This report summarizes the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and jurisdiction in cases against foreign defendants and analyzes the recent court of appeals decision. This report examines the legal bases for those dismissals.
Forfeiture has survived through time in American law, and since 1984, the use of forfeiture statutes to divest felons of their spoils has increased substantially. This report reviews the case law which raises the issue concerning many relative to whether some civil forfeiture proceedings constitute punishment which may violate the Eighth Amendment's excessive fines clause.
This report discusses proposed legislation that would amend federal substantive law in three areas: commercial sex trafficking (18 U.S.C. 1591); the Mann Act, which outlaws transportation and travel for unlawful sexual purposes; and federal tax crimes.
This report provides an overview of the hate crime debate, with background on current law and hate crime statistics, and a legislative history of hate crime prevention bills in recent Congresses. This report does not analyze the constitutional or other legal issues that often arise as part of the hate crime debate.
This report covers only select aspects of the broader topic of missing and exploited children. It begins with an overview of the scope of the missing and exploited children issue, including definitions and approximate numbers of children known to be missing or exploited. The report also provides information about the Missing and Exploited Children's (MEC) program's funding, oversight, and major components. Finally, the report discusses issues that may be relevant to the MEC program.
This legal sidebar briefly discusses the U.S. victims of the 1979-1981 Iran Hostage Crisis, who will become eligible to receive up to $4.4 million each in compensation, thanks to the Justice for United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Act.
This report provides an overview of the Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) procedures, summarizes court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions, and summarizes the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2006, analyzing its effects on detainee-related litigation in federal court. The report summarizes pending legislation and provides an analysis of relevant constitutional issues that may have some bearing on Congress's options with respect to the Guantanamo detainees.
Overall, homicide and violent crime rates have been trending downward for more than two decades, and both rates are at historic lows. An analysis comparing 2014 and 2015 homicide data from the nation's 60 most populous cities suggests that violent crime is not increasing. This report discusses several short-term factors that might help explain some of the reported upticks in violent crime across the country.
This report describes the nature and scope of the problem of human trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean, including U.S. efforts to deal with trafficking in persons in the region, as well as the successes and failures of some recent country and regional antitrafficking efforts. The report concludes by raising issues that may be helpful for the 113th Congress to consider as it continues to address human trafficking as part of its authorization, appropriations, and oversight activities.
This report provides an overview of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) procedures. It summarizes relevant court cases and the effect of the Detainee Treatment Act, as well as pending legislation. The report also provides an analysis of relevant constitutional issues that may have some bearing on Congress's options with respect to detainees held at Guantanamo and elsewhere.
This report discusses the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e). The law requires a minimum 15-year term of imprisonment for recidivists convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm under 18 U.S.C. 922(g), who have three prior state or federal convictions for violent felonies or serious drug offenses.
The Navy for several years has carried out a variety of activities related to what the Administration refers to as the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). The Navy states that as of February 2008, more than 11,300 Navy sailors (including Individual Augmentees) were ashore supporting ground forces in the U.S. Central Command region (including Iraq and Afghanistan). The Navy's role in the GWOT raises several potential oversight issues for Congress.
This report discusses issues regarding a provision against forced labor in the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1307), which prohibited from import into the United States "all goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country by convict labor or/and forced labor or/and indentured labor under penal sanctions" (Section 307 of the Act).
This report provides a brief overview of the proposed amendment to Rule 41. First, it provides a background on the origin of, and rationale underlying, the proposed amendment and a description of the rule as currently written. Second, it reviews the potential changes made by the proposed amendment and will survey various concerns commenters have raised with the proposal. Lastly, this report addresses efforts being made in Congress to alter, delay, or stop this rule change.
This report includes legal analyses of three ATF-investigated, Southwest border gun trafficking cases to illustrate the federal statutes that are typically violated as part of wider gun trafficking schemes. The report also examines anti-gun trafficking proposals introduced in the 110th Congress.
Over the past decade, worldwide production of illicit drugs has risen dramatically: opium and marijuana production has roughly doubled and coca production tripled. Street prices of cocaine and heroin have fallen significantly in the past 20 years, reflecting increased availability. Despite apparent national political resolve to deal with the drug problem, inherent contradictions regularly appear between U.S. anti-drug policy and other national policy goals and concerns. The mix of competing domestic and international pressures and priorities has produced an ongoing series of disputes within and between the legislative and executive branches concerning U.S. international drug policy. One contentious issue has been the Congressionally-mandated certification process, an instrument designed to induce specified drug-exporting countries to prioritize or pay more attention to the fight against narcotics businesses.
The Department of Defense (DOD) administers five environmental programs in response to various requirements under federal environmental laws. These programs include environmental cleanup, environmental compliance, pollution prevention, environmental technology, and conservation. Additionally, the Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for managing defense nuclear waste and cleaning up contaminated nuclear weapons sites. The Administration requested a total of $11.17 billion for these programs in FY2003, about $390 million more than the FY2002 funding level of $10.78 billion. Some of the ongoing issues associated with these programs are the adequacy, cost, and pace of cleanup, whether DOD and DOE adequately comply with environmental laws and regulations, and the extent to which environmental requirements encroach upon military readiness.
This report presents various governmental and non-governmental estimates of Iraqi police and security forces fatalities. The Department of Defense (DOD) regularly updates total U.S. military deaths and wounded statistics from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), as reflected in CRS Report RS21578, Iraq: U.S. Casualties, and has released the monthly pattern of Iraqi security forces deaths. For information on Iraqi civilian deaths, see CRS Report RS22537, Iraqi Civilian Deaths Estimates. Because these estimates are based on varying time periods and have been created using differing methodologies, readers should exercise caution when using them and should look on them as guideposts rather than as statements of fact.
A 1996 amendment to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) enables American victims of international terrorist acts supported by certain States designated by the State Department as supporters of terrorism -- Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and previously Iraq and Libya -- to bring suit in U.S. courts to seek monetary damages. Despite congressional efforts to make blocked (of "frozen) assets of such States available for attachment by judgment creditors in such cases, plaintiffs encountered difficulties in enforcing the awards. This report provides an overview of these issues and relevant legislation.
The Federal Protective Service (FPS) -- within U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) -- 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. DHS intends, according to its FY2009 budget justification, to continue the use of contract security guards to focus FPS activities on maintaining security policy and standards, conducting building security assessments, and monitoring federal agency compliance with security standards.
This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The report addresses all Supreme Court decisions concerning enemy combatants. It also discusses notable circuit court opinions addressing issues of ongoing relevance.
This report provides background information and policy analysis pertinent to proposals to restructure first responder assistance programs. Specifically, this report provides information on existing programs, appropriations, legislation in the 108th Congress, and selected policy issues. This report does not discuss all relevant policy issues, but, rather, those issues that may be germane to any significant restructuring of existing programs.
This report first outlines the statutes authorizing certain federal officers to conduct warrantless searches. It then addresses the scope of the government's constitutional authority to search and seize persons and property at the border. It also describes the varying levels of suspicion generally required for each type of border search as interpreted by the courts. Finally, this report lists several bills before the 111th Congress that address border searches. This report does not address interior searches and seizures performed by immigration personnel since they are not traditional "border searches."
This report provides a framework for examining the current status and future prospects for U.S.- Mexican security cooperation. It begins with a brief discussion of the threat that drug trafficking and related crime and violence pose to both nations, followed by an analysis of the evolution of the Mérida Initiative. The report then provides an overview of the Peña Nieto government's security strategy and how it is affecting the Mérida Initiative. The report then examines key aspects of the current U.S.-Mexican security strategy and concludes by raising policy issues that may affect bilateral efforts.
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