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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Nonimmigrant Overstays: Brief Synthesis of the Issue
This report discusses a fundamental problem of immigration control in which foreign nationals enter legally on a temporary basis and continue to stay after their visas expire. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505592/
Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues
This report discusses issues for Congress in regards to the potential reform of the nation's immigration system. The detention of noncitizens in the United States will likely be an issue. Under the law, there is broad authority to detain aliens while awaiting a determination of whether the noncitizen should be removed from the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505430/
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/
Sudan: The Crisis in Darfur and Status of the North-South Peace Agreement
This report discusses the history of Sudan's civil unrest and the subsequent crisis in Darfur, as well as United Nations and United States aid and peacekeeping efforts, and current related policy under the Obama Administration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505516/
Immigration Reform Issues in the 111th Congress
This report synthesizes the multi-tiered debate over immigration reform into key elements: legal; immigration; legalization; immigration control; refugees, asylees, and humanitarian migrants; and, alien rights, benefits and responsibilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505586/
Immigration: Terrorist Grounds for Exclusion and Removal of Aliens
This report focuses on the terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and deportation/removal. It opens with an overview of the terror-related grounds as they evolved through recent years. The section on current law explains several legal definitions, and describes the terror-related grounds for inadmissibility and removal. The report then discusses the screening process to determine admissibility and to identify possible terrorists. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505618/
Immigration Visa Issuances and Grounds for Exclusion: Policy and Trends
This report's review of the legislative developments in visa policy over the past 20 years and analysis of the statistical trends in visa issuances and denials provide a nuanced study of U.S. visa policy and the grounds for exclusion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503520/
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/
Border Security: Key Agencies and Their Missions
This report briefly describes the role of various agencies in securing the borders of the United States. These agencies are 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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503551/
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/
Border Security: Key Agencies and Their Missions
This report briefly describes the role of various agencies in securing the borders of the United States. These agencies are 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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503308/
U.S. Immigration Policy on Haitian Migrants
This report discusses whether the balance should tip more toward humanitarian immigration policies as a consequence of the humanitarian crises that resulted from the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503472/
U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions
This report discusses the four major principles underlie current U.S. policy on permanent immigration: the reunification of families, the admission of immigrants with needed skills, the protection of refugees, and the diversity of admissions by country of origin. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503299/
Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the existing statutory authority and the regulation implementing this authority. It describes several policy issues raised in previous debates regarding chemical facility security. The report identifies policy options that might resolve components of these issues. Finally, legislation introduced in the 111th Congress is discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503292/
U.S. Immigration Policy on Haitian Migrants
This report discusses whether the balance should tip more toward humanitarian immigration policies as a consequence of the humanitarian crises that resulted from the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503297/
Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol
This report discusses the United States Border Patrol's history as our nation's first line of defense against unauthorized migration. Today, the USBP's primary mission is to detect and prevent the entry of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, and illegal aliens into the country, and to interdict drug smugglers and other criminals along the border. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503562/
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/
U.S. Immigration Policy on Haitian Migrants
This report discusses whether the balance should tip more toward humanitarian immigration policies as a consequence of the humanitarian crises that resulted from the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503389/
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/
Immigration: Policy Considerations Related to Guest Worker Programs
This report discusses guest worker programs. The United States has two main programs for temporarily importing low-skilled workers, or guest workers. Agricultural guest workers enter through the H-2A visa program, and other guest workers enter through the H-2B visa program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503716/
Qualifications for President and the "Natural Born" Citizenship Eligibility Requirement
This report discusses the history of the qualifications clause in the Federal Convention of 1787, the Common Law meaning of the term "Natural Born" citizen or subject, and common understanding in 18th Century of the term "Natural Born" citizen. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503429/
Unauthorized Aliens in the United States
This report discusses the unauthorized immigrant (illegal alien) population in the United States, which is a key and controversial immigration issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501810/
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/
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/
People Crossing Borders: An Analysis of U.S. Border Protection Policies
This report provides an overview of the current border protection framework and its operationally oriented strategic elements and measures their effectiveness. The report draws on documents from Congress and the Administration, as well as other publications, to pull together an overarching picture of protection at the border. This overview includes a historical background and a definition of what "border protection" means in a contemporary context. Building on this definition, the report provides two theoretical models for border protection approaches based on unilateral and cooperative approaches, followed by an extended analysis of the major elements within the current border protection framework. This analysis also includes discussions of how and why, certain strategic elements notwithstanding, many of the current border-related security policies focus on the physical border rather than conceptualizing the border in broader terms. Lastly, this report offers some policy options--both short-term and long-term--for addressing the effectiveness of current border protection policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501669/
Sudan: The Crisis in Darfur and Status of the North-South Peace Agreement
