Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 109th Congress
Immigration Legislation and Issues
in the 109 Congress
Updated December 7, 2006
Andorra Bruno, Coordinator,
Ruth Ellen Wasem, Alison Siskin, and Blas Nuñez-Neto
Domestic Social Policy Division
Michael John Garcia, Stephen R. Viña, and Margaret Mikyung Lee
American Law Division
Knowledge Services Group
Immigration Legislation and Issues
in the 109th Congress
Security concerns have figured prominently in the development of and debate
on immigration legislation in the 109th Congress. In May 2005, the REAL ID Act
became law as Division B of P.L. 109-13. It contains a number of immigration and
identification document-related provisions intended to improve homeland security.
Among these are provisions: to make changes to the Immigration and Nationality Act
(INA) with respect to asylum and other forms of relief from removal; to expand the
terrorism-related grounds for alien inadmissibility and deportation; and to set
standards for state-issued drivers’ licenses and personal identification cards, if such
documents are to be accepted for federal purposes.
The security-related issue of immigration enforcement remains on Congress’s
agenda. H.R. 4437, as passed by the House, contains provisions on border security,
the role of state and local law enforcement, employment eligibility verification and
worksite enforcement, smuggling, detention, and other enforcement-related issues.
In addition to these provisions, H.R. 4437 contains significant and, in some cases,
highly controversial provisions on unlawful presence, voluntary departure and
removal, expedited removal, and denying U.S. entry to nationals from uncooperative
countries. Despite efforts by some House Members to amend H.R. 4437 to establish
new guest worker programs, the bill does not contain any such provisions.S. 2611,
as passed by the Senate, combines provisions on enforcement and on unlawful
presence, voluntary departure and removal, expedited removal, and denying U.S.
entry to nationals from uncooperative countries with provisions on legal temporary
admissions, including guest workers, and legal permanent admissions. S. 2611 also
would establish legalization programs to enable certain groups of unauthorized aliens
in the United States to obtain legal permanent resident (LPR) status.
The 109th Congress has enacted some border security-related provisions. P.L.
includes border tunnel provisions like those in S. 2611, as well as other enforcement-
related provisions. P.L. 109-367 includes border fencing provisions similar to those
in H.R. 4437. In addition, the House has passed other bills with border security and
enforcement-related provisions (H.R. 4830, H.R. 6094, H.R. 6095, H.R. 6160, H.R.
The 109th Congress also has enacted limited provisions on temporary and
permanent employment-based immigration as part of P.L. 109-13 and P.L. 109-364.
Among the other immigration bills that have received action are measures on alien
victims of domestic violence (P.L. 109-162, P.L. 109-271, and S. 1197), trafficking
in persons (P.L. 109-162, P.L. 109-164, and S. 1197), and refugees (P.L. 109-102 and
This report will not be updated.
In troduction ......................................................1
REAL ID Act.....................................................2
Changes to Laws on Asylum and Other Forms of Relief from Removal...3
Terrorism-Related Grounds for Exclusion and Removal...............3
Expediting the Construction of Barriers at the Border.................4
Improving Border Infrastructure and Technology Integration............4
Requirements Concerning State-Issued Drivers’ Licenses and ID Cards...4
U.S. Military at the Border.......................................7
Role of State and Local Law Enforcement..............................8
Employment Eligibility Verification and Worksite Enforcement.............9
Illegal Presence, Removal, and Exclusion..............................15
Voluntary Departure and Removal...............................16
Documentary Requirements for Western Hemisphere Travelers........17
Consequences for Terrorist and Criminal Activity...................17
Reduction of Appellate Review..................................18
Professional and Managerial Workers.............................21
L Intracompany Visas.....................................22
Recaptured Visa Numbers for Nurses.............................23
Recaptured Employment-Based Visa Numbers......................23
Elimination of Diversity Visas...................................23
S. 1033/H.R. 2330............................................23
Other Legislation and Issues........................................28
Citizenship and Naturalization...................................29
Immigration Issues in Free Trade Agreements......................32
Other Legislation Receiving Action...............................33
State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP)..............33
Unaccompanied Alien Children..............................33
Foreign Medical Graduates.................................34
Special Immigrant Status for Translators.......................34
Nonimmigrant Traders and Investors from Denmark.............34
P.L. 109-13 (H.R. 1268)...................................34
P.L. 109-97 (H.R. 2744)...................................34
P.L. 109-102 (H.R. 3057)..................................34
P.L. 109-149 (H.R. 3010)..................................35
P.L. 109-162 (H.R. 3402)..................................35
P.L. 109-163 (H.R. 1815)..................................35
P.L. 109-164 (H.R. 972)...................................35
P.L. 109-271 (S. 3693).....................................35
P.L. 109-295 (H.R. 5441)..................................35
P.L. 109-364 (H.R. 5122)..................................35
P.L. 109-367 (H.R. 6061)..................................36
H.R. 1285 (Rush).........................................36
H.R. 1817 (Cox)..........................................36
H.R. 2293 (Hostettler).....................................36
H.R. 3647 (Sensenbrenner).................................36
H.R. 3648 (Sensenbrenner).................................36
H.R. 4312 (King, P.)......................................36
H.R. 4437 (Sensenbrenner).................................36
H.R. 4830 (Dreier)........................................36
H.R. 4997 (Moran, Jerry)...................................36
H.R. 5522 (Kolbe)........................................36
H.R. 5647 (Regula).......................................37
H.R. 6094 (Sensenbrenner).................................37
H.R. 6095 (Sensenbrenner).................................37
H.R. 6160 (Rogers, M. [Ala.])...............................37
H.R. 6162 (Rogers, M. [Ala.])...............................37
S. 119 (Feinstein).........................................37
S. 1197 (Biden)..........................................37
S. 2611 (Specter).........................................37
S. 3708 (Specter).........................................37
Immigration Legislation and Issues
in the 109 Congress
Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, policymakers have linked the
issue of immigration, particularly unauthorized immigration, to homeland security.
