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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and “DREAM Act” Legislation
This report looks at the background and history of recent "DREAM Act"s, which address the status of unauthorized alien students. It pays special attention to the June 15, 2012 announcement that come individuals who were brought into the U.S. as children and meet other requirements would be eligible for deferred action for two years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94097/
Unauthorized Aliens Residing in the United States: Estimates Since 1986
This report discusses a rise in the unauthorized resident ("illegal") alien population from 1986 to 2010. It looks at reasons that illegal aliens stay resort to breaking the law and how illegal aliens affect the workforce in certain industries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94099/
Visa Waiver Program
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93979/
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses in brief the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93810/
Authority of State and Local Police to Enforce Federal Immigration Law
This report discusses the authority of state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law through the investigation and arrest of persons believed to have violated such laws. It describes current provisions in federal law that permit state and local police to enforce immigration law directly, analyzes major cases concerning the ability of states and localities to assist in immigration enforcement, and briefly examines opinions on the issue by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) within the Department of Justice. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93845/
Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 112th Congress
This report discusses immigration-related issues that have received legislative action or are of significant congressional interest in the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87191/
Birthright Citizenship Under the 14th Amendment of Persons Born in the United States to Alien Parents
Background of 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/metadc87300/
Mexican Migration to the United States: Policy and Trends
History and geography have given Mexico a unique status in the U.S. immigration system, and have made the Mexico-U.S. migration flow the largest in the world. Mexicans are the largest group of U.S. migrants across most types of immigration statuses—a fact that may have important implications for how Congress makes U.S. immigration policy. This report reviews the history of immigration policy and migration flows between the countries and the demographics of Mexicans within the United States. It also analyzes contemporary issues in U.S. immigration policy and the impact Mexico may have on U.S. immigration outcomes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87242/
Overview of Immigration Issues in the 112th Congress
This report synthesizes immigration issues as a multi-tiered debate. It breaks down the U.S. immigration law and policy into key elements: border control and visa security; legal immigration; documentation and verification; interior immigration enforcement; integration, status, and benefits; and refugees and other humanitarian populations. This report also delineates the debate in the 112th Congress for a range of issues, including border security, criminal aliens, and worksite enforcement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87171/
Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and "DREAM Act" Legislation
The 109th and 110th Congresses considered, but did not enact, comprehensive immigration reform legislation that included large-scale legalization programs for unauthorized aliens. In the aftermath of these unsuccessful efforts, some interested parties have urged the President and Congress to pursue more limited legislation to address the status of unauthorized alien students. Such legislation is commonly referred to as the "DREAM Act." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86657/
Refugee Admissions and Resettlement Policy
Typically, the annual number of refugees that can be admitted into the United States, known as the refugee ceiling, and the allocation of these numbers by region are set by the President after consultation with Congress at the start of each fiscal year. For FY2012, the worldwide refugee ceiling is 76,000, with 73,000 admissions numbers allocated among the regions of the world and 3,000 numbers comprising an unallocated reserve. Overseas processing of refugees is conducted through a system of three priorities for admission. Priority 1 comprises cases involving persons facing compelling security concerns. Priority 2 comprises cases involving persons from specific groups of special humanitarian concern to the United States (e.g., Iranian religious minorities). Priority 3 comprises family reunification cases involving close relatives of persons admitted as refugees or granted asylum. Special legislative provisions facilitate relief for certain refugee groups. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86642/
Immigration of Temporary Lower-Skilled Workers: Current Policy and Related Issues
U.S. employers in various industries argue that they need to hire foreign workers to perform lower-skilled jobs, while others maintain that many of these positions could be filled by U.S. workers. While the discussion of current guest worker programs in this report focuses on the H-2A and H- 2B visas, it also covers the Summer Work Travel (SWT) program, the largest of several programs under the J-1 visa for participants in work- and study-based exchange visitor programs. The SWT program is particularly relevant because participants work largely in unskilled jobs, including H-2B-like seasonal jobs at resorts and amusement parks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86614/
Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures
The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is responsible for immigration-related worksite enforcement, or enforcement of the prohibitions on unauthorized employment in Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA §274A provisions, sometimes referred to as employer sanctions, make it unlawful for an employer to knowingly hire, recruit or refer for a fee, or continue to employ an alien who is not authorized to be so employed. This report looks at enforcement measures of this act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85373/
Immigration of Foreign Nationals with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degrees
Congress is renewing its interest in facilitating the immigration of foreign professional workers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields. The STEM workforce is seen by many as a catalyst of U.S. global economic competitiveness and is likewise considered a key element of the legislative options aimed at stimulating economic growth. "STEM visa" is a shorthand for an expedited immigration avenue that enables foreign nationals with graduate degrees in STEM fields to adjust their immigration status to legal permanent residence (LPR) without waiting in the queue of numerically-limited LPR visas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85430/
Immigration Provisions of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
This report discusses the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA, P.L. 103-322) that congress passed in 1994. This legislation created new programs within the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services that aimed to both reduce domestic violence and improve response to and recovery from domestic violence incidents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85403/
Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues
When civil unrest, violence, or natural disasters erupt in spots around the world, concerns arise over the safety of foreign nationals residing in the United States who are from these troubled places. Provisions exist in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to offer temporary protected status (TPS) or relief from removal under specified circumstances. A foreign national who is granted TPS receives a registration document and an employment authorization for the duration of TPS. The United States currently provides TPS or deferred enforced departure (DED) to over 300,000 foreign nationals from a total of eight countries: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, and most recently Southern Sudan and Syria. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85481/
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses, in brief, the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83915/
Numerical Limits on Employment-Based Immigration: Analysis of the Per-Country Ceilings
The report opens with brief explanations of the employment-based preference categories and the per-country ceilings governing annual admissions of LPRs. The focus is on the major employment-based preference categories. The report continues with a statistical analysis of the pending caseload of approved employment-based LPR petitions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83988/
State Efforts to Deter Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Analysis of Arizona's S.B. 1070
This report discusses S.B. 1070 and some of the notable preemption issues raised by some of its provisions. Where relevant, it examines the district court's ruling that the federal government is likely to succeed on the merits of its arguments that certain sections of S.B. 1070 are preempted by federal law. It also discusses other preemption issues potentially raised by S.B. 1070 or similar legislation, including some issues that were not expressly addressed by the district court in its preliminary ruling. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83946/
Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures
In the spring of 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued new guidance on immigration-related worksite enforcement. According to 2010 estimates, there are some 8.0 million unauthorized workers in the U.S. civilian labor force. Enforcement activity by the Department of Labor (DOL) is also relevant to a discussion of federal efforts to curtail unauthorized employment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83891/
Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures
In the spring of 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued new guidance on immigration-related worksite enforcement. According to 2008 estimates, there are some 8.3 million unauthorized workers in the U.S. civilian labor force. Enforcement activity by the Department of Labor (DOL) is also relevant to a discussion of federal efforts to curtail unauthorized employment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83890/
Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83889/
Interior Immigration Enforcement: Programs Targeting Criminal Aliens
This report begins by defining and quantifying the criminal alien population, to the extent possible. The following sections describe current and historical programs designed in whole or in part to target this population, including CAP, Secure Communities, the § 287(g) program, and NFOP. After describing how these programs function and key differences among them, the report reviews their recent appropriations history and enforcement statistics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83991/
Border Security: Immigration Enforcement Between Ports of Entry
This report concludes by raising additional questions about future investments at the border, how to weigh such investments against other enforcement strategies, and the relationship between border enforcement and the broader debate about U.S. immigration policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84015/
Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues
As Congress considers addressing some of the problems in the nation's immigration system, the detention of noncitizens in the United States may be an issue as Congress may choose to reevaluate detention priorities (i.e., who should be detained) and resources. There are many policy issues surrounding detention of aliens. The Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) increased the number of aliens subject to mandatory detention, and raised concerns about the justness of mandatory detention, especially as it is applied to asylum seekers arriving without proper documentation. Additionally, as DHS increases its ability to identify aliens who are subject to removal from local jails in more remote locations, the nationwide allocation of detention space may become an issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84040/
U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions
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/metadc84039/
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses in brief the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40066/
Visa Security Policy: Roles of the Departments of State and Homeland Security
This report discusses the visa security and visa policy questions, debated in the 112th Congress.. The policy questions center on whether immigration law needs to be strengthened, whether funding should be increased, and which agency should take the lead. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40089/
U.S. Immigration Policy on Haitian Migrants
The environmental, social, and political conditions in Haiti have long prompted congressional interest in U.S. policy on Haitian migrants, particularly those attempting to reach the United States by boat. While some observers assert that such arrivals by Haitians are a breach in border security, others maintain that these Haitians are asylum seekers following a decades old practice of Haitians coming by boat without legal immigration documents. Migrant interdiction and mandatory detention are key components of U.S. policy toward Haitian migrants, but human rights advocates express concern that Haitians are not afforded the same treatment as other asylum seekers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40250/
Overview of Immigration Issues in the 112th Congress
This report synthesizes immigration issues as a multi-tiered debate. It breaks down the U.S. immigration law and policy into key elements: border control and visa security; legal immigration; documentation and verification; interior immigration enforcement; integration, status, and benefits; and refugees and other humanitarian populations. This report also delineates the debate in the 112th Congress for a range of issues, including border security, criminal aliens, and worksite enforcement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33030/
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses in brief the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31325/
Authority of State and Local Police to Enforce Federal Immigration Law
