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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Congress and U.S. Policy on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees: Recent Legislation and Implementation

Congress and U.S. Policy on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees: Recent Legislation and Implementation

Date: October 22, 2008
Creator: Chanlett-Avery, Emma
Description: The passage of the reauthorization of the North Korean Human Rights Act in October 2008 reasserted congressional interest in influencing the Bush Administration's policy toward North Korea. In addition to reauthorizing funding at original levels, the bill expresses congressional criticism of the implementation of the original 2004 law and adjusts some of the provisions relating to the Special Envoy on Human Rights in North Korea and the U.S. resettlement of North Korean refugees. Some outside analysts have pointed to the challenges of highlighting North Korea's human rights violations in the midst of the ongoing nuclear negotiations, as well as the difficulty in effectively reaching North Korean refugees as outlined in the law. Further, the law may complicate coordination on North Korea with China and South Korea.
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Instability in Chad

Instability in Chad

Date: August 6, 2008
Creator: Ploch, Lauren
Description: This report discusses the currently volatile political and security situation in Chad. Some issues Chad is currently facing include ethnic clashes, banditry, and fighting between government forces and rebel groups; a large number of displaced persons who have fled Chad to the neighboring nation of Cameroon; an increasing number of refugee influx from the nearby troubled regions of the Central African Republic (CAR) and Sudan's Darfur; and inadequate security forces.
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Foreign Medical Graduates: A Brief Overview of the J-1 Visa Waiver Program

Foreign Medical Graduates: A Brief Overview of the J-1 Visa Waiver Program

Date: June 5, 2008
Creator: Ester, Karma
Description: The Educational and Cultural Exchange Visitor program has become a gateway for foreign medical graduates (FMGs) to gain admission to the United States as nonimmigrants for the purpose of graduate medical education and training. These FMGs either enter under the J-1 nonimmigrant visa or receive waivers that require them to work in a designated healthcare professional shortage area for a minimum of three years. The ability of states to request such waivers is known as the "Conrad State Program," and was added temporarily to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) in 1994. It has been extended by the last several Congresses. Legislation has been introduced in the 110th Congress to address the program's expiration.
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Unauthorized Alien Students, Higher Education, and In-State Tuition Rates: A Legal Analysis

Unauthorized Alien Students, Higher Education, and In-State Tuition Rates: A Legal Analysis

Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Feder, Jody
Description: Currently, federal law prohibits states from granting unauthorized aliens certain postsecondary educational benefits on the basis of state residence, unless equal benefits are made available to all U.S. citizens. This prohibition is commonly understood to apply to the granting of "in-state" residency status for tuition purposes. In the 110th Congress, several bills that would amend this federal law have been introduced. Meanwhile, some states have passed laws aimed at making unauthorized state residents eligible for in-state tuition without violating this provision. This report provides a legal overview of cases involving immigrant access to higher education, as well as an analysis of the legality of state laws that make in-state tuition rates available to illegal immigrants.
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Border Security: Key Agencies and Their Missions

Border Security: Key Agencies and Their Missions

Date: May 13, 2008
Creator: Nunez-Neto, Blas
Description: After the massive reorganization of federal agencies precipitated by the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), there are now four main federal agencies charged with securing the United States' borders: the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the United States Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This report briefly describes each agency's role in securing our nation's borders.
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Homeland Security: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Border Surveillance

Homeland Security: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Border Surveillance

Date: May 13, 2008
Creator: Bolkcom, Christopher & Nunez-Neto, Blas
Description: Congress has expressed a great deal of interest in using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to surveil the United States' international land border. This report examines the strengths and limitations of deploying UAVs along the borders and related issues for Congress.
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Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Date: September 30, 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. Provisions 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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Immigration: S Visas for Criminal and Terrorist Informants

Immigration: S Visas for Criminal and Terrorist Informants

Date: May 17, 2006
Creator: Ester, Karma
Description: In response to the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Congress passed legislation making permanent a provision that allows aliens with critical information on criminal or terrorist organizations to come into the United States to provide information to law enforcement officials. The law (S. 1424, and then P.L. 107-45) amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide permanent authority for the administration of the "S" visa, which was scheduled to expire on September 13, 2001. On November 29, 2001, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft announced the "Responsible Cooperators Program" to reach out to persons who may be eligible for the S visa. Up to 200 criminal informants and 50 terrorist informants may be admitted annually. Since FY2005, more than 500 informants and their accompanying family members have entered on S visas. No terrorist informants have been admitted into the U.S. since 1996.
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Immigration Related Border Security Legislation in the 109th Congress

Immigration Related Border Security Legislation in the 109th Congress

Date: June 8, 2006
Creator: Nunez-Neto, Blas & Beaver, Janice Cheryl
Description: Border security is considered a central aspect of the United States' overall homeland security. Securing the border involves controlling the official ports of entry (POE) through which legitimate travelers and commerce enter the country, as well as monitoring and patrolling the nation's land and maritime borders to detect and interdict the entry of illegal persons and contraband. In the 109th Congress, there are a large number of bills currently pending that would address some of the immigration issues associated with border security by focusing on the movement of people into the country, both at POE and illegally across the U.S. international land border. This report will focus on the main legislative issues facing the 109th Congress relating to the movement of people across the border. It will not address interior enforcement issues or cargo security issues.
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Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 109th Congress

Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 109th Congress

Date: June 9, 2006
Creator: Bruno, Andorra; Wasem, Ruth Ellen; Siskin, Alison; Nunez-Neto, Blas; Garcia, John; Vina, Stephen R. et al.
Description: Security concerns are figuring prominently in the development of and debate on immigration legislation in the 109th Congress. The REAL ID Act, passed in May 2005, contains a number of immigration and identification document-related provisions intended to improve homeland security. Among these are provisions to make changes to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) with respect to asylum and other forms of relief from removal; to expand the terrorism-related grounds for alien inadmissibility and deportation; and to set standards for state-issued drivers' licenses and personal identification cards. H.R. 4437 contains provisions on border security, the role of state and local law enforcement, employment eligibility verification and worksite enforcement, smuggling, detention, and other enforcement-related issues.
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