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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Foreign Medical Graduates: A Brief Overview of the J-1 Visa Waiver Program

Foreign Medical Graduates: A Brief Overview of the J-1 Visa Waiver Program

Date: June 5, 2008
Creator: Ester, Karma
Description: The Educational and Cultural Exchange Visitor program has become a gateway for foreign medical graduates (FMGs) to gain admission to the United States as nonimmigrants for the purpose of graduate medical education and training. These FMGs either enter under the J-1 nonimmigrant visa or receive waivers that require them to work in a designated healthcare professional shortage area for a minimum of three years. The ability of states to request such waivers is known as the "Conrad State Program," and was added temporarily to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) in 1994. It has been extended by the last several Congresses. Legislation has been introduced in the 110th Congress to address the program's expiration.
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Protecting the U.S. Perimeter: "Border Searches" Under the Fourth Amendment

Protecting the U.S. Perimeter: "Border Searches" Under the Fourth Amendment

Date: June 27, 2008
Creator: Kim, Yule
Description: This report addresses the scope of the government's authority to search and seize individuals at the border pursuant to the constitutional framework that encompasses the border search exception to the warrant and probable cause requirements of the Fourth Amendment. This report also describes the varying levels of suspicion generally associated with each type of border search as interpreted by the courts. In addition, this report highlights some of the border security recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission and legislative actions taken in the 108th, 109th, and 110th Congresses.
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Immigration: Terrorist Grounds for Exclusion and Removal of Aliens

Immigration: Terrorist Grounds for Exclusion and Removal of Aliens

Date: July 2, 2008
Creator: Garcia, Michael John & Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: 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 key legislation enacted in recent years. The section on current law explains the legal definitions of "terrorist activity," "engage in terrorist activity," and "terrorist organization," and describes the terror-related grounds for inadmissibility and removal. The report then discusses the alien screening process to determine admissibility and to identify possible terrorists, both during the visa issuance process abroad and the inspections process at U.S. ports of entry.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force

Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force

Date: July 23, 2008
Creator: Matthews, Christine M.
Description: The increased presence of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs and in the scientific workforce has been and continues to be of concern to some in the scientific community. Enrollment of U.S. citizens in graduate science and engineering programs has not kept pace with that of foreign students in those programs. Many in the scientific community maintain that in order to compete with countries that are rapidly expanding their scientific and technological capabilities, the country needs to bring to the United States those whose skills will benefit society and will enable us to compete in the new-technology based global economy. This report analyzes this issue in detail and includes discussion of related legislation.
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Instability in Chad

Instability in Chad

Date: August 6, 2008
Creator: Ploch, Lauren
Description: This report discusses the currently volatile political and security situation in Chad. Some issues Chad is currently facing include ethnic clashes, banditry, and fighting between government forces and rebel groups; a large number of displaced persons who have fled Chad to the neighboring nation of Cameroon; an increasing number of refugee influx from the nearby troubled regions of the Central African Republic (CAR) and Sudan's Darfur; and inadequate security forces.
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Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Date: September 18, 2008
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen & Ester, Karma
Description: When civil unrest, violence, or natural disasters erupt in spots around the world, concerns arise over the safety of nationals from these troubled places who are in the United States. This report discusses provisions that exist in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to offer temporary protected status (TPS) or relief from removal under specified circumstances. The United States currently provides TPS to nationals from seven countries: Burundi, El Salvador, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Somalia, and Sudan. Under the INA, the executive branch grants TPS. Congress, however, has also granted TPS legislatively, and legislation pertaining to TPS has received action in the 110th Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Visa Waiver Program

Visa Waiver Program

Date: September 23, 2008
Creator: Siskin, Alison
Description: This report discusses the visa waiver program (VWP), which allows for a bypass of the first step by which foreign visitors are screened for admissibility to enter the United States. Some policymakers are concerned that this waiver allows terrorists to more easily enter the country. The report provides waiver-related statistics and related legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Date: September 30, 2008
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen & Ester, Karma
Description: When civil unrest, violence, or natural disasters erupt in spots around the world, concerns arise over the safety of nationals from these troubled places who are in the United States. Provisions exist in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to offer temporary protected status (TPS) or relief from removal under specified circumstances. The United States currently provides TPS to nationals from seven countries: Burundi, El Salvador, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Somalia, and Sudan. Under the INA, the executive branch grants TPS. Congress, however, has also granted TPS legislatively, and legislation pertaining to TPS has received action in the 110th Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Unauthorized Alien Students, Higher Education, and In-State Tuition Rates: A Legal Analysis

Unauthorized Alien Students, Higher Education, and In-State Tuition Rates: A Legal Analysis

Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Feder, Jody
Description: Currently, federal law prohibits states from granting unauthorized aliens certain postsecondary educational benefits on the basis of state residence, unless equal benefits are made available to all U.S. citizens. This prohibition is commonly understood to apply to the granting of "in-state" residency status for tuition purposes. In the 110th Congress, several bills that would amend this federal law have been introduced. Meanwhile, some states have passed laws aimed at making unauthorized state residents eligible for in-state tuition without violating this provision. 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 immigrants.
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Female Genital Mutilation as Persecution: When Can It Constitute a Basis for Asylum and Withholding of Removal?

Female Genital Mutilation as Persecution: When Can It Constitute a Basis for Asylum and Withholding of Removal?

