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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
President Obama's $1 Billion Foreign Aid Request for Central America
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." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795910/
The Obama Administration's November 20, 2014, Actions as to Immigration: Pending Legal Challenges One Year Later
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795846/
Syrian Refugee Admissions and Resettlement in the United States: In Brief
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795553/
Can States and Localities Bar the Resettlement of Syrian Refugees Within Their Jurisdictions?
This legal sidebar discusses an intention to restrict the resettlement of Syrian refugees within individual states and states' authority in the refugee resettlement process, which may take action to forestall or prevent such resettlement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795499/
Immigration: Visa Security Policies
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795784/
Fifth Circuit Declines to Lift Injunction Barring Implementation of the Obama Administration's 2014 Deferred Action Programs
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795498/
Birthright Citizenship and Children Born in the United States to Alien Parents: An Overview of the Legal Debate
This report provides a brief historical review of U.S. citizenship from the time of the founding through the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795749/
Sanctuary Jurisdictions and Criminal Aliens: In Brief
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795654/
Syrian Refugee Admissions to the United States
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795445/
Syrian Refugee Admissions to the United States
This report briefly discusses issues regarding refugees fleeing from Syria. With some European countries pledging to accept increased numbers of Syrian and other asylum seekers in the face of a refugee crisis, attention is focused on the United States and its plans to admit Syrian and other refugees in FY2016 and beyond. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743365/
Europe's Migration and Refugee Crisis
This report discusses the migration and refugee crisis in Europe, as people flee conflict and poverty in neighboring regions. Many are from the Middle East and Africa; others come from Ukraine, as well as Kosovo and elsewhere in the Western Balkans. Experts have characterized the influxes as mixed migration, defined as flows of different groups of people--such as economic migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, stateless persons, trafficked persons, and unaccompanied children--who travel the same routes and use the same modes of transportation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743501/
Long Range Strike Bomber Begins to Emerge
This report discusses the U.S. Air Force's top three procurement priorities, including the LRS-B program, which is intended to yield 80 to 100 strategic bombers to replace aging B-52s and B-1s, beginning in the mid-2020s. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743410/
Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743458/
Financial Regulatory Improvement Act Included in Senate Appropriations Bill
This report highlights some of the major policy proposals included in S. 1484, as reported by the Senate Banking Committee on June 2, 2015. The text of the bill was among the financial regulatory changes included in the FY2016 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act (S. 1910). S. 1484 encompasses a broad package of reforms to the financial regulatory system, including some changes to the Dodd-Frank Act (P.L. 111-203). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743441/
Birthright Citizenship Under the 14th Amendment of Persons Born in the United States to Alien Parents
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795824/
Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview
This report opens with an analysis of recent unaccompanied alien children (UAC) apprehension data. It then discusses current policy on the treatment, care, and custody of the population, with a description of the responsibilities of each federal agency involved with the population. The report then discusses both administrative and congressional actions to deal with the UAC surge in FY2014 and ongoing action to address possible future surges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743466/
Sanctuary Jurisdictions and Criminal Aliens: In Brief
This report examines the interplay between the federal government -- i.e., Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) -- and state and local jurisdictions in enforcing immigration law, with a specific focus on noncitizens who have been convicted of a crime. It briefly outlines the evolution of the cooperation among law enforcement agencies, then discusses current administrative efforts to involve state and local law enforcement, and explores major programs and federal resources available to those agencies that cooperate with ICE to enforce immigration law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743650/
The Dominican Republic: Tensions with Haiti over Citizenship and Migration Issues
This report discusses the dispute between the Dominican Republic and Haiti regarding the citizenship status of some 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent, as well as undocumented migrants in the Dominican Republic, which threatens to exacerbate tensions between the two neighbors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743575/
State and Local "Sanctuary" Policies Limiting Participation in Immigration Enforcement
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700750/
Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700780/
Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627187/
Barriers Along the U.S. Borders: Key Authorities and Requirements
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505491/
The President's Immigration Accountability Executive Action of November 20, 2014: Overview and Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503595/
The President's Immigration Accountability Executive Action of November 20, 2014: Overview and Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505548/
USCIS Funding and Accountability to Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503353/
Alien Removals and Returns: Overview and Trends
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503594/
H.R. 399, the Secure Our Borders First Act of 2015: Report in Brief
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503615/
Border Security: Immigration Inspections at Ports of Entry
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501645/
Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501782/
Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501923/
The President's Immigration Accountability Executive Action of November 20, 2014: Overview and Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501547/
Border Security: Immigration Enforcement Between Ports of Entry
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501953/
State Challenges to Federal Enforcement of Immigration Law: Historical Precedents and Pending Litigation
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501824/
U.S. Immigration Policy: Chart Book of Key Trends
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501502/
The Obama Administration's Announced Immigration Initiative: A Primer
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795778/
The Obama Administration's November 2014 Immigration Initiatives: Questions and Answers
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491342/
U.S. Family-Based Immigration Policy
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491047/
Executive Discretion as to Immigration: Legal Overview
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490953/
Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 113th Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491280/
Border Security: Immigration Inspections at Ports of Entry
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491314/
Permanent Legal Immigration to the United States: Policy Overview
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491648/
Home Is Where They Have To Take You In: Right to Entry For U.S. Citizens
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795839/
Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues
"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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462021/
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Frequently Asked Questions
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462591/
Noncitizen Eligibility for Federal Public Assistance: Policy Overview and Trends
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462100/
Unaccompanied Alien Children: Demographics in Brief
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462514/
Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Programs and Unaccompanied Alien Children
This report addresses possible sources of federal support for schools and local educational agencies that have enrolled unaccompanied alien children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462607/
Unauthorized Aliens' Access to Federal Benefits: Policy and Issues
This report focuses on the policy and legislative debate surrounding unauthorized aliens' access to federal benefits. The number of foreign-born people residing in the United States (40.7 million) is at the highest level in our history and, as a portion of the U.S. population, has reached a percentage (13%) not seen since the early 20th century.1 Of the foreign-born residents in the United States, approximately one-third are speculated to be unauthorized residents (often characterized as illegal aliens). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461998/
Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs
This report analyzes the special immigrant visa (SIV) classifications for Iraqis and Afghans within the context of both the larger Immigration and Nationality Act (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 issuance, and considers challenges facing the programs today. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462255/
Asylum and Gang Violence: Legal Overview
This report discusses the basis for asylum in International and U.S. Law. The recent increase in the number of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) apprehended at the border between Mexico and the United States has raised questions about the role that gang-related violence in Central America may play in determining whether such children are eligible for refugee status and asylum. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462856/
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