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Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant
This report analyzes the special immigrant visas (SIVs) classifications for Iraqis and Afghans within the context of both the larger 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.
Sanctuary Jurisdictions: Congressional Action and President Trump's Interior Enforcement Executive Order
This report discusses President Trump's executive order (EO) "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States" issued on January 25, 2017, which seeks, among other things, to penalize "sanctuary jurisdictions." The term refers to states and localities that limit their cooperation with federal agencies on immigration law enforcement.
The DACA and DAPA Deferred Action Initiatives: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides answers to frequently asked questions about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) initiatives.
U.S. Policy on Cuban Migrants: In Brief
This report discusses the U.S. policy on Cuban migration that has been shaped by a 1966 law known as the Cuban Adjustment Act, as amended, and U.S.-Cuban migration agreements signed in the mid-1990s, operating in conjunction with the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Noncitizen Eligibility for Federal Public Assistance: Policy Overview
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.
Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 114th Congress
This report discusses border security, interior enforcement, visa security, asylum, and other immigration-related issues that have received legislative action or are of significant congressional interest in the 114th Congress.
State Challenges to Federal Enforcement of Immigration Law: From the Mid-1990s to the Present
This report provides an overview of challenges by states to federal officials' alleged failure to enforce provisions of immigration law. It begins by discussing (1) the lawsuits filed by six states in the mid-1990s; (2) Arizona's counterclaims to the federal government's suit to enjoin enforcement of S.B. 1070; and (3) Mississippi's challenge to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. It then describes the challenge brought by over 25 states or state officials in December 2014 to the Obama Administration's proposal to expand DACA and create a similar program for unauthorized aliens whose children are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent resident aliens (LPRs) (commonly known as DAPA).
What Does the Supreme Court's 4-4 Split in Texas Mean for Future Executive Action as to Immigration?
This legal sidebar discusses the Supreme Court's recent 4-4 split in Texas v. United States and how it might affect the Executive's ability to "go it alone" on immigration in the future. The nominee or presumptive nominee for President of both major political parties has expressed a willingness to take certain actions as to immigration on his or her own, without waiting for Congress to enact further legislation (although the specific actions they would take vary, depending upon their policies on immigration and other issues).
Interior Immigration Enforcement: Criminal Alien Programs
This report describes four programs operated by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify and remove criminal and other removable aliens.
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.
Numerical Limits on Permanent 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 lawful permanent residents (LPRs). It continues with a statistical analysis of the pending caseload of approved employment-based LPR petitions and concludes with a set of legislative options to revise per-country ceilings that are meant to serve as springboards for further discussions.
A Resurgence of Unaccompanied Alien Children?
This report briefly examines the recently-high number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC). In the first seven months of FY2016, apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border have approached levels close to what they were in FY2014 when such migration flows reached what were characterized as "crisis" proportions.
Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview
This report opens with an analysis of recent unaccompanied alien children (UAC) apprehension data. It then discusses current policy on the treatment, care, and custody of the population, with a description of the responsibilities of each federal agency involved with the population. The report then discusses both administrative and congressional actions to deal with the UAC surge in FY2014 and ongoing action to address possible future surges.
The Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR)
This report introduces the adverse effect wage rate (AEWR) and the concerns out of which it grew, from the perspective of labor policy (not of immigration policy). American agricultural employers have long utilized foreign workers on a temporary basis, regarding them as an important manpower resource. Often employed at low wages and under adverse conditions, such alien workers, some argue, may compete unfairly with U.S. workers. To mitigate any "adverse effect" for the domestic workforce, a system of wage floors was developed that applies, variously, both to alien and citizen workers.
Remittances: Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on remittances, transfers of money and capital, sent by migrants and foreign immigrant communities from the United States to their home country. At over $432 billion in 2015, remittances sent home by international migrants to developing countries is larger than official development assistance (ODA) and more stable than private capital flows to these countries.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Supreme Court's 4-4 Split on Immigration
This report addresses commonly asked questions regarding the Supreme Court's evenly-divided June 23, 2016 decision about immigration. Consistent with recent practice, the decision affirms without any opinion or indication of the Justices' voting alignment an earlier decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit barring the Obama Administration from implementing two initiatives that would potentially have granted relief from removal to millions of aliens who entered or remained in the United States in violation of federal immigration law and lack legal immigration status.
Federal Court Declines to Bar the Resettlement of Syrian Refugees in Texas
This legal sidebar discusses a federal district court's decision to deny the State of Texas's request that the federal government and a private refugee relief organization be temporarily barred from resettling Syrian refugees within the state pending resolution of Texas's challenge to such resettlement.
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.