This report discusses the authority of state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law through the investigation and arrest of persons believed to have violated such laws. It describes current provisions in federal law that permit state and local police to enforce immigration law directly, analyzes major cases concerning the ability of states and localities to assist in immigration enforcement, and briefly examines opinions on the issue by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) within the Department of Justice. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31375/
Sudan: The Crisis in Darfur and Status of the North-South Peace Agreement
Sudan, geographically the largest country in Africa, has been ravaged by civil war intermittently for four decades, resulting in catastrophic civilian casualties and displacements. 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/metadc31413/
Securing America's Borders: The Role of the Intelligence Community
Maintaining the security of U.S. borders is a fundamental responsibility of the federal government. This report discusses the contribution of intelligence agencies to the border security efforts of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies that work in cooperation with state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Much of the intelligence community's border security-related efforts are classified, however. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31392/
Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and "DREAM Act" Legislation
Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform have urged the President and Congress to pursue reform legislation. While legislative action on comprehensive reform does not appear likely during the remainder of the 111th Congress, there may be an effort to enact a measure, commonly referred to as the "DREAM Act," to enable certain unauthorized alien students to legalize their status. This report discusses the DREAM act and related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31423/
Sudan: The Crisis in Darfur and Status of the North-South Peace Agreement
Sudan, geographically the largest country in Africa, has been ravaged by civil war intermittently for four decades, resulting in catastrophic civilian casualties and displacements. 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/metadc29677/
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force
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. In addition to the number of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs, a significant number of university faculty in the scientific disciplines are foreign, and foreign doctorates are employed in large numbers by industry. This report explains this issue in detail, as well as probable causes of said incongruity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29516/
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force
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. In addition to the number of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs, a significant number of university faculty in the scientific disciplines are foreign, and foreign doctorates are employed in large numbers by industry. This report explains this issue in detail, as well as probable causes of said incongruity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29515/
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force
he 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. The scientific community has been divided over proposals to impose stricter immigration limits on people with scientific and technical skills. Attempts to settle upon the balance between the needs for a highly skilled scientific and technical workforce, and the need to protect and ensure job opportunities, salaries, and working conditions of U.S. scientific personnel, will continue to be debated. This report addresses these issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29517/
Immigration: The Effects on Low-Skilled and High-Skilled Native-Born Workers
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29492/
Immigration: The Effects on Low-Skilled and High-Skilled Native-Born Workers
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29491/
Immigration: The Effects on Low-Skilled and High-Skilled Native-Born Workers
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29490/
Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and "DREAM Act" Legislation
Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform have urged the President and Congress to pursue reform legislation. While legislative action on comprehensive reform does not appear likely during the remainder of the 111th Congress, there may be an effort to enact a measure, commonly referred to as the "DREAM Act," to enable certain unauthorized alien students to legalize their status. Multiple bills have been introduced in recent Congresses to address the unauthorized student population. This report discusses the DREAM Act, the topic of unauthorized alien students in general, and other related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29691/
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. It delineates the issues for the 111th Congress on permanent residence, temporary admissions, border security, worksite enforcement, employment eligibility verification, document fraud, criminal aliens, and the grounds for inadmissibility. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29566/
State Efforts to Deter Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Analysis of Arizona's S.B. 1070
On April 23, 2010, Arizona enacted S.B. 1070, which is designed to discourage and deter the entry or presence of aliens who lack lawful status under federal immigration law. This report discusses this piece of legislation and some of the notable preemption issues raised by its provisions. Where relevant, it examines the district court's ruling that the federal government is likely to succeed on the merits of its arguments that certain sections of S.B. 1070 are preempted by federal law. It also discusses other preemption issues potentially raised by S.B. 1070 or similar legislation, including some issues that were not expressly addressed by the district court in its preliminary ruling. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29589/
Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and "DREAM Act" Legislation
Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform have urged the President and Congress to pursue reform legislation. While legislative action on comprehensive reform does not appear likely during the remainder of the 111th Congress, there may be an effort to enact a measure, commonly referred to as the "DREAM Act," to enable certain unauthorized alien students to legalize their status. This report discusses the DREAM act and related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29690/
Unauthorized Alien Students, Higher Education, and In-State Tuition Rates: A Legal Analysis
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29746/
Visa Waiver Program
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29652/
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses in brief the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26129/
Instability in Chad
The political and security situation in Chad remains volatile. Ethnic clashes, banditry, and fighting between government forces and rebel groups, both Chadian and Sudanese, have contributed to a fragile security situation in the east. The instability has forced many into exile from their homes due to ongoing violence. The presence of the displaced in refugee camps contributes to the escalated tension in the area. This report discusses these issues, as well as joint efforts between the United Nations and the European Union to deploy aid and improve regional security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26340/