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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Enforcement: Legal Issues

Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Enforcement: Legal Issues

Date: January 17, 2013
Creator: Manuel, Kate M. & Garvey, Todd
Description: This report begins by discussing the sources of federal power to regulate immigration and, particularly, the allocation of power between Congress and the President in this area. It next addresses the constitutional and other foundations for the doctrine of prosecutorial discretion, as well as the potential ways in which prosecutorial discretion may be exercised in the immigration context. It concludes by addressing potential constitutional, statutory, and administrative constraints upon the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Immigration Fundamentals

Immigration Fundamentals

Date: July 2, 1998
Creator: Vialet, Joyce
Description: This report describes the fundamentals of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which was enacted in 1952 and significantly amended since, most recently by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.
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Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Date: September 18, 2008
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 nationals from these troubled places who are in the United States. This report discusses provisions that exist in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to offer temporary protected status (TPS) or relief from removal under specified circumstances. The United States currently provides TPS to nationals from seven countries: Burundi, El Salvador, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Somalia, and Sudan. Under the INA, the executive branch grants TPS. Congress, however, has also granted TPS legislatively, and legislation pertaining to TPS has received action in the 110th Congress.
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Nonimmigrant Overstays: Brief Synthesis of the Issue

Nonimmigrant Overstays: Brief Synthesis of the Issue

Date: January 24, 2007
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report discusses a fundamental problem of immigration control in which foreign nationals enter legally on a temporary basis and continue to stay after their visas expire.
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State and Local Restrictions on Employing, Renting Property to, or Providing Services for Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Issues and Recent Judicial Developments

State and Local Restrictions on Employing, Renting Property to, or Providing Services for Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Issues and Recent Judicial Developments

Date: January 28, 2008
Creator: Garcia, Michael John; Feder, Jody & Smith, Alison M.
Description: This report discusses the constitutional issues raised in relation to state and local laws intended to deter the presence of unauthorized aliens, along with the implications that federal civil rights statutes might have on the implementation and enforcement of measures restricting such persons' ability to obtain employment, housing, or other state and local benefits or services.
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Unauthorized Employment in the United States: Issues and Options

Unauthorized Employment in the United States: Issues and Options

Date: April 20, 2007
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: As Congress considers immigration reform and ways to address the unauthorized alien population, the issue of unauthorized employment is the focus of much discussion. This report discusses options for addressing unauthorized employment in the United States.
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Immigration: Foreign Physicians and the J-1 Visa Waiver Program

Immigration: Foreign Physicians and the J-1 Visa Waiver Program

Date: December 9, 2004
Creator: Ester, Karma A.
Description: This report focuses on those IMGs who are foreign nationals, hereafter referred to as foreign medical graduates (FMGs). Many FMGs first entered the United States to receive graduate medical education and training as cultural exchange visitors through the J-1 cultural exchange program. Other ways for FMGs to enter the United States include other temporary visa programs as well as permanent immigration avenues such as family- or employment-based immigration, the diversity lottery, and humanitarian relief provisions.
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Immigration of Foreign Workers: Labor Market Tests and Protections

Immigration of Foreign Workers: Labor Market Tests and Protections

Date: August 27, 2010
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report discusses §1611, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which requires companies receiving Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding to comply with the more rigorous labor market rules of H-1B dependent companies if they hire foreign workers on H-1B visas.
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Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force

Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force

Date: June 21, 2007
Creator: Matthews, Christine M.
Description: This report discusses the increased presence of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs and in the scientific workforce that has been and continues to be of concern to some in the scientific community. Enrollment of U.S. citizens in graduate science and engineering programs has not kept pace with that of foreign students in those programs. Many in the scientific community maintain that in order to compete with countries that are rapidly expanding their scientific and technological capabilities, the country needs to bring to the United States those whose skills will benefit society and will enable us to compete in the new-technology based global economy. This report analyzes this issue in detail and includes discussion of related legislation.
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Unauthorized Aliens’ Access to Federal Benefits: Policy and Issues

Unauthorized Aliens’ Access to Federal Benefits: Policy and Issues

Date: September 16, 2011
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: The degree to which unauthorized resident aliens should be accorded certain rights and privileges as a result of their residence in the United States, along with the duties owed by such aliens given their presence, remains the subject of debate in Congress. Included among the specific policy areas that spark controversy are due process rights, tax liabilities, military service, eligibility for federal assistance, educational opportunities, and pathways to citizenship. This report focuses on the policy and legislative debate surrounding unauthorized aliens’ access to federal benefits.
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Sanctuary Jurisdictions and Criminal Aliens: In Brief

Sanctuary Jurisdictions and Criminal Aliens: In Brief

Date: October 20, 2015
Creator: Kandel, William A. & Seghetti, Lisa
Description: This report examines the interplay between the federal government (i.e., ICE) and state and local jurisdictions in enforcing immigration law, with a specific focus on noncitizens who have been convicted of a crime. It explores major programs and federal resources available to state and local law enforcement agencies that cooperate with ICE to enforce immigration law.
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Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and "DREAM Act" Legislation

Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and "DREAM Act" Legislation

Date: January 8, 2008
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: Multiple bills have been introduced in recent Congresses to address the unauthorized student population. While there are other options for dealing with this population, this report deals exclusively with the DREAM Act approach of proposing relief for unauthorized students in light of the widespread congressional interest in it.
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Syrian Refugee Admissions and Resettlement in the United States: In Brief

Syrian Refugee Admissions and Resettlement in the United States: In Brief

Date: November 19, 2015
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: To assist Congress in addressing issues related to Syrian refugees and U.S. refugee policy generally, this report details the U.S. refugee admissions process and the placement and resettlement of arriving refugees in the United States.
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The Effects on U.S. Farm Workers of an Agricultural Guest Worker Program

The Effects on U.S. Farm Workers of an Agricultural Guest Worker Program

Date: March 9, 2006
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: This report discusses the debate concerning an agricultural guest worker program and the impact an agricultural guest worker program might have on U.S. workers. Guest worker programs are meant to assure employers (e.g., fruit, vegetable, and horticultural specialty growers) of an adequate supply of labor when and where it is needed while not adding permanent residents to the U.S. population. They include mechanisms, such as the H-2A program's labor certification process, intended to avoid adversely affecting the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
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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: August 20, 2015
Creator: Lee, Margaret M.
Description: This report traces the history of birthright citizenship under U.S. law and discusses some of the legislation in recent Congresses intended to alter it. In the current and recent Congresses, some Members have introduced or supported legislation that would revise or reinterpret the Citizenship Clause to address several concerns.
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Home Is Where They Have To Take You In: Right to Entry For U.S. Citizens

Home Is Where They Have To Take You In: Right to Entry For U.S. Citizens

Date: October 16, 2014
Creator: Lee, Margaret Mikyung
Description: This legal sidebar discusses the Congressional interest to revoke passports of U.S. citizens who have gone abroad to fight for foreign terrorist groups. This issue derived from the concern about preventing such persons from returning to conduct terrorist activities in the U.S.
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The Obama Administration's November 20, 2014, Actions as to Immigration: Pending Legal Challenges One Year Later

The Obama Administration's November 20, 2014, Actions as to Immigration: Pending Legal Challenges One Year Later

Date: November 20, 2015
Creator: unknown
Description: This legal sidebar discusses the Obama Administration announcement regarding a number of actions to "fix" what the President has repeatedly described as a "broken" immigration system.
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The Federal Protective Service and Contract Security Guards: A Statutory History and Current Status

The Federal Protective Service and Contract Security Guards: A Statutory History and Current Status

Date: May 11, 2009
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Description: This report describes the Federal Protective Service (FPS) in brief as well as legislative actions currently being discussed in the 111th Congress that could affect FPS in the future.
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The Federal Protective Service and Contract Security Guards: A Statutory History and Current Status

The Federal Protective Service and Contract Security Guards: A Statutory History and Current Status

Date: January 23, 2009
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Description: This report discusses the history of the Federal Protective Service, which is responsible for protecting federal government property, personnel, visitors, and customers, including property leased by the General Services Administration (GSA). FPS currently employs over 15,000 contract security guards to protect federal property.
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Syrian Refugee Admissions to the United States

Syrian Refugee Admissions to the United States

Date: September 22, 2015
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: This report discusses the U.S.'s plans to admit Syrian and other refugees in FY2016 and beyond. The Obama Administration initially proposed an overall refugee ceiling of 75,000 for FY2016 and held consultations with Congress on that proposal, as required by law.
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Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 110th Congress

Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 110th Congress

Date: December 10, 2008
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: This report discusses immigration-related issues that have seen legislative action or are of significant congressional interest.
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Fifth Circuit Declines to Lift Injunction Barring Implementation of the Obama Administration's 2014 Deferred Action Programs

Fifth Circuit Declines to Lift Injunction Barring Implementation of the Obama Administration's 2014 Deferred Action Programs

Date: November 12, 2015
Creator: unknown
Description: This legal sidebar discusses a decision by the Fifth Circuit in which they declined to lift an injunction barring the implementation of the Obama administration's 2014 deferred action programs. Additionally, the decision argued that the expansions are impermissible because they conflict with certain provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
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President Obama's $1 Billion Foreign Aid Request for Central America

President Obama's $1 Billion Foreign Aid Request for Central America

Date: November 25, 2015
Creator: Meyer, Peter J. & Ribando Seelke, Clare
Description: This report discusses the Obama Administration's recent request for over $1 billion in foreign assistance in FY2016 to support a whole-of-government "U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America."
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Immigration: Visa Security Policies

Immigration: Visa Security Policies

Date: November 18, 2015
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report opens with an overview of visa issuance policy. It then explains the key provisions that guide the documentary requirements and approval/disapproval process. Visa revocation, a reoccurring issue of concern to Congress, and the visa security program are discussed as well.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department