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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
Executive Discretion as to Immigration: Legal Overview
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490953/
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/
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/
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/
Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues
"This report surveys the various authorities governing immigration detainers, including the standard detainer form (Form I-247) sent by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to other law enforcement agencies. The report also discusses key legal issues raised by immigration detainers, including whether Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) detainer regulations and practices are beyond its statutory authority; whether states and localities are required to comply with immigration detainers; who has custody of aliens subject to detainers; and whether detainer practices violate aliens' constitutional rights. In considering these topics, it is important to note that Form I-247 and DHS's detainer practices have changed several times since 2010, and that decisions on the merits have not yet been issued in many cases challenging the use of detainers in conjunction with the Secure Communities program" (p. 6). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462021/
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Frequently Asked Questions
This report discusses the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) June 15, 2012 announcement that certain individuals who were brought to the United States as children and meet other criteria would be considered for relief from removal for two years, subject to renewal, under an initiative known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462591/
Noncitizen Eligibility for Federal Public Assistance: Policy Overview and Trends
This report discusses the extent to which residents of the United States who are not U.S. citizens should be eligible for federally-funded public aid. This issue meets at the intersection of two major policy areas: immigration policy and welfare policy. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462100/
Unaccompanied Alien Children: Demographics in Brief
This report discusses children coming to the United States who are not accompanied by parents or legal guardians and who lack proper immigration documents has raised complex and competing sets of humanitarian concerns and immigration control issues. This report focuses on the demographics of unaccompanied alien children while they are in removal proceedings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462514/
Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Programs and Unaccompanied Alien Children
This report addresses possible sources of federal support for schools and local educational agencies that have enrolled unaccompanied alien children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462607/
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. The number of foreign-born people residing in the United States (40.7 million) is at the highest level in our history and, as a portion of the U.S. population, has reached a percentage (13%) not seen since the early 20th century.1 Of the foreign-born residents in the United States, approximately one-third are speculated to be unauthorized residents (often characterized as illegal aliens). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461998/
Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs
This report analyzes the special immigrant visa (SIV) classifications for Iraqis and Afghans within the context of both the larger Immigration and Nationality Act (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 issuance, and considers challenges facing the programs today. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462255/
Asylum and Gang Violence: Legal Overview
This report discusses the basis for asylum in International and U.S. Law. The recent increase in the number of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) apprehended at the border between Mexico and the United States has raised questions about the role that gang-related violence in Central America may play in determining whether such children are eligible for refugee status and asylum. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462856/
Special Immigrant Juveniles: In Brief
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462914/
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, specifically examining the health-related grounds for exclusion. It provides this information in the context of recent outbreaks of communicable diseases abroad such as Ebola in West Africa, avian influenza in China, polio in the middle east, and dengue fever in the Caribbean. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462189/
Asylum Policies for Unaccompanied Children Compared with Expedited Removal Policies for Unauthorized Adults: In Brief
This report focuses on unaccompanied alien children as asylum seekers. To bring clarity to the unique policies toward unaccompanied children, this report compares their treatment to that of unauthorized adults and families with children in the specific contexts of asylum and expedited removal. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463463/
Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview
This report opens with an analysis of the data of the recent surge in UAC crossing the border. It then discusses current policy on the treatment, care, and custody of the population. The processing and treatment of UAC is detailed, with a discussion of each agency that is involved with the population. The report then discusses both Administrative and Congressional action to deal with the current crisis. As this issue is still emerging, the report concludes with a series of questions related to UAC that remain unanswered. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462766/
Unaccompanied Alien Children--Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses the questions regarding the number of children arriving at the United States southern border, their reasons for coming to the United States, and current and potential responses of the federal government and other entities to their arrival digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462400/
Unaccompanied Alien Children: Potential Factors Contributing to Recent Immigration
This report begins by describing the recent surge in unaccompanied child apprehensions. It discusses several factors widely associated with out-migration from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The report then discusses three broad factors that may be attracting migrants to the United States: economic and educational opportunity, family reunification, and U.S. immigration policies. It concludes with caveats on the attribution of causes to this situation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332868/