This linkage was cemented with the passage of the Homeland Security Act of 2002
(P.L. 107-296), which shifted primary responsibility for immigration policy from the
former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to a new Department of
Homeland Security (DHS). As in the past several years, security concerns have
figured prominently in the development of and debate on immigration legislation in
the 109th Congress. In May 2005, the REAL ID Act became law as Division B of the
FY2005 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War
on Terror, and Tsunami Relief (P.L. 109-13). It contains a number of immigration
and identification document-related provisions intended to improve homeland
The security-related issue of immigration enforcement continues to be on the
congressional agenda. Various bills have been introduced that address enforcement-
related issues, including border security; the roles of the U.S. military, civilian
patrols, and state and local law enforcement agencies in immigration enforcement;
smuggling; detention; and the enforcement of prohibitions on employing
unauthorized workers. Among these bills are the Border Protection, Antiterrorism,
and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 (H.R. 4437),1 which was passed by the
House on December 16, 2005, and the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of
2006 (S. 2611), which was passed by the Senate on May 25, 2006. Fencing
provisions similar to those in H.R. 4437 have been enacted in P.L. 109-367. The
FY2007 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (P.L. 109-295)
contains several security-related provisions, including border tunnel provisions like
those in S. 2611. In addition, the House has passed a number of other enforcement-
related measures, among them H.R. 6094, H.R. 6095, H.R. 6160, and H.R. 6162.
In addition to its enforcement provisions, S. 2611 contains provisions on
temporary and permanent immigration, unauthorized aliens in the United States, and
other issues. In March 2006, the Senate Judiciary Committee amended and approved
an S. 2611 predecessor proposal drafted by Committee Chairman Specter, known as
the Chairman’s mark. This bill contained provisions on border enforcement, interior
enforcement, and unlawful employment of aliens, as well as on guest workers, legal
permanent immigration reform, unauthorized aliens in the United States, and other
1 A number of provisions in H.R. 4437 were included in a predecessor bill (H.R. 4312), as
reported by the House Homeland Security Committee.
issues. Prior to the completion of the mark-up, Senator Frist introduced a separate
bill, Securing America’s Borders Act (S. 2454), containing selected titles of the
Chairman’s mark, with some modifications. These titles address border enforcement,
interior enforcement, unlawful employment, permanent legal immigration reform,
and other topics. S. 2454 does not contain provisions on guest workers or on the
future status of unauthorized aliens in the United States. During Senate floor debate
on S. 2454 in late March, Senator Specter proposed a substitute amendment based
on the Judiciary Committee-approved bill (S.Amdt. 3192). On April 6, 2006, the
Senate rejected a motion, by a vote of 39 to 60, to invoke cloture (and thereby initiate
post-cloture procedures to eventually move to a vote) on the Specter substitute. The
following day, the Senate rejected two other cloture motions: It rejected, on a 38 to
60 vote, a motion to invoke cloture on a motion to recommit S. 2454 to the Senate
Judiciary Committee with instructions that it be reported back with the Hagel
amendment (Hagel-Martinez compromise); and it rejected, on a 36 to 62 vote, a
motion to invoke cloture on S. 2454. The Hagel-Martinez compromise, with some
modifications, was subsequently introduced in the Senate as the Comprehensive
Immigration Reform Act of 2006 (S. 2611/S. 2612).2
While major immigration reform proposals remain pending, Congress has
enacted limited provisions on temporary and permanent employment-based
immigration as part of P.L. 109-13 and P.L. 109-364. It also has enacted legislation
concerning alien victims of domestic violence, trafficking in persons, and refugees.
This report discusses these and other immigration-related issues that have seen
legislative action or are of significant congressional interest. DHS appropriations and
immigration legislation related to Hurricane Katrina are addressed in other products
and are not covered here.3 The final section of the report lists enacted legislation and
selected bills receiving action.
REAL ID Act
During the 108th Congress, a number of proposals concerning immigration and
identification-document security were introduced, some of which were enacted as
part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458).
At the time that law was adopted, some congressional leaders reportedly agreed to
revisit certain immigration and document-security issues in the 109th Congress that
had been dropped from the final version of the legislation. The REAL ID Act (P.L.
2 S. 2611 and S. 2612 are identical. S. 2611, introduced by Senator Specter with Senators
Hagel and Martinez among its cosponsors on April 7, 2006, was placed on the Senate
legislative calendar. S. 2612, introduced by Senator Hagel with the same cosponsors as S.
3 See, respectively, CRS Report RL32863, Homeland Security Department: FY2006
Appropriations, by Jennifer E. Lake and Blas Nuñez-Neto; and CRS Report RL33091,
Hurricane Katrina-Related Immigration Issues and Legislation, by Ruth Ellen Wasem.
new proposals.4 This discussion focuses on Titles I, II, and III of the REAL ID Act.
Titles IV and V, which deal with nonimmigrant and immigrant workers, are covered
respectively in the temporary and permanent immigration sections of this report.
Changes to Laws on Asylum and
Other Forms of Relief from Removal
The REAL ID Act makes a number of changes to Immigration and Nationality
Act (INA)5 provisions concerning asylum and other forms of relief from removal.
