Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse


The Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR)

Description: 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.
Date: April 5, 2004
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Remittances: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: 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.
Date: May 9, 2016
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Supreme Court's 4-4 Split on Immigration

Description: 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.
Date: June 24, 2016
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Court Declines to Bar the Resettlement of Syrian Refugees in Texas

Description: 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.
Date: February 26, 2016
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Immigration Enforcement Between Ports of Entry

Description: 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.
Date: April 19, 2016
Creator: Argueta, Carla N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Effects on U.S. Farm Workers of an Agricultural Guest Worker Program

Description: 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.
Date: December 12, 2006
Creator: Levine, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Immigration Policy: Chart Book of Key Trends

Description: 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.
Date: March 14, 2016
Creator: Kandel, William A. & Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa

Description: 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.
Date: April 22, 2016
Creator: Argueta, Carla N. & Siskin, Alison
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Description: 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.
Date: February 18, 2016
Creator: Argueta, Carla N. & Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unauthorized Aliens, Higher Education, In-State Tuition, and Financial Aid: Legal Analysis

Description: 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.
Date: January 11, 2016
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Family-Based Immigration Policy

Description: 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.
Date: February 17, 2016
Creator: Kandel, William A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unaccompanied Alien Children--Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Description: 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.
Date: January 27, 2016
Creator: Manuel, Kate M. & Garcia, Michael J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs

Description: 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.
Date: February 26, 2016
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Temporary Professional, Managerial, and Skilled Foreign Workers: Policy and Trends

Description: 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.
Date: January 13, 2016
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Numerical Limits on Employment-Based Immigration: Analysis of the Per-Country Ceilings

Description: 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.
Date: October 11, 2011
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues

Description: 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.
Date: January 30, 2008
Creator: Siskin, Alison
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Foreign Students in the United States: Policies and Legislation

Description: 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.
Date: April 28, 2008
Creator: Haddal, Chad C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Enforcement: Legal Issues

Description: 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.
Date: January 17, 2013
Creator: Manuel, Kate M. & Garvey, Todd
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Immigration Fundamentals

Description: 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.
Date: July 2, 1998
Creator: Vialet, Joyce
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

State and Local Restrictions on Employing, Renting Property to, or Providing Services for Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Issues and Recent Judicial Developments

Description: 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.
Date: January 28, 2008
Creator: Garcia, Michael John; Feder, Jody & Smith, Alison M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department