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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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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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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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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Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol

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

Date: August 13, 2010
Creator: Haddal, Chad C.
Description: 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).
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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: December 14, 2010
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: 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. It is organized into four main parts: an overview of existing eligibility law for the four programs and the policies that preceded the 1996 act; an overview of related immigrant policies affecting eligibility (specifically, the treatment of sponsored aliens); an analysis of trends in noncitizen poverty and benefit use; and a summary of the eligibility rules for aliens residing in the United States illegally.
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State and Local Restrictions on Employing, Renting Property to, or Providing Services for Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Issues and Recent Judicial Developments

State and Local Restrictions on Employing, Renting Property to, or Providing Services for Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Issues and Recent Judicial Developments

Date: December 20, 2010
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.; Feder, Jody & Smith, Alison M.
Description: This report discusses the constitutional issues raised by state and local laws intended to deter the presence of unauthorized aliens by limiting their access to housing, employment, and public benefits, as well as the implications that federal civil rights statutes might have for the implementation and enforcement of these laws. It also discusses recent federal court cases addressing the constitutionality of such measures.
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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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U.S. Refugee Resettlement Assistance

U.S. Refugee Resettlement Assistance

Date: January 4, 2011
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: In recent years, the United States has admitted an increasingly diverse group of refugees and other humanitarian cases with a diverse set of needs. There seems to be broad consensus that the U.S. refugee resettlement assistance system is not adequately meeting the needs of these new arrivals and is ripe for reform. The National Security Council is leading an interagency review of refugee resettlement, the forthcoming results of which may further energize reform efforts. To help inform possible future efforts to reform the refugee resettlement assistance system, this report discusses existing resettlement assistance programs, key challenges and issues in providing effective assistance, and policy options to reform the current system.
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Unauthorized Aliens Residing in the United States: Estimates Since 1986

Unauthorized Aliens Residing in the United States: Estimates Since 1986

Date: January 23, 2014
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report presents data estimating since 1986 the number of unauthorized aliens who have been living in the United States. There have been a variety of estimates of the unauthorized resident alien population over this period, sometimes with substantially different results. This report is limited to analyses of the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics and of the American Community Survey (ACS) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau so that there are basic standards of comparison over time.
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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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