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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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.
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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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Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues

Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues

Date: October 6, 2014
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Description: "This report surveys the various authorities governing immigration detainers, including the standard detainer form (Form I-247) sent by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to other law enforcement agencies. The report also discusses key legal issues raised by immigration detainers, including whether Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) detainer regulations and practices are beyond its statutory authority; whether states and localities are required to comply with immigration detainers; who has custody of aliens subject to detainers; and whether detainer practices violate aliens' constitutional rights. In considering these topics, it is important to note that Form I-247 and DHS's detainer practices have changed several times since 2010, and that decisions on the merits have not yet been issued in many cases challenging the use of detainers in conjunction with the Secure Communities program" (p. 6).
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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Frequently Asked Questions

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Frequently Asked Questions

Date: September 30, 2014
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: This report discusses the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) June 15, 2012 announcement that certain individuals who were brought to the United States as children and meet other criteria would be considered for relief from removal for two years, subject to renewal, under an initiative known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
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Noncitizen Eligibility for Federal Public Assistance: Policy Overview and Trends

Noncitizen Eligibility for Federal Public Assistance: Policy Overview and Trends

Date: September 24, 2014
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report discusses the extent to which residents of the United States who are not U.S. citizens should be eligible for federally-funded public aid. This issue meets at the intersection of two major policy areas: immigration policy and welfare policy. This report deals with the four major federal means-tested benefit programs: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant programs, and Medicaid.
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Unaccompanied Alien Children: Demographics in Brief

Unaccompanied Alien Children: Demographics in Brief

Date: September 24, 2014
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen & Morris, Austin
Description: This report discusses children coming to the United States who are not accompanied by parents or legal guardians and who lack proper immigration documents has raised complex and competing sets of humanitarian concerns and immigration control issues. This report focuses on the demographics of unaccompanied alien children while they are in removal proceedings.
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