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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues
This report is a brief overview of current policies regarding temporatry 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/metadc94175/
Unauthorized Aliens' Access to Federal Benefits: Policy and Issues
This report focuses on the policy and legislative debate surrounding unauthorized aliens' access to federal benefits. Federal law bars aliens residing without authorization in the United States from most federal benefits; however, there is a widely held perception that many unauthorized aliens obtain such benefits. The degree to which unauthorized resident aliens should be accorded certain rights and privileges as a result of their residence in the United States, along with the duties owed by such aliens given their presence, remains the subject of debate in Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94147/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
Visa Security Policy: Roles of the Departments of State and Homeland Security
This report discusses the visa security and visa policy questions debated in 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/metadc97982/
Asylum and “Credible Fear” Issues in U.S. Immigration Policy
This report defines asylum seekers, and looks at the background of asylum seekers in the U.S. since the 1980s. It discusses current issues, including inconsistent approval rates for asylum seekers across different regions and jurisdictions. It ends with a discussion of the crux of the issue, and ways in directions that current law/new legislation could move to mitigate this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96690/
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/
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/
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/
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/metadc98073/
Asylum and “Credible Fear” Issues in U.S. Immigration Policy
This report defines asylum seekers and looks at the background of asylum seekers in the U.S. since the 1980s. It discusses current issues, including inconsistent approval rates for asylum seekers across different regions and jurisdictions. It ends with a discussion of whether or not the policy (created during the Cold War) has adapted to the 21st century, and ways in directions that current law/new legislation could move to mitigate this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99056/
Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Issues
This report looks at controversies surrounding the diversity immigrant visa lottery, which encourages legal immigration from countries other than the major sending countries of current immigrants to the U.S. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99051/
Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and “DREAM Act” Legislation
This report discusses the "DREAM Act", a measure to enable certain unauthorized alien students to legalize their status, as well as related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99101/
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/
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/metadc99099/
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/
U.S. Immigration Policy on Temporary Admissions
This report begins with a discussion of the policy tensions surrounding temporary admissions. It follows 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 also describes the circumstances under which nonimmigrants may work in the United States. The second portion of the report analyzes trends in temporary migration. It describes changes over time in nonimmigrant visas issued and nonimmigrant admissions. Various data on nonimmigrants who establish residence in the United States are also discussed. The report concludes with two detailed tables analyzing key admissions requirements across all nonimmigrant visa types. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99079/
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/metadc103232/
Immigration Legislation and 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/metadc103068/
Visa Waiver Program
Report that 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/metadc227989/
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/
Visa Security Policy: Roles of the Departments of State and Homeland Security
This report discusses the visa security and visa policy questions debated in 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/metadc97981/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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: 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/
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/
Visa Security Policy: Roles of the Departments of State and Homeland Security
This report discusses the visa security and visa policy questions debated in 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/metadc97984/
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/
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/