This report discusses the history of Sudan's civil unrest and the subsequent crisis in Darfur, as well as United Nations and United States aid and peacekeeping efforts, and current related policy under the Obama Administration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501638/
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/
Immigration of Foreign Workers: Labor Market Tests and Protections
This report examines the current state of employment-based immigration, and discusses its perceived effects on the labor market. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501890/
Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 111th Congress
The 111th Congress has considered various immigration issues and has enacted a number of targeted immigration provisions. It has passed legislation to extend the life of several immigration programs--the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system, the Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program, the Conrad State J-1 Waiver Program, and the special immigrant visa for religious workers--all of which are currently authorized until September 30, 2012. Among the other subjects of legislation enacted by this Congress are refugees and border security. This report discusses these and other immigration-related issues that have seen legislative action or are of significant congressional interest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501863/
State Efforts to Deter Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Analysis of Arizona's S.B. 1070
This report discusses the major provisions of S.B.1070, as modified by H.B. 2162, and the legal and constitutional considerations possibly implicated by their implementation. The report focuses primarily on those provisions that require state enforcement of federal immigration law and impose criminal penalties for immigration-related conduct, and discusses preemption issues that might be raised by these measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501829/
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/
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/
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/
Immigration Policies and Issues on Health-Related Grounds for Exclusion
This report discusses the criteria that foreign nationals must meet before admission to the United States, including the reasons why a foreign national might be denied admission, most particularly on health-related grounds. This report discusses such issues in relation to the recent outbreak of the 2009 H1N1 ("swine flu") virus, and how the outbreak has affected various government agencies, such as the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This report also discusses efforts to confront and address such issues on a legislative front. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491270/
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/
The U.S. Foreign-Born Population: Trends and Selected Characteristics
This report offers context for consideration of immigration policy options by presenting data on key geographic, demographic, social, and economic characteristics of the foreign-born population residing in the United States. Interest in the U.S. foreign-born population stems in part from the changing demographic profile of the United States as well as the rapidity of such change, and how both of these trends correspond to U.S. immigration policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491245/
Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491191/
Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and "DREAM Act" Legislation
In recent years, multiple bills have been introduced in Congress to provide relief to unauthorized alien students. In most cases, these bills have proposed to repeal the 1996 provision and enable certain unauthorized alien students to adjust to legal permanent resident (LPR) status in the United States. These bills have often been entitled the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or the DREAM Act. This report discusses the background and debate surrounding "Dream Act" legislation in the 110th and 111th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491063/
Homeland Security: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Border Surveillance
Congress has expressed a great deal of interest in using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to surveil the United States' international land border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) utilizes advanced technology to augment its USBP agents' ability to patrol the border, including a fleet of six UAVs. This report examines the strengths and limitations of deploying UAVs along the borders and related issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490874/
U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions
This report discusses the four major principles underlie current U.S. policy on permanent immigration: the reunification of families, the admission of immigrants with needed skills, the protection of refugees, and the diversity of admissions by country of origin. Against competing priorities for increased immigration are those who offer options to scale back immigration levels, with options ranging from limiting family-based legal permanent residents to the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to confining employment-based legal permanent residents exceptional, extraordinary, or outstanding individuals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491425/
Unauthorized Alien Students, Higher Education, and In-State Tuition Rates: A Legal Analysis
This report provides a legal overview of cases involving immigrant access to higher education, as well as an analysis of the legality of state laws that make in-state tuition rates available to illegal aliens. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491102/
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/
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' Immigration Fees and Adjudication Costs: Proposed Adjustments and Historical Context
This report discusses the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service's (USCIS) newly proposed fee schedule for immigration services. Issues for Congress to consider might include how USCIS fees have been computed and justified; whether anticipated revenue from revised fees will cover agency costs; how fiscal shortfalls might be funded; and what impact higher fees might have on the applicant pool. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491582/
Immigration of Foreign Workers: Labor Market Tests and Protections
This report examines the current state of employment-based immigration, and discusses its perceived effects on the labor market. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491531/
Birthright Citizenship Under the 14th Amendment of Persons Born in the United States to Alien Parents
This report provides background information on birthright citizenship to alien parents in the U.S. The report ends with a detail of amendments in the 112th Congress that would amend the Constitution to exclude from citizenship at birth persons born in the United States whose parents are unlawfully present in the United States or are non-immigrant aliens. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491556/
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/
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/
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/
Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol
This report discusses the United States Border Patrol's history as our nation's first line of defense against unauthorized migration. Today, the USBP's primary mission is to detect and prevent the entry of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, and illegal aliens into the country, and to interdict drug smugglers and other criminals along the border. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 dissolved the Immigration and Naturalization Service and placed the USBP within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490952/