It provides express statutory guidelines regarding burden of proof, eligibility, and
credibility standards in relief from removal cases. In most cases, no statutory
standards existed prior to the REAL ID Act; instead, standards were established by
regulation and (sometimes conflicting) case law. In some areas, the guidelines
established by the REAL ID Act are arguably more stringent than under preexisting
law (e.g., pursuant to the act, an asylum applicant must now show that one of the five
grounds for asylum eligibility was or will be at least one central reason for his
persecution, a higher standard than previously employed in some federal circuits); in
other cases, the REAL ID Act simply codifies existing regulation or case law. The
act also eliminates the annual caps on the number of persons granted asylum who
may have their status adjusted to legal permanent residents (LPRs), and on the
number of persons who may enter the United States as refugees/asylees on account
of persecution for resistance to coercive population control methods (a special
The REAL ID Act expressly limits federal habeas review and certain other
non-direct judicial review for certain matters relating to the removal of aliens under
INA §242, while permitting appellate court review of constitutional claims and
questions of law. These measures appear to be in response to Supreme Court
jurisprudence, which had previously interpreted the general limitations on judicial
review contained in INA §242 as not precluding federal courts from exercising their
habeas corpus jurisdiction review over removal-related decisions concerning aliens
who had been detained pending removal.
Terrorism-Related Grounds for Exclusion and Removal
The REAL ID Act expands the terrorism-related grounds for alien
inadmissibility and deportation, as well as the meaning of certain terms used in the
INA to describe terrorist activities or entities, to cast a wider net over groups and
4 For a detailed discussion of the REAL ID Act, see CRS Report RL32754, Immigration:
Analysis of the Major Provisions of the REAL ID Act of 2005, by Michael John Garcia,
Margaret Mikyung Lee, and Todd Tatelman.
5 Act of June 27, 1952, ch. 477; 66 Stat. 163; 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq. The INA is the basis of
current immigration law.
6 For further information on asylum, see CRS Report RL32621, U.S. Immigration Policy on
Asylum Seekers, by Ruth Ellen Wasem.
persons who provide more discrete forms of assistance to terrorist organizations,
particularly with respect to fund-raising and soliciting membership in those
organizations. The REAL ID Act makes activities such as espousal of terrorist
activity and receipt of military-type training from, or on behalf of, a terrorist
organization grounds for exclusion. It also significantly expands the terrorism-
related grounds for deportation so that they are identical to the terrorism-related
grounds for inadmissibility. At the same time, the REAL ID Act provides the
Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security with authority to waive
certain terrorism-related INA provisions that would otherwise make a particular alien
inadmissible or cause a group to be designated as a terrorist organization.7
Expediting the Construction of Barriers at the Border
The REAL ID Act provides the Secretary of Homeland Security with authority
to waive the application of any legal requirements when he believes such a waiver
is necessary to ensure the expeditious construction of certain barriers and roads along
U.S. land borders, including a 14-mile wide fence near San Diego. The act provides
that federal judicial review of waiver decisions or actions by the Secretary is limited
to those claims alleging a violation of the U.S. Constitution.8
Improving Border Infrastructure and Technology Integration
The REAL ID Act includes measures to improve border infrastructure and
technology integration between state and federal entities. DHS is required to conduct
a study on border security vulnerabilities, establish a pilot program to test ground
surveillance technologies on the northern and southern borders, and implement a plan
to improve communications systems and information-sharing between federal, state,
local, and tribal agencies on matters relating to border security. DHS is also required
to submit reports to Congress concerning the implementation of these requirements.
Requirements Concerning State-Issued
Drivers’ Licenses and ID Cards
The REAL ID Act contains a number of provisions relating to the improved
security of state-issued drivers’ licenses and personal identification (ID) cards. It
requires states to adopt certain practices and procedures regarding the verification of
documents used to obtain drivers’ licenses and ID cards, and establishes minimum
issuance standards for state-issued drivers’ licenses and personal identification cards,
if such documents are to be accepted for official federal purposes. States must also
verify an applicant’s legal status in the United States before issuing a driver’s license
or personal identification card that may be accepted for any federal purpose, and may
only issue aliens temporary drivers’ licenses or ID cards which expire on the date
when the aliens’ legal presence in the United States is due to end. If a state opts not
7 For additional information, see CRS Report RL32564, Immigration: Terrorist Grounds
for Exclusion of Aliens, by Michael John Garcia and Ruth Ellen Wasem.
8 For additional information, see CRS Report RS22026, Border Security: Fences Along the
U.S. International Border, by Blas Nuñez-Neto and Stephen R. Viña.
to conform with REAL ID Act guidelines, the act nevertheless requires the state’s
drivers’ licenses and ID cards to contain certain identifying features that alert federal
officials that such documents are not to be accepted for any official federal purposes.
Further, all states are required to maintain a motor vehicle database that contains
specified information regarding persons issued drivers’ licenses and ID cards, and
this database must be made accessible to all other states. The deadline for state
compliance with all applicable provisions of the REAL ID Act is three years after
enactment (May 11, 2008), though the Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized
to extend this deadline for any state that presents an adequate justification for its
DHS is charged with protecting our nation’s borders from weapons of mass
destruction, terrorists, smugglers, and unauthorized aliens. Border security involves
securing the many means by which people and things can enter the country.
Operationally, this means controlling the official ports of entry (POE) through which
legitimate travelers and commerce enter the country, and patrolling the nation’s land
and maritime borders to safeguard against and interdict illegal entries.
Border security has been a key immigration issue for the 109th Congress.