The Effects on U.S. Farm Workers of an Agricultural Guest Worker Program
This report discusses the debate concerning an agricultural guest worker program and the impact such a program might have on U.S. workers. Guest worker programs are meant to assure employers (e.g., fruit, vegetable, and horticultural specialty growers) of an adequate supply of labor when and where it is needed, while not adding permanent residents to the U.S. population. They include mechanisms -- such as the H-2A program's labor certification process -- intended to avoid adversely affecting the wages and working conditions of similarly-employed U.S. workers.
U.S. Immigration Policy: Chart Book of Key Trends
This report is a chart book of selected immigration trends. Key immigration issues that Congress has considered in recent years include increased border security and immigration enforcement, expanded employment eligibility verification, reforms to the system for legal temporary and permanent immigration, and options to address the millions of unauthorized aliens residing in the country.
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa
This report includes a discussion of the EB-5 visa's requirements and an overview of the Regional Center Program, information on the EB-5 application (petition) process, admissions, and the economic impacts of the visa, a review of policy issues surrounding the visa and the Regional Center Program, and a summary of current legislation on the EB-5 visa and the Regional Center Program in the 114th Congress.
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.
Unauthorized Aliens, Higher Education, In-State Tuition, and Financial Aid: Legal Analysis
This report surveys key legal issues pertaining to unauthorized alien students' access to higher education, in-state tuition, and financial aid. The existence of a sizable population of "DREAMers" in the United States has prompted questions about these topics. The term DREAMer is widely used to describe aliens who were brought to the United States as children and raised in the U.S., but lack legal immigration status.
U.S. Family-Based Immigration Policy
This report provides an examination of family-based immigration policy. It outlines a brief history of U.S. 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.
Border Security Metrics Between Ports of Entry
This report provides background and information about performance and operational metrics related to U.S. border security as well as issues for Congressional consideration.
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.
President Obama's $1 Billion Foreign Aid Request for Central America
This report discusses the Obama Administration's recent request for over $1 billion in foreign assistance during FY2016 to support a whole-of-government "U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America."
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.
Temporary Professional, Managerial, and Skilled Foreign Workers: Policy and Trends
This report opens with an overview of the policy issues that pertain to foreign workers. It follows with a summary of each of the various visa categories available for temporary professional, managerial, and skilled foreign workers, as well as an analysis of the trends seen with the use of these various visas over the past two decades. This workforce is seen by many as a catalyst of U.S. global economic competitiveness. The challenge central to the policy debate is facilitating the migration of foreign workers without adversely affecting U.S. workers and U.S. students entering the labor market.
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.
Immigration of Foreign Workers: Labor Market Tests and Protections
This report discusses §1611, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which requires companies receiving Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding to comply with the more rigorous labor market rules of H-1B dependent companies if they hire foreign workers on H-1B visas.
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force
This report discusses the increased presence of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs and in the scientific workforce that 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. Many in the scientific community maintain that in order to compete with countries that are rapidly expanding their scientific and technological capabilities, the country needs to bring to the United States those whose skills will benefit society and will enable us to compete in the new-technology based global economy. This report analyzes this issue in detail and includes discussion of related legislation.
Unauthorized Aliens’ Access to Federal Benefits: Policy and Issues
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. Included among the specific policy areas that spark controversy are due process rights, tax liabilities, military service, eligibility for federal assistance, educational opportunities, and pathways to citizenship. This report focuses on the policy and legislative debate surrounding unauthorized aliens’ access to federal benefits.
U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) Program
This report provides a summary of the statutory history of the automated entry and exit data system, which was renamed the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) Program by the Bush Administration. It also discusses other laws that affect the implementation of the system and provides an analysis of the documentary requirements under current law. The report also discusses efforts to implement the program and selected issues associated with its development and implementation.
Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues
This report examines policy issues surrounding detention of aliens, including concerns about the number of aliens subject to mandatory detention and the justness of mandatory detention, especially as it is applied to asylum seekers arriving without proper documentation. Some have raised concerns about the length of time in detention for aliens who have been ordered removed. Additionally, issues have been raised about the amount of detention space available to house DHS detainees. Another area of uncertainty is the Attorney General’s role in the detention of noncitizens, since the creation of DHS.
Foreign Students in the United States: Policies and Legislation
This report examines various issues pertaining to foreign students in the United States. Since the Immigration Act of 1924, the United States has expressly permitted foreign students to study in U.S. institutions. Most foreign students are at least 18 years old and are enrolled in higher education programs. Foreign students are generally considered to enrich cultural diversity of the educational experience for U.S. residents as well as enhance the reputation of U.S. universities as world-class institutions. Concerns have arisen in recent years that have caused Congress to take a new look at the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provisions that govern their admission.
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.
