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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
State and Local "Sanctuary" Policies Limiting Participation in Immigration Enforcement

State and Local "Sanctuary" Policies Limiting Participation in Immigration Enforcement

Date: July 10, 2015
Creator: Garcia, Michael J. & Manuel, Kate M.
Description: This report discusses legal issues related to state and local measures that limit law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The report begins by providing a brief overview of the constitutional principles informing the relationship between federal immigration authorities and state and local jurisdictions, including the federal government's power to preempt state and local activities under the Supremacy Clause, and the Tenth Amendment's proscription against Congress directly "commandeering" the states to administer a federally enacted regulatory scheme.
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Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Date: July 1, 2015
Creator: Seghetti, Lisa; Ester, Karma & Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report is a brief overview of current policies regarding temporary protected status (TPS), which is relief from removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It includes information about humanitarian migrants, temporary protected status, other blanket forms of relief, nationalities receiving protections, and issues with TPS, as well as recent legislation.
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Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues

Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues

Date: May 7, 2015
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Description: An "immigration detainer" is a document by which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) advises other law enforcement agencies of its interest in individual aliens whom these agencies are detaining. This report surveys the various authorities governing immigration detainers, including the standard detainer form (Form I-247) sent by ICE to other law enforcement agencies. The report also discusses key legal issues raised by immigration detainers.
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Barriers Along the U.S. Borders: Key Authorities and Requirements

Barriers Along the U.S. Borders: Key Authorities and Requirements

Date: April 8, 2015
Creator: Garcia, Michael J.
Description: This report discusses key statutory authorities and requirements governing the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) construction of barriers along the U.S. borders. It also includes appendixes listing federal laws that have been waived by DHS in furtherance of border construction projects.
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The President's Immigration Accountability Executive Action of November 20, 2014: Overview and Issues

The President's Immigration Accountability Executive Action of November 20, 2014: Overview and Issues

Date: February 24, 2015
Creator: Kandel, William A.; Bjelopera, Jerome P.; Bruno, Andorra & Siskin, Alison
Description: This report discusses President Obama Immigration Accountability Executive Action which would revise some U.S. immigration policies and initiate several programs, including a revised border security policy for the Southwest border.
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The President's Immigration Accountability Executive Action of November 20, 2014: Overview and Issues

The President's Immigration Accountability Executive Action of November 20, 2014: Overview and Issues

Date: February 24, 2015
Creator: Kandel, William A.; Bjelopera, Jerome P.; Bruno, Andorra & Siskin, Alison
Description: This report discusses President Obama's Immigration Accountability Executive Action which revises some U.S. immigration policies and initiates several programs, including a revised border security policy for the Southwest border.
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USCIS Funding and Accountability to Congress

USCIS Funding and Accountability to Congress

Date: February 19, 2015
Creator: Kandel, William A.
Description: This report briefly discusses funding for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). USCIS handles many immigration administration functions, the most prominent of which is processing and adjudicating immigrant petitions and applications.
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Alien Removals and Returns: Overview and Trends

Alien Removals and Returns: Overview and Trends

Date: February 3, 2015
Creator: Siskin, Alison
Description: This report provides an overview of the statutory framework for alien removal and briefly describes the standard removal process. It also describes several streamlined forms of removal, and two alternative forms of removal (often referred to as returns) that exempt aliens from certain penalties associated with formal removal: voluntary departure and withdrawal of petition for admission. In addition, the report discusses recent trends in removals and returns, and concludes with a summary of potential avenues for relief from removal.
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H.R. 399, the Secure Our Borders First Act of 2015: Report in Brief

H.R. 399, the Secure Our Borders First Act of 2015: Report in Brief

Date: January 27, 2015
Creator: Seghetti, Lisa & Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report provides a summary of select provisions in the Secure Our Borders First Act of 2015 (H.R. 399), which was introduced on January 16, 2015. On January 21, 2015, an amendment in the nature of a substitute to the bill was offered and marked up. The bill was also reported out of the House Homeland Security Committee on January 21, 2015.
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Border Security: Immigration Inspections at Ports of Entry