Enactment of border security provisions as part of the REAL ID Act, as discussed
above, has been followed by congressional consideration of a variety of other related
measures. There has been much debate in the 109th Congress about whether DHS has
sufficient resources to fulfill its border security mission, and some bills would add
resources to the border, including personnel, infrastructure, and technology or
institute new programs within the Department. Other bills propose to expand various
programs already being implemented by DHS at the border. H.R. 4437, as passed by9
the House, and S. 2611, as passed by the Senate, contain provisions of both types.
Some border security provisions in H.R. 4437 and S. 2611 have been enacted in the
FY2007 DHS Appropriations Act (P.L. 109-295) and in the Secure Fence Act of
H.R. 6160, and H.R. 6162, also have been passed by the House.
P.L. 109-295 makes the construction and financing of tunnels crossing the U.S.
international border crimes subject to a fine and up to 20 years of imprisonment, and
doubles the applicable criminal penalties for individuals who use tunnels to enter the
country illegally or to smuggle people or goods into the country. These tunnel
provisions also appear in S. 2611, as passed by the Senate, and H.R. 4830, as passed
by the House. Another border-security related provision in P.L. 109-295 requires the
DHS Inspector General to review all contracts relating to the Department’s Secure
9 Almost all of the border security provisions in H.R. 4437 were included in a related bill
(H.R. 4312), as reported by the House Homeland Security Committee.
10 For an expanded discussion of immigration-related border security issues, see CRS Report
RL33181, Immigration Related Border Security Legislation in the 109th Congress, by Blas
Border Initiative (SBI)11 worth more than $20 million. This provision was included
in H.R. 4437, S. 2611, and House-passed H.R. 6162. P.L. 109-295 also includes $1.2
billion in funding for border fencing, infrastructure, and technology, but does not
specify what mix of resources should be implemented or to what locations on the
border these resources should be allocated, instead leaving these decisions to DHS’s
P.L. 109-367 directs DHS to construct border fencing along five different
stretches of the southern border that total roughly 850 miles.13 This language is
identical to that in H.R. 4437, but includes later construction deadlines. P.L. 109-
367 also calls for a study on the feasibility of constructing border security
infrastructure along the northern border. S. 2611, as amended, would direct DHS to
replace current border fencing in the Border Patrol’s Tucson and Yuma sectors and
to construct additional border fencing totaling 370 miles and additional vehicle
barriers totaling 700 miles.
H.R. 4437, as passed by the House, and S. 2611, as passed by the Senate,
contain a number of other border-security related provisions. Both bills would
require the Secretary of DHS to submit a National Strategy for Border Security
outlining a comprehensive strategy for securing the border, including a surveillance
plan and a time line for implementation. Both would add personnel, technology, and
infrastructure resources at and between POE and would direct DHS to work with the
Department of Defense (DOD) to formulate a plan for increasing the availability and
use of military equipment to assist with the surveillance of the border. Both bills
would require DHS to expand the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Technology
(US-VISIT) Program14 to collect 10 fingerprints from aliens currently required to
register with the program as they enter the country, and would require DHS to submit
a time line for deploying and enabling the exit component of US-VISIT at land POE.
Both bills would also require DHS to enhance the connectivity of its biometric
fingerprint database with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s database and develop
and implement a plan to ensure clear two-way communications for DHS agents
working along the border.
While the border security provisions in S. 2611 and H.R. 4437 are largely
similar, there are some substantive differences between the two bills. Among the
11 The Secure Border Initiative is a three-pillared plan for securing the border that, according
to DHS, “will focus on controlling the border, building a robust interior enforcement
program, and establishing a Temporary Worker Program.” SBI includes all the DHS
resources that are deployed at the border, including personnel, technology, and infrastructure
such as vehicle barriers or fencing. United States Department of Homeland Security,
FY2007 Congressional Budget Justifications, p. CBP-S&E-6.
12 For more information about FY2007 DHS appropriations, see CRS Report RL33428,
Homeland Security Department: FY2007 Appropriations, Jennifer Lake and Blas Nuñez-
13 From CBP Congressional Affairs, September 25, 2006.
14 For additional information on the US-VISIT program, see CRS Report RL32234, U.S.
Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) Program, by Lisa Seghetti
and Stephen Viña.
major differences, House-passed H.R. 4437 would direct DHS to improve
coordination and communication among its component agencies by creating task
forces and other mechanisms to enhance information and intelligence sharing, and
would require DHS to design and carry out a border security exercise involving
officials from federal, state, local, tribal, and international governments as well as
representatives from the private sector within one year of the bill’s enactment. It
would allow homeland security grant funding to be used for reimbursing state and
local governments for costs associated with detecting and responding to the unlawful
entry of aliens.15 H.R. 4437 would also remove Air and Marine Operations (AMO)
from DHS’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and establish a stand-alone AMO
Office within DHS. For its part, S. 2611 includes three separate provisions that
would direct DHS to acquire and deploy various kinds of surveillance assets in order
to establish a “virtual fence” along the southwest border. S. 2611 would also
establish criminal penalties for attempting to evade inspection at POE or for
disregarding orders given by CBP officers, Border Patrol agents, or Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigators.
H.R. 6160, as passed by the House, would give recruitment and retention
bonuses to Border Patrol agents.
