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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Interior Immigration Enforcement: Programs Targeting Criminal Aliens

Interior Immigration Enforcement: Programs Targeting Criminal Aliens

Date: October 21, 2011
Creator: Rosenblum, Marc R. & Kandel, William A.
Description: This report begins by defining and quantifying the criminal alien population, to the extent possible. The following sections describe current and historical programs designed in whole or in part to target this population, including CAP, Secure Communities, the § 287(g) program, and NFOP. After describing how these programs function and key differences among them, the report reviews their recent appropriations history and enforcement statistics.
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Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues

Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues

Date: January 12, 2012
Creator: Siskin, Alison
Description: As Congress considers addressing some of the problems in the nation's immigration system, the detention of noncitizens in the United States may be an issue as Congress may choose to reevaluate detention priorities (i.e., who should be detained) and resources. There are many policy issues surrounding detention of aliens. The Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) increased the number of aliens subject to mandatory detention, and raised concerns about the justness of mandatory detention, especially as it is applied to asylum seekers arriving without proper documentation. Additionally, as DHS increases its ability to identify aliens who are subject to removal from local jails in more remote locations, the nationwide allocation of detention space may become an issue.
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Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Date: December 2, 2008
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: Over the past few years, the media have been filled with reports about worksite enforcement operations, commonly referred to as immigration raids. These operations represent the public face of efforts by the Department of Homeland Security to curtail the employment of unauthorized immigrants. According to 2006 estimates, there are some 7.8 million unauthorized workers in the U.S. civilian workforce. Enforcement activity by the Department of Labor (DOL) is also relevant to a discussion of federal efforts to curtail unauthorized employment.
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Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Date: March 1, 2011
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: In the spring of 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued new guidance on immigration-related worksite enforcement. According to 2010 estimates, there are some 8.0 million unauthorized workers in the U.S. civilian labor force. Enforcement activity by the Department of Labor (DOL) is also relevant to a discussion of federal efforts to curtail unauthorized employment.
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Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Date: June 24, 2010
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: In the spring of 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued new guidance on immigration-related worksite enforcement. According to 2008 estimates, there are some 8.3 million unauthorized workers in the U.S. civilian labor force. Enforcement activity by the Department of Labor (DOL) is also relevant to a discussion of federal efforts to curtail unauthorized employment.
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Border Security: Immigration Enforcement Between Ports of Entry

Border Security: Immigration Enforcement Between Ports of Entry

Date: January 6, 2012
Creator: Rosenblum, Marc R.
Description: This report concludes by raising additional questions about future investments at the border, how to weigh such investments against other enforcement strategies, and the relationship between border enforcement and the broader debate about U.S. immigration policy.
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The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments

The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments

Date: March 23, 2009
Creator: Dagne, Ted
Description: This report discusses, in brief, the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis.
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U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions

U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions

Date: March 13, 2012
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: Four major principles underlie current U.S. policy on permanent immigration: the reunification of families, the admission of immigrants with needed skills, the protection of refugees, and the diversity of admissions by country of origin. Against competing priorities for increased immigration are those who offer options to scale back immigration levels, with options ranging from limiting family-based legal permanent residents to the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to confining employment-based legal permanent residents exceptional, extraordinary, or outstanding individuals.
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State Efforts to Deter Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Analysis of Arizona's S.B. 1070

State Efforts to Deter Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Analysis of Arizona's S.B. 1070

Date: September 14, 2010
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.; Garcia, Michael John & Eig, Larry M.
Description: This report discusses S.B. 1070 and some of the notable preemption issues raised by some of its provisions. Where relevant, it examines the district court's ruling that the federal government is likely to succeed on the merits of its arguments that certain sections of S.B. 1070 are preempted by federal law. It also discusses other preemption issues potentially raised by S.B. 1070 or similar legislation, including some issues that were not expressly addressed by the district court in its preliminary ruling.
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Numerical Limits on Employment-Based Immigration: Analysis of the Per-Country Ceilings

Numerical Limits on Employment-Based Immigration: Analysis of the Per-Country Ceilings

Date: December 6, 2011
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: The report opens with brief explanations of the employment-based preference categories and the per-country ceilings governing annual admissions of LPRs. The focus is on the major employment-based preference categories. The report continues with a statistical analysis of the pending caseload of approved employment-based LPR petitions.
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Immigration Provisions of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Immigration Provisions of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Date: May 15, 2012
Creator: Kandel, William A.
Description: This report discusses the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA, P.L. 103-322) that congress passed in 1994. This legislation created new programs within the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services that aimed to both reduce domestic violence and improve response to and recovery from domestic violence incidents.
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Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Date: May 10, 2012
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is responsible for immigration-related worksite enforcement, or enforcement of the prohibitions on unauthorized employment in Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA §274A provisions, sometimes referred to as employer sanctions, make it unlawful for an employer to knowingly hire, recruit or refer for a fee, or continue to employ an alien who is not authorized to be so employed. This report looks at enforcement measures of this act.
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Immigration of Foreign Nationals with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degrees

Immigration of Foreign Nationals with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degrees