Border Security: Immigration Inspections at Ports of Entry

Date: January 26, 2015
Creator: Seghetti, Lisa
Description: This report reviews the legislative history of immigration inspections requirements and the entry-exit system. The report then describes the implementation of these provisions, including pre-travel screening, primary and secondary inspections, trusted traveler programs, outbound enforcement, and the entry-exit system. The final section of the report identifies a number of issues for Congress related to immigration admissions and enforcement at ports of entry (POEs).
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Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs

Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs

Date: January 20, 2015
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: This report analyzes the special immigrant visas (SIVs) classifications for Iraqis and Afghans within the context of both the larger INA special immigrant category and selected other permanent admissions categories. It discusses the legislative changes to the individual Iraqi and Afghan special immigrant programs since their initial authorization, provides statistics on visa issuances, and considers challenges that have faced the programs.
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Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Date: January 12, 2015
Creator: Seghetti, Lisa; Ester, Karma & Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report is a brief overview of current policies regarding temporary protected status (TPS), which is relief from removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It includes information about humanitarian migrants, temporary protected status, other blanket forms of relief, nationalities receiving protections, and issues with TPS, as well as recent legislation.
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The President's Immigration Accountability Executive Action of November 20, 2014: Overview and Issues

The President's Immigration Accountability Executive Action of November 20, 2014: Overview and Issues

Date: January 8, 2015
Creator: Kandel, William A.; Bjelopera, Jerome P.; Bruno, Andorra & Siskin, Alison
Description: This report discusses President Obama's Immigration Accountability Executive Action which revises some U.S. immigration policies and initiates several programs, including a revised border security policy for the Southwest border.
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Border Security: Immigration Enforcement Between Ports of Entry

Border Security: Immigration Enforcement Between Ports of Entry

Date: December 31, 2014
Creator: Seghetti, Lisa
Description: This report reviews efforts to combat unauthorized migration across the Southwest border in the nearly three decades since the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) initiated the modern era in migration control. In reviewing such efforts, the report takes stock of the current state of border security and considers lessons that may be learned about enhanced enforcement at U.S. borders.
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State Challenges to Federal Enforcement of Immigration Law: Historical Precedents and Pending Litigation

State Challenges to Federal Enforcement of Immigration Law: Historical Precedents and Pending Litigation

Date: December 31, 2014
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Description: This report provides an overview of prior and pending challenges by states to federal officials' alleged failure to enforce the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) or other provisions of immigration law. It begins by discussing the lawsuits filed by six states in the mid-1990s; Arizona's counterclaims to the federal government's suit to enjoin enforcement of S.B. 1070; and Mississippi's challenge to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. It then describes the challenge brought by over 20 states in 2014 to the recently announced expansion of DACA and the creation of a similar program for unlawfully present aliens whose children are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent resident aliens (LPRs). The report concludes by exploring how the pending litigation resembles, and differs from, the prior litigation.
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U.S. Immigration Policy: Chart Book of Key Trends

U.S. Immigration Policy: Chart Book of Key Trends

Date: December 17, 2014
Creator: Kandel, William A.
Description: This report is a chart book of selected immigration trends that touch on the main elements of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). Most policymakers agree that the main issues in CIR include increased border security and immigration enforcement, improved employment eligibility verification, revision of legal immigration, and options to address the millions of unauthorized aliens residing in the country. The report offers snapshots of time series data, using the most complete and consistent time series currently available for each statistic. The key findings and elements germane to the data depicted are summarized with the figures. The summary offers the highlights of key immigration trends.
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The Obama Administration's Announced Immigration Initiative: A Primer