U.S. Military at the Border
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (P.L. 109-163)
includes a provision (§1035) that requires a report from the Secretary of Defense
concerning the potential use of military air assets to support DHS by surveilling the
border. This language was inserted during conference, and replaced prior language
in the House-passed version of the bill (H.R. 1815) that would have authorized the
U.S. military to be deployed to the border to assist DHS in preventing the entry of
terrorists, drug smugglers, and unauthorized aliens at and between official ports of
entry. Under the House-passed provision, which also appears in H.R. 5122, as
amended and passed by the House, U.S. military personnel would have been
deployed to the border only at the request of the Secretary of Homeland Security and
only after completing a training course on border law enforcement. Military
personnel would have to have been accompanied by DHS law enforcement personnel
once deployed, and would not have been authorized to conduct searches, seizures, or
other similar law enforcement activities, or to make arrests. This provision would
not have superseded the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the use of the U.S.
military to perform civilian governmental tasks unless explicitly authorized to do
so.16 The conference report on H.R. 5122, signed into law as P.L. 109-364, does not
include this provision. H.R. 4437 and S. 2611 include language to direct DHS to
work with DOD to create a plan that would enhance the use of military surveillance
assets at the border. S. 2611, as amended, would also allow state governors to deploy
15 For a discussion of the role of state and local law enforcement in the enforcement of
immigration law, see the next main section of the report.
16 For a detailed explanation of the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C. 1385), see CRS Report
RS20590, The Posse Comitatus Act and Related Matters: A Sketch, by Jennifer Elsea; and
CRS Report RS21012, Terrorism: Some Legal Restrictions on Military Assistance to
Domestic Authorities Following a Terrorist Attack, by Charles Doyle and Jennifer Elsea.
the National Guard to the southwest border in a support capacity. The National
Guard would be explicitly prohibited from participating in searches, seizures, arrests,
or other similar activities.
Several bills in the 109th Congress would create civilian border patrolling
organizations. In the Senate, S. 1823 would establish a pilot Volunteer Border
Marshal Program. This program would use volunteer state peace officers who would
be assigned to the Border Patrol and charged with assisting in “identifying and
controlling illegal immigration and human and drug trafficking.” In the House, H.R.
3704 would create a Border Patrol Auxiliary that would be deployed to the border
and charged with notifying the Border Patrol about unauthorized aliens attempting
to cross into the United States. These auxiliaries would be vested with the same
powers as Border Patrol agents. DHS would be charged with recompensing members
of the auxiliaries for their travel, subsistence, and vehicle operation expenses. H.R.
3622 would authorize state governments to create a militia called the Border
Protection Corps (BPC) in order to prevent the illegal entry of individuals and to take
individuals who have entered illegally into custody. DHS would be responsible for
recompensing the states for all the expenses incurred in the establishment and
operation of their BPCs.
Role of State and Local Law Enforcement
Since the attacks of September 11, many have called on state and local law
enforcement agencies to play a larger role in the enforcement of federal immigration
laws. Some question, however, whether state and local law enforcement officers
possess adequate authority to enforce all immigration laws — that is, both civil
violations (e.g., lack of legal status, which may lead to removal through an
administrative system) and criminal punishments (e.g., alien smuggling, which is
prosecuted in the courts). Historically, the authority for state and local law
enforcement officials to enforce immigration law has been construed to be limited
to the criminal provisions of the INA; by contrast, the enforcement of the civil
provisions has been viewed strictly as a federal responsibility, with states playing an
incidental supporting role. Some posit, nonetheless, that states and localities, as
sovereign entities, retain certain police powers under the Constitution, and
consequently, possess inherent authority to enforce civil as well as criminal
violations of federal immigration law.17 Multiple bills in Congress would address
these possible authority issues and enhance the role of state and local law
enforcement agencies in the enforcement of immigration law.
H.R. 4437 (§220) and H.R. 6095 (§101), both of which have been passed by the
House, would “reaffirm” the existing inherent authority of states, as sovereign
entities (including their law enforcement personnel), to investigate, identify,
17 For further discussion of this issue, see CRS Report RL32270, Enforcing Immigration
Law: The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement, by Lisa M. Seghetti, Stephen R. Viña,
and Karma Ester.
apprehend, arrest, detain, or transfer into federal custody aliens in the United States
for the purpose of assisting in the enforcement of the immigration laws. Similar to
H.R. 4437 and H.R. 6095, the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act
for FY2006 (H.R. 1817), as passed by the House, would authorize state and local law
enforcement personnel to apprehend, detain, or remove aliens in the United States in
the course of carrying out routine duties (§520). Likewise, H.R. 1817 would
“reaffirm” the existing general authority for state and local law enforcement
personnel to carry out the above mentioned activities. S. 2454 (§229) and
Senate-passed S. 2611 (§229) would also “reaffirm” a state’s inherent authority to
investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain, or transfer into federal custody aliens
in the United States, but would limit such practices to the enforcement of the
criminal provisions of the INA.
Among its other provisions, H.R. 4437 would require the Secretary of DHS to
create a training manual to aid state and local law enforcement officers in carrying
out immigration-related enforcement duties (§221). It would authorize the Secretary
to make grants to state and local police agencies for the procurement of equipment,
technology, facilities, and other products that are directly related to the enforcement
of immigration law (§222). H.R. 4437 would allow a state to reimburse itself with
certain DHS grants for activities related to the enforcement of federal laws aimed at
preventing the unlawful entry of persons or things into the United States that are
carried out under agreement with the federal government (§305). The bill would
further require designated sheriffs within 25 miles of the southern international
border of the United States to be reimbursed or provided an advance for costs
associated with the transfer of aliens detained or in the custody of the sheriff (§607).
In the Senate, S. 2611 would create a border relief grant program for eligible law
enforcement agencies to address criminal activity that occurs near the border (§153).
Under the program, the Secretary of DHS would be authorized to provide grants to
law enforcement agencies located within 100 miles of the northern or southern border
or to agencies outside 100 miles that are located in areas certified as “high impact
areas” by the Secretary. Two-thirds of the funds would be allocated to the six states
with the largest number of unauthorized alien apprehensions, and one-third would be
set aside for High Impact Areas. Title IX of the Senate-passed version of H.R. 5441,
the FY2007 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, would have
created the same program. The House-passed version of H.R. 5441 did not contain
such a grant program, and it is not included in the enacted measure (P.L. 109-295).