Date: May 11, 2012
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: Congress is renewing its interest in facilitating the immigration of foreign professional workers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields. The STEM workforce is seen by many as a catalyst of U.S. global economic competitiveness and is likewise considered a key element of the legislative options aimed at stimulating economic growth. "STEM visa" is a shorthand for an expedited immigration avenue that enables foreign nationals with graduate degrees in STEM fields to adjust their immigration status to legal permanent residence (LPR) without waiting in the queue of numerically-limited LPR visas.
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Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Date: April 2, 2012
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen & Ester, Karma
Description: When civil unrest, violence, or natural disasters erupt in spots around the world, concerns arise over the safety of foreign nationals residing in the United States who are from these troubled places. Provisions exist in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to offer temporary protected status (TPS) or relief from removal under specified circumstances. A foreign national who is granted TPS receives a registration document and an employment authorization for the duration of TPS. The United States currently provides TPS or deferred enforced departure (DED) to over 300,000 foreign nationals from a total of eight countries: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, and most recently Southern Sudan and Syria.
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Immigration of Temporary Lower-Skilled Workers: Current Policy and Related Issues

Immigration of Temporary Lower-Skilled Workers: Current Policy and Related Issues

Date: March 20, 2012
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: U.S. employers in various industries argue that they need to hire foreign workers to perform lower-skilled jobs, while others maintain that many of these positions could be filled by U.S. workers. While the discussion of current guest worker programs in this report focuses on the H-2A and H- 2B visas, it also covers the Summer Work Travel (SWT) program, the largest of several programs under the J-1 visa for participants in work- and study-based exchange visitor programs. The SWT program is particularly relevant because participants work largely in unskilled jobs, including H-2B-like seasonal jobs at resorts and amusement parks.
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Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and "DREAM Act" Legislation

Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and "DREAM Act" Legislation

Date: March 21, 2012
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: The 109th and 110th Congresses considered, but did not enact, comprehensive immigration reform legislation that included large-scale legalization programs for unauthorized aliens. In the aftermath of these unsuccessful efforts, some interested parties have urged the President and Congress to pursue more limited legislation to address the status of unauthorized alien students. Such legislation is commonly referred to as the "DREAM Act."
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Refugee Admissions and Resettlement Policy

Refugee Admissions and Resettlement Policy

Date: March 7, 2012
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: Typically, the annual number of refugees that can be admitted into the United States, known as the refugee ceiling, and the allocation of these numbers by region are set by the President after consultation with Congress at the start of each fiscal year. For FY2012, the worldwide refugee ceiling is 76,000, with 73,000 admissions numbers allocated among the regions of the world and 3,000 numbers comprising an unallocated reserve. Overseas processing of refugees is conducted through a system of three priorities for admission. Priority 1 comprises cases involving persons facing compelling security concerns. Priority 2 comprises cases involving persons from specific groups of special humanitarian concern to the United States (e.g., Iranian religious minorities). Priority 3 comprises family reunification cases involving close relatives of persons admitted as refugees or granted asylum. Special legislative provisions facilitate relief for certain refugee groups.
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Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 112th Congress

Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 112th Congress

Date: January 12, 2012
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: This report discusses immigration-related issues that have received legislative action or are of significant congressional interest in the 112th Congress.
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Birthright Citizenship Under the 14th Amendment of Persons Born in the United States to Alien Parents

Birthright Citizenship Under the 14th Amendment of Persons Born in the United States to Alien Parents

Date: January 10, 2012
Creator: Lee, Margaret Mikyung
Description: Background of birthright citizenship to alien parents in the U.S. The report ends with a detail of amendments in the 112th Congress that would amend the Constitution to exclude from citizenship at birth persons born in the United States whose parents are unlawfully present in the United States or are non-immigrant aliens.
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Mexican Migration to the United States: Policy and Trends

Mexican Migration to the United States: Policy and Trends

Date: June 7, 2012
Creator: Rosenblum, Marc R.; Kandel, William A.; Ribando Seelke, Clare & Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: History and geography have given Mexico a unique status in the U.S. immigration system, and have made the Mexico-U.S. migration flow the largest in the world. Mexicans are the largest group of U.S. migrants across most types of immigration statuses—a fact that may have important implications for how Congress makes U.S. immigration policy. This report reviews the history of immigration policy and migration flows between the countries and the demographics of Mexicans within the United States. It also analyzes contemporary issues in U.S. immigration policy and the impact Mexico may have on U.S. immigration outcomes.
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Overview of Immigration Issues in the 112th Congress

Overview of Immigration Issues in the 112th Congress

Date: January 12, 2012
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report synthesizes immigration issues as a multi-tiered debate. It breaks down the U.S. immigration law and policy into key elements: border control and visa security; legal immigration; documentation and verification; interior immigration enforcement; integration, status, and benefits; and refugees and other humanitarian populations. This report also delineates the debate in the 112th Congress for a range of issues, including border security, criminal aliens, and worksite enforcement.
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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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The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments

The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments

Date: September 1, 2011
Creator: Dagne, Ted
Description: This report discusses in brief the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis.
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Alien Smuggling: Recent Legislative Developments

Alien Smuggling: Recent Legislative Developments

Date: May 22, 2008
Creator: Kim, Yule
Description: This report discusses issues surrounding aliens within the United States including an overview of currently-proscribed activities, exemptions, sentencing provisions, and proposed legislative changes.
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