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U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond

Description: This report begins with a brief discussion of security challenges in Mexico and Mexico's security strategy. It then provides information on congressional funding and oversight of the Mérida Initiative, with details about each of the program's four pillars. The report concludes by raising policy issues that Congress may wish to consider.
Date: January 15, 2016
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare & Finklea, Kristin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proposed Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues

Description: This report examines three labor issues and arguments related to the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (CFTA, H.R. 5724): violence against trade unionists; impunity (accountability for or punishment of the perpetrators); and worker rights protections for Colombians.
Date: January 15, 2009
Creator: Bolle, Mary Jane
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Missing Adults: Background, Federal Programs, and Issues for Congress

Description: The first section of this report discusses demographics and record keeping of missing adults and unidentified remains, and some of the factors that may contribute to the disappearance of adults. This section also discusses federally funded databases that are used to track data on missing adults and unidentified individuals. The second section of the report describes the federal programs and initiatives to assist in locating missing adults, including funding data for FY2002 through FY2008, where applicable.
Date: October 15, 2008
Creator: Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sexual Violence at Institutions of Higher Education

Description: This report provides background information on sexual violence on campus and its prevalence, descriptions of the Clery Act and Title IX, and an analysis of prominent policy and legal issues related to these two statutes. It also includes a brief description of a related third statute focused on educational privacy.
Date: April 15, 2016
Creator: Gonzalez, Heather B. & Feder, Jody
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress

Description: This report discusses the ongoing debate over the efficacy and constitutionality of federal regulation of firearms and ammunition. The report provides background information and analysis over the pros and cons of the debate and gun related statistics.
Date: May 15, 2006
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Violence Against Women Act: History, Federal Funding, and Reauthorizing Legislation

Description: This report discusses the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2000 which reauthorized most of the original act’s programs and created new grant programs to prevent sexual assaults on campuses, assist victims of violence with civil legal concerns, create transitional housing for victims of domestic abuse (administered by HHS), and enhance protections for elderly and disabled victims of domestic violence. VAWA 2000, also, created a pilot program for safe custody exchange for families of domestic violence.
Date: July 15, 2004
Creator: Laney, Garrine P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean

Description: This report describes the nature and scope of the problem of trafficking in persons in Latin America and the Caribbean. The report then describes U.S. efforts to deal with trafficking in persons in the region, as well as discusses the successes and failures of some recent country and regional anti-trafficking efforts. The report concludes by raising several issues for policy consideration that may be helpful as the 109th Congress continues to address human trafficking as part of its authorization, appropriations, and oversight activities.
Date: December 15, 2005
Creator: Ribando, Clare
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Organized Crime in the United States: Trends and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the threat of organized crime against the United States, most notably organized crime from criminal organizations in Russia, Asia, Italy, the Balkans, the Middle East, and Africa. The report explores the issue of organized crime in relation to the economic downturn and national security, namely terrorism. The report also discusses how Congress is currently working to address these issues and includes information on relevant pieces of legislation.
Date: May 15, 2009
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Krouse, William J.

Description: Congress continues to debate the efficacy and constitutionality of federal regulation of firearms and ammunition. It is a contentious debate, with strong advocates for and against the further federal regulation of firearms. Gun control advocates argue that federal regulation of firearms curbs access by criminals, juveniles, and other "high-risk" individuals. Gun control opponents deny that federal policies keep firearms out of the hands of high-risk persons; rather, they argue, control often create burdens for law-abiding citizens and infringe upon constitutional rights provided by the Second Amendment. This report explores this issue in greater detail, including related legislation.
Date: September 15, 2006
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lawsuits Against State Supporters of Terrorism: An Overview

Description: 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. This report, which will be updated, provides an overview of these issues and relevant legislation (H.R. 5167).
Date: July 15, 2008
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Cleanup and Environmental Programs: Authorization and Appropriations for FY2003

Description: The Department of Defense operates six environmental programs: cleanup of past contamination at military facilities, acceleration of cleanup at military bases designated for closure, compliance with environmental laws and regulations that apply to ongoing military operations, pollution prevention, natural resource conservation, and environmental technology. In addition to these activities, the Department of Energy is responsible for managing defense nuclear waste and remediating contaminated sites. This report discusses the federal laws that established these programs, describes their scope and purpose, provides a history of appropriations, indicates the President’s budget request for FY2001, examines authorization and appropriations legislation for FY2001, and discusses other relevant legislation considered in the 106th Congress.
Date: July 15, 2002
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Child Pornography: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes

Description: The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996, P.L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009- 26, added a definition of “child pornography” that include visual depictions of what appears to be a minor engaging in explicit sexual conduct, even if no actual minor was used in producing the depiction. On April 16, 2002, in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, the Supreme Court held this provision unconstitutional to the extent that it prohibited pictures that were not produced with actual minors. (This case is discussed under “Section 2256,” below.) In response to Ashcroft, bills were introduced in the House and Senate that would continue to ban some child pornography that was produced without an actual minor; on June 25, 2002, the House passed one such bill: H.R. 4623, 107th Congress.
Date: October 15, 2003
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Detention of American Citizens as Enemy Combatants

Description: This report provides background information regarding the cases of two U.S. citizens deemed “enemy combatants,” Yaser Esam Hamdi, who has been returned to Saudi Arabia, and Jose Padilla, who remains in military custody. The report addresses the constitutional and statutory sources that arguably provide authority for the detention of enemy combatants, as well as those that may prevent the exercise of that power with respect to U.S. citizens. The report concludes that historically, even during declared wars, additional statutory authority has been seen as necessary to validate the detention of citizens not members of any armed forces, casting in some doubt the argument that the power to detain is necessarily implied by an authorization to use force. Finally, the report briefly analyzes the Detention of Enemy Combatants Act, H.R. 1029, which would authorize the President to detain U.S. citizens and residents who are determined to be “enemy combatants” in certain circumstances.
Date: March 15, 2004
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Homeland Security: Protecting Airliners from Terrorist Missiles

Description: Recent events have focused attention on the threat that terrorists with shoulder fired surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), referred to as Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS), pose to commercial airliners. This report discusses SAMs and examines options for mitigating missile threats.
Date: February 15, 2005
Creator: Bolkcom, Christopher; Feickert, Andrew & Elias, Bartholomew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DOJ Brings Forfeiture Action to Seize and Return $1 Billion Embezzled Malaysian Government Assets

Description: This report discuses the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) civil forfeiture action against $1 billion worth of assets bought with money embezzled from the government of Malaysia by high-level officials in Malaysia from 2009 to 2015.
Date: August 15, 2016
Creator: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department