The Obama Administration's Announced Immigration Initiative: A Primer

Date: November 24, 2014
Creator: unknown
Description: This report discusses the immigration initiative announced by Obama administration that could enable a substantial portion of the unlawfully-present alien population to obtain temporary relief from removal and work authorization.
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The Obama Administration's November 2014 Immigration Initiatives: Questions and Answers

The Obama Administration's November 2014 Immigration Initiatives: Questions and Answers

Date: November 24, 2014
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Description: On November 20, 2014, President Obama delivered a televised address wherein he broadly described the steps that his administration is taking to "fix" what he has repeatedly described as a "broken immigration system."1 Following the President's address, executive agencies made available intra-agency memoranda and fact sheets detailing specific actions that have already been taken, or will be taken in the future.2 These actions generally involve either border security, the current unlawfully present population, or future legal immigration. This report provides the answers to key legal questions related to the various immigration-related actions announced by the Obama Administration.
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U.S. Family-Based Immigration Policy

U.S. Family-Based Immigration Policy

Date: November 19, 2014
Creator: Kandel, William A.
Description: This report provides an examination of family-based immigration policy. In doing so, it outlines a brief history of U.S. family-based immigration policies, discusses current law governing admissions, and summarizes recommendations made by previous congressionally mandated committees charged with evaluating immigration policy. It then presents descriptive figures on legal immigrants entering the United States during the past decade and discusses the sizable queue of approved immigrant petitioners waiting for an immigrant visa. It closes by discussing selected policy issues.
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Executive Discretion as to Immigration: Legal Overview

Executive Discretion as to Immigration: Legal Overview

Date: November 10, 2014
Creator: Manuel, Kate M. & Garcia, Michael John
Description: This report provides an overview of the three broad types of discretion that the Executive can be seen to have as to immigration: (1) express delegations of discretionary authority; (2) discretion in enforcement (commonly known as prosecutorial or enforcement discretion); and (3) discretion in interpreting and applying statutes.
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Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 113th Congress

Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 113th Congress

Date: November 4, 2014
Creator: Bruno, Andorra; Bjelopera, Jerome P.; Garcia, Michael John; Kandel, William A.; Lee, Margaret Mikyung; Siskin, Alison et al.
Description: Immigration reform was an active legislative issue in the first session of the 113th Congress. The Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744), a comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes provisions on border security, interior enforcement, employment eligibility verification and worksite enforcement, legalization of unauthorized aliens, immigrant visas, nonimmigrant visas, and humanitarian admissions. For its part, the House took a different approach to immigration reform. Rather than considering a single comprehensive bill, the House acted on a set of immigration bills that address border security, interior enforcement, employment eligibility verification and worksite enforcement, and nonimmigrant and immigrant visas. House committees reported or ordered to be reported the following immigration bills: Border Security Results Act of 2013 (H.R. 1417); Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement (SAFE) Act (H.R. 2278); Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1772); Agricultural Guestworker (AG) Act (H.R. 1773); and Supplying Knowledge-based Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM Visas (SKILLS Visa) Act (H.R. 2131). This report discusses these and other immigration-related issues that received legislative action or have been of significant congressional interest in the 113th Congress.
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Border Security: Immigration Inspections at Ports of Entry

Border Security: Immigration Inspections at Ports of Entry

Date: October 31, 2014
Creator: Seghetti, Lisa
Description: This report reviews the legislative history of immigration inspections requirements and the entry-exit system. The report then describes the implementation of these provisions, including pre-travel screening, primary and secondary inspections, trusted traveler programs, outbound enforcement, and the entry-exit system. The final section of the report identifies a number of issues for Congress related to immigration admissions and enforcement at POEs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Permanent Legal Immigration to the United States: Policy Overview

Permanent Legal Immigration to the United States: Policy Overview

Date: October 29, 2014
Creator: Kandel, William A.
Description: This report provides an overview of the current state of legal immigration policy in the U.S. In FY2013, just under 1 million aliens became U.S. legal permanent residents (LPRs).
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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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