Immigration: Legislative Issues on Nonimmigrant Professional Specialty (H-1B) Workers
This report discusses the latest legislative developments regarding immigration policy for professional workers. It provides analysis for H-1B admissions and legislative issues in the 110th Congress.
Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Enforcement: Legal Issues
This report begins by discussing the sources of federal power to regulate immigration and, particularly, the allocation of power between Congress and the President in this area. It next addresses the constitutional and other foundations for the doctrine of prosecutorial discretion, as well as the potential ways in which prosecutorial discretion may be exercised in the immigration context. It concludes by addressing potential constitutional, statutory, and administrative constraints upon the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
Immigration Fundamentals
This report describes the fundamentals of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which was enacted in 1952 and significantly amended since, most recently by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.
State and Local Restrictions on Employing, Renting Property to, or Providing Services for Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Issues and Recent Judicial Developments
This report discusses the constitutional issues raised in relation to state and local laws intended to deter the presence of unauthorized aliens, along with the implications that federal civil rights statutes might have on the implementation and enforcement of measures restricting such persons' ability to obtain employment, housing, or other state and local benefits or services.
Immigration: Foreign Physicians and the J-1 Visa Waiver Program
This report focuses on those IMGs who are foreign nationals, hereafter referred to as foreign medical graduates (FMGs). Many FMGs first entered the United States to receive graduate medical education and training as cultural exchange visitors through the J-1 cultural exchange program. Other ways for FMGs to enter the United States include other temporary visa programs as well as permanent immigration avenues such as family- or employment-based immigration, the diversity lottery, and humanitarian relief provisions.
Unauthorized Employment in the United States: Issues and Options
As Congress considers immigration reform and ways to address the unauthorized alien population, the issue of unauthorized employment is the focus of much discussion. This report discusses options for addressing unauthorized employment in the United States.
Visa Issuances: Policy, Issues, and Legislation
This report opens with an overview of visa issuances, with sections on procedures for aliens coming to live in the United States permanently and on procedures for aliens admitted for temporary stays. It includes a discussion of visa screening policies, including inadmissibility, databases, an analysis of visa refusals, biometric visas and other major visa policy procedures. The final section analyzes selected issues in the 110th Congress, notably new technologies, impact on travel and commerce, and security concerns.
Visa Issuances: Policy, Issues, and Legislation
This report opens with an overview of visa issuances, with sections on procedures for aliens coming to live in the United States permanently and on procedures for aliens admitted for temporary stays. It includes a discussion of visa screening policies, including inadmissibility, databases, an analysis of visa refusals, biometric visas and other major visa policy procedures. Summaries of key laws revising visa policy enacted in the 107th Congress follows. The final section analyzes selected issues in the 108th Congress, notably the 9/11 Commission recommendations, visa revocation and removal, new technologies, potential impact on business, and other security concerns.
Visa Issuances: Policy, Issues, and Legislation
This report opens with an overview of visa issuances, with sections on procedures for aliens coming to live in the United States permanently and on procedures for aliens admitted for temporary stays. It includes a discussion of visa screening policies, including inadmissibility, databases, an analysis of visa refusals, biometric visas and other major visa policy procedures. Summaries of key laws revising visa policy enacted in the 107th Congress follows. The final section analyzes selected issues in the 108th Congress, notably the 9/11 Commission recommendations, visa revocation and removal, new technologies, potential impact on business, and other security concerns.
Visa Issuances: Policy, Issues, and Legislation
This report opens with an overview of visa issuances, with sections on procedures for aliens coming to live in the United States permanently and on procedures for aliens admitted for temporary stays. It includes a discussion of visa screening policies, including inadmissibility, databases, an analysis of visa refusals, biometric visas and other major visa policy procedures. Summaries of key laws revising visa policy enacted in the 107th Congress follows. The final section analyzes selected issues in the 108th Congress, notably visa revocation and removal, new technologies, potential impact on business, and other security concerns.
U.S. Immigration Policy on Haitian Migrants
This report examines U.S. immigration policy regarding 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 surreptitiously 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 30-year 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 arriving in the United States.
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 nationals from these troubled places who are in the United States. This report discusses provisions that exist in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to offer temporary protected status (TPS) or relief from removal under specified circumstances. The United States currently provides TPS to nationals from seven countries: Burundi, El Salvador, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Somalia, and Sudan. Under the INA, the executive branch grants TPS. Congress, however, has also granted TPS legislatively, and legislation pertaining to TPS has received action in the 110th Congress.
Border Security: Immigration Issues in the 108th Congress
This report provides background information on the main immigration-related border security issues that have been raised as a result of the terrorist attacks and resulting concern for homeland security. It describes enacted legislation in the 107th Congress as well as in previous Congresses that focus on immigration-related border security issues. The report also poses possible immigration-related border security issues the 108th Congress may consider.