S. 2454 (§§220, 229) and S. 2611 (§§224, 229) would also authorize DHS to
reimburse state and local authorities for certain training, transportation, and
equipment costs related to immigration enforcement, and certain costs associated
with processing criminal illegal aliens through the criminal justice system.
Employment Eligibility Verification
and Worksite Enforcement
Under the INA, it is 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.
Employers are required to participate in a paper-based employment eligibility
verification system, commonly referred to as the I-9 system, in which they examine
documents presented by new hires to verify identity and work eligibility, and
complete and retain I-9 verification forms. In addition, employers may elect to
participate in an electronic employment eligibility verification system, established
under a 1996 law. Participants in the Basic Pilot program electronically verify new
hires’ employment authorization through Social Security Administration (SSA) and,
if necessary, DHS databases. Employers violating prohibitions on unlawful
employment may be subject to civil and/or criminal penalties.18 Enforcement of
these provisions is termed worksite enforcement.
Employment eligibility verification and worksite enforcement are current areas
of congressional interest. Chief among the reasons for this is the large and growing
number of unauthorized aliens in the United States, the majority of whom are in the
labor force. According to estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center, in 2005, the
unauthorized alien population totaled about 11.1 million and the unauthorized alien
working population totaled about 7.2 million.19 Particularly since the 2001 terrorist
attacks, many have raised security concerns about having such a large unauthorized
population. In addition, the issue of worksite enforcement has gained attention
recently in connection with guest worker proposals. President Bush has expressed
support for a new temporary worker program and has called for increased worksite
enforcement as part of the program. Immigration reform bills containing guest
worker and worksite enforcement-related provisions have been introduced in the
A number of bills related to employment eligibility verification and worksite
enforcement are before the 109th Congress. Title VII of H.R. 4437, as passed by the
House, would direct DHS to establish an employment eligibility verification system
(modeled on the Basic Pilot program), which would be mandatory for all employers.
Employers would be required to query the system to verify the identity and
employment eligibility of an individual after hiring or, in a change from Basic Pilot
program requirements, before commencing recruitment or referral. These
verification requirements would take effect two years after enactment. The current
I-9 system would remain in place with some modifications. H.R 4437 also would
require employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of previously
hired workers by six years after enactment. In addition, H.R. 4437 would increase
existing monetary penalties for employer violations. At the same time, it would
provide for the reduction of civil monetary penalties for employers with 250 or fewer
Like H.R. 4437, Title III of S. 2454 would direct DHS to establish an
employment eligibility verification system (modeled on the Basic Pilot program),
18 INA §274A, 8 U.S.C. §1324a. For further discussion of these legal provisions, see CRS
Report RS22180, Unauthorized Employment of Aliens: Basics of Employer Sanctions, by
Alison M. Smith.
19 Jeffrey S. Passel, The Size and Characteristics of the Unauthorized Migrant Population
in the U.S.; Estimates Based on the March 2005 Current Population Survey, Pew Hispanic
Center Research Report, March 7, 2006, at [http://www.pewhispanic.org/reports/report.php?
which would be mandatory for all employers. Employers would be required to query
the system to verify the identity and employment eligibility of an individual after
hiring or recruiting or referring for a fee. These verification requirements would be
phased in for different groups of employers over a period of up to five years. Under
S. 2454, some, but not all, employers would be required to verify the identity and
employment eligibility of previously hired workers. Employers subject to this
requirement, which would be effective 180 days after enactment, would be those who
are part of the critical infrastructure of the United States or who are directly related
to U.S. national or homeland security. S. 2454 also would increase existing monetary
penalties for employer violations, although to a lesser extent than H.R. 4437. In
addition, the Senate bill would establish a new penalty for employees who falsely
represent on the I-9 form that they are authorized to work.
Title III of S. 2611, as passed by the Senate, like H.R. 4437 and S. 2454, would
direct DHS to implement an employment eligibility verification system (modeled on
the Basic Pilot program), which would be mandatory for all employers. Employers
would be required to participate in the system with respect to all employees hired on
or after the date that is 18 months after at least $400 million is appropriated and made
available for implementation. Under S. 2611, employers would be required to query
the system to verify the identity and employment eligibility of an individual after
hiring or recruiting or referring for a fee. In addition, DHS could require any
employer or class of employers to participate in the system with respect to
individuals employed as of the date of enactment or hired after the date of enactment,
if DHS designates such employer or class as a critical employer based on homeland
security or national security needs or if DHS has reasonable cause to believe that the
employer has materially violated the prohibitions on unauthorized employment.
Under S. 2611, individuals who are terminated from employment based on a
determination by the verification system that they are not work eligible could obtain
administrative and judicial review. If they are determined to, in fact, be work eligible
and prevail, they would be entitled to compensation for lost wages. The current I-9
system would remain in place with some modifications. In addition, S. 2611 would
increase monetary penalties for employer violations, and, like S. 2454, would
establish a new penalty for employees who falsely represent on the I-9 form that they
are authorized to work.
