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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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.
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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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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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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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Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Programs and Unaccompanied Alien Children

Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Programs and Unaccompanied Alien Children

Date: September 22, 2014
Creator: Skinner, Rebecca R. & Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report addresses possible sources of federal support for schools and local educational agencies that have enrolled unaccompanied alien children.
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Unauthorized Aliens' Access to Federal Benefits: Policy and Issues

Unauthorized Aliens' Access to Federal Benefits: Policy and Issues

Date: September 22, 2014
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: 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).
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Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs

Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs

Date: September 12, 2014
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Asylum and Gang Violence: Legal Overview

Asylum and Gang Violence: Legal Overview

Date: September 5, 2014
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Description: 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.
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Special Immigrant Juveniles: In Brief

Special Immigrant Juveniles: In Brief

Date: August 29, 2014
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report provides a brief explanation of the statutory basis of special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) status and how it has evolved. It also presents statistics on the number of children who have applied for and received SIJ status since FY2005. The report concludes with a discussion of the applicability of SIJ status for unaccompanied alien children.
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Immigration Policies and Issues on Health-Related Grounds for Exclusion

Immigration Policies and Issues on Health-Related Grounds for Exclusion

Date: August 13, 2014
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report discusses the criteria that foreign nationals must meet before admission to the United States, specifically examining the health-related grounds for exclusion. It provides this information in the context of recent outbreaks of communicable diseases abroad such as Ebola in West Africa, avian influenza in China, polio in the middle east, and dengue fever in the Caribbean.
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