Date: October 10, 2008
Creator: Kim, Yule
Description: This report explores the basic statutory and regulatory framework that governs asylum law. This entails an outline of the requirements an applicant must meet in order to obtain relief under asylum law and a discussion about the differences between the two main forms of relief for aliens facing removal from the United States: asylum and withholding of removal. It will then examine several important issues and controversies concerning female genital mutilation (FGM) and its effect on asylum law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congress and U.S. Policy on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees: Recent Legislation and Implementation

Congress and U.S. Policy on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees: Recent Legislation and Implementation

Date: October 22, 2008
Creator: Chanlett-Avery, Emma
Description: The passage of the reauthorization of the North Korean Human Rights Act in October 2008 reasserted congressional interest in influencing the Bush Administration's policy toward North Korea. In addition to reauthorizing funding at original levels, the bill expresses congressional criticism of the implementation of the original 2004 law and adjusts some of the provisions relating to the Special Envoy on Human Rights in North Korea and the U.S. resettlement of North Korean refugees. Some outside analysts have pointed to the challenges of highlighting North Korea's human rights violations in the midst of the ongoing nuclear negotiations, as well as the difficulty in effectively reaching North Korean refugees as outlined in the law. Further, the law may complicate coordination on North Korea with China and South Korea.
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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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Date: December 2, 2008
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: Over the past few years, the media have been filled with reports about worksite enforcement operations, commonly referred to as immigration raids. These operations represent the public face of efforts by the Department of Homeland Security to curtail the employment of unauthorized immigrants. According to 2006 estimates, there are some 7.8 million unauthorized workers in the U.S. civilian workforce. Enforcement activity by the Department of Labor (DOL) is also relevant to a discussion of federal efforts to curtail unauthorized employment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 110th Congress

Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 110th Congress

Date: December 10, 2008
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: This report discusses immigration-related issues that have seen legislative action or are of significant congressional interest.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Base Closures: Socioeconomic Impacts

Military Base Closures: Socioeconomic Impacts

Date: January 13, 2009
Creator: Cowan, Tadlock & Gonzales, Oscar R.
Description: This report provides background on military base closures and an analysis of community economic impacts, planning for economic redevelopment, and environmental cleanup following closures. The most recent Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission rejected 13 of the initial Department of Defense recommendations, significantly modified the recommendations for 13 other installations, and approved 22 major closures.
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U.S. Immigration Policy on Temporary Admissions

U.S. Immigration Policy on Temporary Admissions

Date: January 15, 2009
Creator: Haddal, Chad C. & Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report begins with a synthesis of the nonimmigrant categories according to the purpose of the visa. It discusses the periods of admission and length of stay and then summarizes grounds for inadmissibility and removal as well as reasons for termination of status. It describes the circumstances under which nonimmigrants may work in the United States and follows with an analysis of nonimmigrant admissions. The report concludes with a discussion of issues, followed by two detailed tables analyzing key admissions requirements across all nonimmigrant visa types.
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The U.N. Convention Against Torture: Overview of U.S. Implementation Policy Concerning the Removal of Aliens

The U.N. Convention Against Torture: Overview of U.S. Implementation Policy Concerning the Removal of Aliens

Date: January 21, 2009
Creator: Garcia, Michael J.
Description: This report discusses the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), which requires signatory parties to take measures to end torture within their territorial jurisdictions.
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The Federal Protective Service and Contract Security Guards: A Statutory History and Current Status

The Federal Protective Service and Contract Security Guards: A Statutory History and Current Status

Date: January 23, 2009
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Description: This report discusses the history of the Federal Protective Service, which is responsible for protecting federal government property, personnel, visitors, and customers, including property leased by the General Services Administration (GSA). FPS currently employs over 15,000 contract security guards to protect federal property.
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Immigration-Related Document Fraud: Overview of Civil, Criminal, and Immigration Consequences

Immigration-Related Document Fraud: Overview of Civil, Criminal, and Immigration Consequences

Date: January 23, 2009
Creator: Kim, Yule & Garcia, Michael J.
Description: This report discusses the primary civil, criminal, and immigration-related penalties associated with immigration-related document fraud. In order to enter or remain in the United States and be eligible for various immigration-related benefits, non-citizens (aliens) must comply with a number of document requirements under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
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Immigration: The Effects on Low-Skilled and High-Skilled Native-Born Workers

Immigration: The Effects on Low-Skilled and High-Skilled Native-Born Workers

Date: January 29, 2009
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: The report opens with a discussion of how to analyze the impact of immigrants on the pay and job opportunities of native-born workers. It then uses this framework to examine and interpret the empirical literature on the subject. The report concludes with a discussion of policy implications.
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Visa Waiver Program

Visa Waiver Program

Date: January 30, 2009
Creator: Siskin, Alison
Description: This report discusses the visa waiver program (VWP), which allows for a bypass of the first step by which foreign visitors are screened for admissibility to enter the United States. Some policymakers are concerned that this waiver allows terrorists to more easily enter the country. The report provides waiver-related statistics and related legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Foreign Investor Visas: Policies and Issues

Foreign Investor Visas: Policies and Issues

Date: February 24, 2009
Creator: Haddal, Chad C.
Description: This report provides a brief legislative background, discussions of immigrant and nonimmigrant investor's visas, a comparison of U.S. and Canadian immigrant investor programs, an analysis of the relationship between investment and migration, and finally a review of current issues.
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Expedited Citizenship Through Military Service: Current Law, Policy, and Issues

Expedited Citizenship Through Military Service: Current Law, Policy, and Issues

Date: February 25, 2009
Creator: Lee, Margaret Mikyung & Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report gives an overview of the history of naturalization based on military service, discusses current law and policy, analyzes data on noncitizens in the military today and prior to the enactment of P.L. 108- 136, and discusses current legislative proposals and related issues.
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U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions

U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions

Date: February 29, 2009
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department