Other pending bills, a selection of which are discussed below, would similarly
require all employers to conduct employment eligibility verification through the
Basic Pilot program or a similar system. As detailed in the following paragraphs,
some would maintain the Basic Pilot program’s separation of the DHS and SSA
databases as part of the verification system; others call for the creation of a new
unified database by DHS or SSA. Most of the measures would increase existing
monetary penalties for employer violations. Among their other provisions, the bills
variously would authorize appropriations at such sums as necessary to implement
their provisions, and subject to the availability of appropriations, would authorize an
increase in personnel to conduct worksite enforcement
H.R. 98, which was the subject of a May 2005 hearing by the House Judiciary
Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims, would
require Social Security cards to include an encrypted machine-readable electronic
identification strip unique to the bearer and a digitized photograph. Under the bill,
new hires would have to present a Social Security card of this type to their
employers, who would use them to verify the worker’s identity and work
authorization. Employment eligibility verification would be conducted by accessing
a database to be established by DHS that would contain DHS and SSA data. H.R.
98 would raise maximum penalties for employers who violate prohibitions on
Section 402 of S. 1033/H.R. 2330 would direct SSA to establish a new
employment eligibility confirmation system through which employers would verify
new hires’ identity and work authorization. The new system is to utilize machine-
readable documents containing encrypted electronic information as a central feature.
SSA also would be tasked with designing and maintaining an employment eligibility
database, which would include specified information about work-authorized
noncitizens. As described below in the section on guest workers, S. 1033/H.R. 2330
would establish a new H-5A temporary worker visa. Employers of these workers
would be required to verify their identity and work authorization through the new
database. S. 1033/H.R. 2330 would further direct SSA to develop a plan to phase out
the current I-9 system and place all workers into the new database.
Title III of S. 1438 would make various changes to current verification
requirements. It would require SSA to issue machine-readable, tamper-resistant
Social Security cards. These cards would become the only acceptable documents for
evidencing employment authorization. To establish identity, an individual would
have to provide either a U.S. government-issued identification document containing
a biometric identifier or a state-issued driver’s license or identification document that
conforms with REAL ID Act guidelines. Under S. 1438, participation in the Basic
Pilot program, which would be renamed, would be mandatory, and there would be
sanctions for noncompliance. In addition, S. 1438 would increase monetary penalties
for employer violations.
S. 1917 would rename the Basic Pilot program and make participation
mandatory. Participants in the verification system would be deemed to be in
compliance with the I-9 requirements. S. 1917 would direct DHS to fully integrate
all databases and data systems used in the verification system. Under the bill, the
only acceptable documents for evidencing employment authorization would be a
social security card or a machine-readable, tamper resistant card issued by the U.S.
government that explicitly authorizes employment. Among its other provisions, S.
H.R. 3333 would rename the Basic Pilot program and make participation
mandatory, and sanction employers for noncompliance. As under House-passed H.R.
4437, employers would be required to verify that current employees, as well as new
hires, are authorized to work. H.R. 3333 would increase monetary penalties for
employer violations. In addition, it contains a number of provisions related to Social
Security accounts and cards.
H.R. 3938 would rename the Basic Pilot program, make participation
mandatory, and sanction employers for noncompliance. At the same time, it
proposes to create a new employment eligibility verification system, essentially
identical to that proposed in H.R. 98, to replace the renamed Basic Pilot program.
The new verification system would be based on an employment eligibility database,
to be established by DHS, containing DHS and SSA data. As explained in the above
discussion of H.R. 98, individuals commencing new employment would be required
to present a Social Security card with an encrypted machine-readable electronic
identification strip and a digitized photograph, which the employer would use to
verify identity and work authorization through the new database. H.R. 3938 also
would increase monetary penalties for employer violations.
Many contend that the smuggling of aliens into the United States constitutes a
significant risk to national security and public safety. Since smugglers facilitate the
illegal entry of persons into the United States, some maintain that terrorists may use
existing smuggling routes and organizations to enter undetected. In addition to
generating billions of dollars in revenues for criminal enterprises, alien smuggling
can lead to collateral crimes including kidnaping, homicide, assault, rape, robbery,
auto theft, high speed flight, vehicle accidents, identity theft, and the manufacturing
and distribution of fraudulent documents. The main alien smuggling statute (INA
§274) delineates the criminal penalties, asset seizure rules, and prima facie
evidentiary requirements for smuggling offenses.
Several bills in the 109th Congress have provisions concerning alien smuggling.
Among them is H.R. 2744, the FY2006 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which was
signed into law as P.L. 109-97. Section 796 of this law specifies circumstances
under which religious organizations are exempt from criminal penalties related to the
smuggling and harboring of certain aliens, and states that it is not a violation of INA
§274 for a bona fide, nonprofit, religious organization to encourage or allow an
unauthorized alien to work for the religious organization as a volunteer minister or
missionary. Under the provision, the alien must have been a member of the religious
denomination for at least one year and may not be compensated as an employee, but
may be provided room, board, travel, medical assistance, and other basic living
H.R. 4437, as passed by the House, and S. 2611, as passed by the Senate, would
rewrite INA §274. Although the bills are similar, they are not identical in language
or in scope. Both bills would broaden the types of acts that are considered alien
smuggling. For example, they would make it a smuggling offense to transport a
person outside the United States knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the
person is in unlawful transit from one country to another, or on the high-seas, and is
seeking to illegally enter the United States. S. 2611 would also provide new
exemptions from criminal liability for persons or organizations providing assistance
to unauthorized aliens on humanitarian grounds (such exemptions are not contained
in current law). H.R. 4437, in contrast, contains no such exemptions, and would also
remove the current exemption contained in P.L. 109-97 for religious organizations
that encourage certain unauthorized aliens to work for the organizations as volunteer
ministers or missionaries.