Unaccompanied Alien Children--Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses the questions regarding the numbers of unaccompanied alien children involved, their reasons for coming to the United States, and current and potential responses of the federal government and other entities to their arrival. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332955/
Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview
This report discusses the immigration problem regarding the number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) arriving in the United States borders. The report discusses the scope of the problem, current policy challenges, and the processing and treatment of the UAC apprehended. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332897/
Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview
This report discusses the immigration problem regarding the number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) arriving in the United States borders. The report discusses the scope of the problem, current policy challenges, and the processing and treatment of the UAC apprehended. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332874/
Immigration: Visa Security Policies
The report includes an overview of visa issuance policy and explains the key provisions that guide the documentary requirements and approval/disapproval process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc333005/
Treatment of Noncitizens Under the Affordable Care Act
This report provides information regarding the treatment of noncitizens under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) including definitions of "lawfully present," the health insurance mandate, exchanges, and ACA changes to Medicaid. It also discusses the verification of alien status under the ACA and related legislation in the 113th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306485/
Unauthorized Aliens in the United States: Policy Discussion
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/metadc287965/
Unauthorized Aliens in the United States: Policy Discussion
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/metadc306525/
Apprehensions of Unauthorized Migrants along the Southwest Border: Fact Sheet
This report discusses the number of illegal alien apprehensions between southern ports of entry (POE) in the United States, which has generally declined. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306466/
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. It describes this issue 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 related issues on a legislative front. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287943/
Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues
This report provides background information regarding the Immigration and Naturalization Service rules and regulations and discusses the "immigration detainer," a document by which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) advises other law enforcement agencies that it seeks custody of individual aliens whom these agencies are detaining. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287975/
State and Local "Sanctuary" Policies Limiting Participation in Immigration Enforcement
This report discusses legal issues related to state and local measures that limit law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities. It includes legal background and select limitations on immigration enforcement including traditional "sanctuary" policies, declining to honor immigration detainers, shielding juveniles from federal detection, and modifying criminal sentences to avoid immigration consequences. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306522/
Unlawfully Present Aliens, Driver's Licenses, and Other State-Issued ID: Select Legal Issues
This report provides an overview of key legal issues raised by state laws regarding the denial or issuance of driver's licenses and other forms of ID to unlawfully present aliens, as well as by state and local approaches to recognizing foreign-issued ID documents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284509/
Visa Waiver Program
This report discusses the visa waiver program (VWP), which allows foreign visitors to bypass the first, screening step 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/metadc332972/
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/metadc282320/
Unauthorized Aliens Residing in the United States: Estimates Since 1986
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462232/
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/metadc276859/
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/metadc462683/
U.S. Naturalization Policy
This report reviews the rights and obligations that come with naturalization. It examines the naturalization process, discusses recent trends regarding who, among the roughly 1 million immigrants entering the United States each year, ultimately becomes a U.S. citizen, and discusses recent naturalization-related policy issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462718/
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/metadc276899/
Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification
This report discusses the employment verification program that started out as a pilot program in November 1997 and it is currently authorized until September 30, 2015, in accordance with P.L. 112-176. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462624/
Issues in Homeland Security Policy for the 113th Congress
This report outlines an array of homeland security issues that may come before the 113th Congress. After a brief discussion of the overall homeland security budget, the report divides the specific issues into five broad categories: counterterrorism and security management, border security and trade, immigration, disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, and departmental management. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227853/
An Overview of Judicial Review of Immigration Matters
This report will summarize judicial review for immigration matters, including visa denials and revocations; removal orders and detention; naturalization delays, denials, and revocations; expatriation; and legalization denials. Administrative adjudications such as removal proceedings or determination of immigration benefits such as naturalization are beyond the scope of this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227929/
Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures
This report discusses the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) responsibilities in regard to immigration-related worksite enforcement, or enforcement of the prohibitions on unauthorized employment in Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA ยง274A 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/metadc227631/
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