida Initiative and Beyond
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103105/
U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: the Mérida Initiative and Beyond
This report looks at the funding and Congressional oversight for the U.S.-Mexican governments joint effort to curb drug trafficking and violence via the Initiative. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103104/
Southwest Border Violence: Issues in Identifying and Measuring Spillover Violence
This report looks at the nature of the U.S.-Mexico drug trafficking conflict and assessments of how the conflict could spill across the border. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103078/
Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for U.S. Policy
The focus of this report is on the history of Al Qaeda, known (or attributed) actions, suspected capabilities of the organization and non-aligned entities, and an analysis of select regional Al Qaeda affiliates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103077/
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt. U.S.-Egyptian relations are complex and multi-faceted, and this report addresses the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122295/
Internet Firearm and Ammunition Sales
This report discusses the sale of firearms and ammunition over the Internet, with a focus on the extent to which federal law regulates such activity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122247/
Gun Control Legislation
This report looks at past gun control legislation and also how recent events (such as the shooting in Tucson, Arizona on January 8, 2011 which notably wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords) have influenced current legislation. This report concludes with discussion of other salient and recurring gun control issues that have generated past congressional interest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122293/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cybersecurity glossaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122226/
Drones in Domestic Surveillance Operations: Fourth Amendment Implications and Legislative Responses
This report first explores the potential uses of drones in the domestic sphere by federal, state, and local governments. It then surveys current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, including cases surrounding privacy in the home, privacy in public spaces, location tracking, manned aerial surveillance, and those involving the national border. Next, it considers how existing jurisprudence may inform current and proposed drone uses. It then describes the various legislative measures introduced in the 112th Congress to address the legal and policy issues surrounding drones and, finally, briefly identifies several alternative approaches that may constrain the potential scope of drone surveillance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122251/
Clean Water Act and Pollutant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
This report discusses the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program which regulates pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained; section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. The report focuses on new challenges facing the TMDL program, including more complex TMDLs, larger scale impairments, and nonpoint sources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122259/
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. The 112th Congress has introduced and taken action on several bills related to human trafficking. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122225/
Whistleblower Protections Under Federal Law: An Overview
This report provides an overview of key aspects of the 18 selected federal statutes applicable to individuals in certain private-sector industries. It focuses on the protections provided to employees who believe they have been subject to retaliation, rather than on how or where alleged misconduct should be disclosed. In addition, the report also includes an overview of the Whistleblower Protection Act. While state law may also provide whistleblower protections for employees, this report focuses only on the aforementioned federal statutory provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122254/
The Posse Comitatus Act and Related Matters: A Sketch
This report examines instances, as approved by Congress, where circumstances warrant a departure from the general rule of the Posse Comitatus Act, wherein the military is typically prevented from direct involvement in civilian affairs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122237/
Failure to Register as a Sex Offender: An Abridged Legal Analysis of 18 U.S.C. 2250
Report that describes 18 U.S.C. 2250, which outlaws any individual convicted of a sex offense from not registering themselves in a jurisdiction which they live, work, or go to school. It describes elements of the law, and consequences for not following it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227790/
Failure to Register as a Sex Offender: An Abridged Legal Analysis of 18 U.S.C. 2250
Report that describes 18 U.S.C. 2250, which outlaws any individual convicted of a sex offense from not registering themselves in a jurisdiction which they live, work, or go to school. It describes elements of the law, and consequences for not following it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227789/
FBI Director: Appointment and Tenure
Report that first reviews the legislative history surrounding the enactment of the 1968 and 1976 amendments to the appointment of the FBI Director, as well as information on the nominees to the FBI Directorship since 1972. The report also provides a legal overview of the extension of a Director's tenure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227722/
Gun Control Legislation
Report that looks at past gun control legislation and also how recent events (such as the shooting in Tucson, AZ on January 8, 2011 which wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords) have influenced current legislation. This report concludes with discussion of other salient and recurring gun control issues that have generated past congressional interest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228011/
Guantanamo Detention Center: Legislative Activity in the 111th Congress
This report analyzes relevant provisions in enacted legislation and selected pending bills relating to the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a facility in which alleged enemy belligerents are detained. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227650/
Mexico's Drug Trafficking Organizations: Source and Scope of the Rising Violence
Report which provides background on drug trafficking in Mexico, identifies the major drug trafficking organizations, and analyzes the context, scope, and scale of the violence. It examines current trends of the violence, analyzes prospects for curbing violence in the future, and compares it with violence in Colombia. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227700/