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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Border Security: Inspections Practices, Policies, and Issues

Border Security: Inspections Practices, Policies, and Issues

Date: October 13, 2004
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen; Lake, Jennifer E; Seghetti, Lisa M; Monke, James & Viña, Stephen R
Description: Some argue that this reorganization of border inspections has been long needed and is resulting in a more streamlined and efficient set of procedures at the border with a clear, single, chain of command. Others warn that the different types of inspections are quite complex in their own right and that the reorganization is exacerbating the conflicting priorities at the border, ultimately resulting in many more people and goods being sent to secondary inspections. This report, discusses a range of legal, administrative, and policy issues that are emerging with the implementation of the unified border inspections.
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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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Border Security:  The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol

Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol

Date: May 10, 2005
Creator: Nuñez-Neto, Blas
Description: This report includes some issues for Congress to consider which could include the slow rate of integration between the USBP’s biometric database of illegal aliens and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) biometric database of criminals and terrorists; the number of unauthorized aliens who die attempting to enter the country each year; the organized human smuggling rings that have proliferated as entering the country has become more difficult; and the threat posed by terrorists along the sparsely defended Northern border as well as the more porous Southwest border.
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Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol

Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol

Date: January 25, 2006
Creator: Nuñez-Neto, Blas
Description: This report includes some issues for Congress to consider which could include the slow rate of integration between the USBP’s biometric database of illegal aliens and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) biometric database of criminals and terrorists; the number of unauthorized aliens who die attempting to enter the country each year; the organized human smuggling rings that have proliferated as entering the country has become more difficult; and the threat posed by terrorists along the sparsely defended Northern border as well as the more porous Southwest border.
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Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol

Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol

Date: November 20, 2008
Creator: Nuñez-Neto, Blas
Description: This report includes some issues for Congress to consider which include the slow rate of integration between the United States Border Patrol's (USBP) biometric database of illegal aliens and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) biometric database of criminals and terrorists; the number of unauthorized aliens who die attempting to enter the country each year; the organized human smuggling rings that have proliferated as entering the country has become more difficult; and the threat posed by terrorists along the sparsely defended Northern border as well as the more porous Southwest border.
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Border Security: U.S.-Canada Border Issues

Border Security: U.S.-Canada Border Issues

Date: July 8, 2002
Creator: Seghetti, Lisa M
Description: The September 11 terrorist attacks and continued threats of future attacks have directed Congress’s attention to U.S.-Canada border security-related issues. Both countries are striving to balance adequate border security with other issues such as the facilitation of legitimate cross-border travel and commerce, and protecting civil liberties. Congress has taken action (the USA PATRIOT Act, P.L. 107-56; and the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, P.L. 107-173) to increase the number of INS border patrol agents and inspectors at northern ports of entry and to provide these officials with additional technologically upgraded equipment.
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Brief History of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Efforts in the 109th and 110th Congresses to Inform Policy Discussions in the 113th Congress

Brief History of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Efforts in the 109th and 110th Congresses to Inform Policy Discussions in the 113th Congress

Date: February 27, 2013
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report opens with brief legislative histories of "comprehensive immigration reform" (CIR) in the 109th and 110th Congresses. A comparative overview of key CIR provisions in the three bills that received floor action in the 109th and 110th Congresses follows. In addition to a narrative discussion of how the bills addressed the main provisions of CIR, the report provides a table that presents a comparative summary of the key features of the bills. The report concludes with observations contrasting the 2006-2007 period with the context of today's CIR debate. The report also provides an appendix that summarizes the three major CIR bills.
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A Brief History of U.S. Immigration Policy

A Brief History of U.S. Immigration Policy

Date: December 22, 1980
Creator: Vialet, Joyce
Description: U.S. immigration policy has been shaped not only by the perceived needs of this country, but by the needs and aspirations of the immigrants themselves. This report reviews the major streams of immigration to the United States in the context of the country's changing views of immigration.
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Central American Asylum Seekers: Impact of 1996 Immigration Law

Central American Asylum Seekers: Impact of 1996 Immigration Law

Date: November 21, 1997
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report discuses issues related to the significant portion of the Central Americans affected by the IIRIRA revisions still have asylum cases pending and may obtain legal permanent residence by that avenue if they demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution. The Attorney General also has the discretionary authority to grant blanket relief from deportation, but the discretionary forms of relief do not entail legal permanent residence. There is considerable interest in this issue in the 105th Congress, and the Senate passed by a vote of 99 to 1 an amendment to provide relief for certain Central Americans to the D.C. appropriations bill (S.1156).
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Civilian Patrols Along the Border: Legal and Policy Issues

Civilian Patrols Along the Border: Legal and Policy Issues

Date: April 7, 2006
Creator: Vina, Stephen R; Nuñez-Neto, Blas & Weir, Alyssa Bartlett
Description: This report opens with a discussion on the federal authority to enforce immigration law at the border and some U.S. Border Patrol operations that have affected illegal migration patterns along the southwest border. Next, the report provides a history of civilian border patrol groups, with a particular focus on the “Minuteman Project” and other groups operating along the southwest border. It then highlights issues of authority that might arise, and includes, as an appendix, a table that sets forth various state laws that may be useful to civilians performing immigration-related enforcement activities. The report also addresses some of the legal and policy issues, as mentioned above, that have surfaced from civilian involvement in immigration enforcement at the border. The report concludes with summaries of legislation introduced in the 109th Congress that address the use of civilian border patrols.
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