Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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The Obama Administration's Announced Immigration Initiative: A Primer
This report discusses the immigration initiative announced by Obama administration that could enable a substantial portion of the unlawfully-present alien population to obtain temporary relief from removal and work authorization.
Immigration: S Visas for Criminal and Terrorist Informants
This report discusses the legislation making permanent a provision that allows aliens with critical information on criminal or terrorist organizations to come into the United States to provide information to law enforcement officials.
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.
Policy Challenges in International Migration
This report serves as a broad overview of the standard theory of international migration and offers a brief synopsis of the major immigration-related policy challenges relative to the legislative debates in Congress.
Immigration Issues and Legislation in the 98th Congress
This report discusses Immigration reform, which continues to be of concern in the '96th Congress, and legislation has been moving quickly. Specific issues include illegal immigration, temporary workers, legalization, asylum adjudications, and legal immigration. The legislation under consideration is the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1983, popularly referred to as the Simpson-Mazzoli bill, introduced in the House and Senate on Feb, 17, 1983 as H.R. 1510 and S. 529.
Immigration Policy on Expedited Removal of Aliens
This report discusses immigration policy and expedited removal, an immigration enforcement strategy originally conceived to operate at the borders and ports of entry, recently has been expanded in certain border regions.
Immigration Policy on Expedited Removal of Aliens
This report discusses immigration policy and expedited removal, an immigration enforcement strategy originally conceived to operate at the borders and ports of entry, recently has been expanded in certain border regions.
Immigration Policy on Expedited Removal of Aliens
This report discusses immigration policy and expedited removal, an immigration enforcement strategy originally conceived to operate at the borders and ports of entry, recently has been expanded in certain border regions.
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.
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. The final section analyzes selected issues in the 110th Congress, notably new technologies, impact on travel and commerce, and security concerns.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Legal Ethics in Immigration Matters: Legal Representation and Unauthorized Practice of Law
Report regarding recent issues in which the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and various state attorneys general have taken action to address the problems posed by unethical conduct by immigration attorneys and by persons posing as immigration attorneys, such as so-called "notarios" and other immigration consultants.
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.
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.
The Immigration and Nationality Act: Questions and Answers
The basic United States law governing immigration and naturalization is contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1101 -- et seq.). This report provides questions and answers to explain the way in which the Immigration and Nationality Act as amended through 1981 regulates the entry of aliens for permanent and temporary residence in the United States, and other major provisions of the law. Emphasis is placed on subjects which have been of particular interest to the Congress in recent years. This supersedes CRS Report No. 81-65 EPW.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions
This report discusses the four major principles underlie current U.S. policy on permanent immigration: the reunification of families, the admission of immigrants with needed skills, the protection of refugees, and the diversity of admissions by country of origin. Against competing priorities for increased immigration are those who offer options to scale back immigration levels, with options ranging from limiting family-based legal permanent residents to the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to confining employment-based legal permanent residents exceptional, extraordinary, or outstanding individuals.
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).
Noncitizen Eligibility for Federal Public Assistance: Policy Overview and Trends
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. It is organized into four main parts: an overview of existing eligibility law for the four programs and the policies that preceded the 1996 act; an overview of related immigrant policies affecting eligibility (specifically, the treatment of sponsored aliens); an analysis of trends in noncitizen poverty and benefit use; and a summary of the eligibility rules for aliens residing in the United States illegally.
U.S. Immigration Policy on Temporary Admissions
This report begins 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 describes the circumstances under which nonimmigrants may work in the United States and follows with an analysis of nonimmigrant admissions. The report concludes with a discussion of issues, followed by two detailed tables analyzing key admissions requirements across all nonimmigrant visa types.
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.
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
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, takes stock of the current state of border security, and considers lessons that may be learned about enhanced enforcement at U.S. borders. The report begins by reviewing the history of border control and the development of a national border control strategy beginning in the 1990s. The following sections summarize appropriations and resources dedicated to border enforcement, indicators of enforcement outcomes, metrics for estimating unauthorized migration flows, and possible secondary and unintended consequences of border enforcement. The report concludes by reviewing the overall costs and benefits of the current approach to migration control and raising additional questions that may help guide the discussion of these issues in the future.,5/
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.
Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification
This report discusses some of the most difficult immigration policy questions regarding unauthorized immigration and unauthorized employment.
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 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.
U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions
This report discusses the four major principles underlie current U.S. policy on permanent immigration: the reunification of families, the admission of immigrants with needed skills, the protection of refugees, and the diversity of admissions by country of origin.
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.
Immigration: Policy Considerations Related to Guest Worker Programs
This report discusses guest worker programs. The United States has two main programs for temporarily importing low-skilled workers, or guest workers. Agricultural guest workers enter through the H-2A visa program, and other guest workers enter through the H-2B visa program.
Qualifications for President and the "Natural Born" Citizenship Eligibility Requirement
This report discusses the history of the qualifications clause in the Federal Convention of 1787, the Common Law meaning of the term "Natural Born" citizen or subject, and common understanding in 18th Century of the term "Natural Born" citizen.
The Federal Migrant Education Program as Amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
This report describes the legislative and funding history of the program -- highlighting important changes made since it was established. A section on evaluations of the program is included at the end of the report.
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.
Immigration: Policy Considerations Related to Guest Worker Programs
This report discusses guest worker programs. The United States has two main programs for temporarily importing low-skilled workers, or guest workers. Agricultural guest workers enter through the H-2A visa program, and other guest workers enter through the H-2B visa program.