In addition, H.R. 4437 and S. 2611 would establish mandatory minimum
sentences for those convicted of alien smuggling, and would enhance penalties for
persons carrying firearms during smuggling offenses. Furthermore, as recommended
in a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on alien smuggling, both
proposals would amend the law to allow for the seizure and forfeiture of any property
used to commit or facilitate alien smuggling.20
Other pending bills would variously increase penalties or establish minimum
penalties for alien smuggling (H.R. 255, H.R. 688, H.R. 1320, H.R. 3938, S. 1916,
S. 2061); increase the personnel devoted solely to combating alien smuggling (H.R.
688); and grant S visas21 to aliens outside the United States who have information on
alien smuggling operations (H.R. 255, H.R. 2092).
Under the INA, there is broad authority to detain aliens while awaiting a
determination about whether the aliens should be removed from the United States.
The law mandates that certain categories of aliens be subject to mandatory detention
(i.e., the aliens must be detained). Aliens subject to mandatory detention include
those arriving without documentation or with fraudulent documentation, those who
are inadmissible or deportable on criminal or national security grounds, those
certified as terrorist suspects, and those who have final orders of deportation. Aliens
not subject to mandatory detention may be detained, paroled, or released on bond.
The priorities for detention of these aliens are specified in statute and regulations.22
There are many policy issues surrounding the detention of aliens. Among them
are 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
spent in detention by aliens who have been ordered removed. Additionally, the
amount of detention space available to house DHS detainees is a constant issue,
especially since many nondetained aliens fail to appear for their removal hearings or
to depart from the United States after receiving final orders of deportation.
Several bills in the 109th Congress, including House-passed H.R. 4437 and H.R.
6094 and Senate-passed S. 2611, contain provisions concerning the detention of
aliens in the United States. H.R. 4437, H.R. 6094, and S. 2611 would codify and
modify the regulations governing the review of post-removal order detention cases
for aliens who were lawfully admitted. In addition, H.R. 4437 would require that as
of October 1, 2006, all aliens attempting to illegally enter the United States who do
20 See U.S. Government Accountability Office , Combating Alien Smuggling: Opportunities
Exist to Improve the Federal Response, GAO-05-305, May 27, 2005.
21 For more information on S visas see, CRS Report RS21043, Immigration: S Visas for
Criminal and Terrorist Informants, by Karma Ester.
22 For more information on the detention of aliens see, CRS Report RL32369, Immigration-
Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues, by Alison Siskin.
not withdraw their applications for admission and depart immediately or who are not
granted parole, be subject to mandatory detention until the alien is either removed or
granted admission; S. 2611 contains similar provisions. H.R. 4437 also would
authorize and establish the selection criteria for the Secretary of DHS to contract with
private entities to provide transportation to detention facilities and other locations for
aliens apprehended along the border by CBP, and would require mandatory detention
for aliens of street gangs. (H.R. 6094, as passed by the House, would also require the
mandatory detention of aliens who are street gang members.) S. 2611 would direct
DHS to acquire or construct 20 additional detention facilities for aliens with a
combined capacity of at least 10,000 aliens at any time, and would direct DHS to
consider utilizing military installations approved for closure for this purpose. A
detention-related provision added as a Senate floor amendment to S. 2611 would give
the Border Patrol exclusive administrative and operational control over all assets
utilized in carrying out its mission, which would include detention space.
Illegal Presence, Removal, and Exclusion
H.R. 4437, as passed by the House, and S. 2611, as passed by the Senate, would
variously build on past legislative efforts, most recently the REAL ID Act, to tighten
current law in the areas of illegal presence and illegal entry; alien voluntary departure
and removal from the United States; alien exclusion from, or inadmissibility to, the
United States; and judicial review. Some H.R. 4437- or S. 2611-like provisions in
these areas have been passed by one or both houses in other bills.
Section 203 of H.R. 4437 would upgrade the consequences of illegal presence
from a civil offense to a criminal offense. Presently, unlawful presence is a criminal
offense only when an alien has previously been removed or excluded, or had departed
the United States while a removal order was outstanding. Under H.R. 4437, both
unlawful entry and presence would be made into felonies (a first offense of the
unlawful entry statute is currently a misdemeanor, while subsequent offenses are
felonies). The bill would further heighten the criminal and civil penalties for
unlawful entry, reentry, and presence when an alien had previously been convicted
of certain crimes. Section 206 of S. 2611 would largely do the same, with the notable
exception that it would not criminalize unlawful presence or impose heightened
penalties on such presence if the alien had previously been convicted of certain
crimes (unless the alien was unlawfully present in the United States after having been
Under §209 of H.R. 4437 and §206 of S. 2611, unlawful reentry and presence
after voluntary departure would be subject to increased criminal penalties. H.R. 4437
would also establish mandatory minimum sentence requirements for the crime of
reentering the United States after either having been removed or having departed
under a removal order (§204). In addition, it would enhance the penalties for certain
violent crimes and drug trafficking offenses when committed by an unlawfully
present alien (§618).
Voluntary Departure and Removal
In an effort to ensure that aliens granted voluntary departure leave the United
States, H.R. 4437 and S. 2611 would amend the requirements for an alien to receive
voluntary departure. Among other things, voluntary departure would be granted only
as part of an agreement by the alien. As part of the agreement, the alien would have
to waive any rights to appeal, but could receive a discretionary reduction of the
period of inadmissibility before the alien could apply to reenter the United States.
A subsequent decision to file an appeal would nullify the agreement. The maximum
validity period for permission to depart voluntarily prior to the conclusion of removal
proceedings that have already been initiated would be reduced from 120 days to 60
days, and bond would be required in such cases unless waived as a serious financial
hardship and unnecessary to guarantee departure. The maximum validity period for
permission to depart voluntarily granted upon the conclusion of removal proceedings
would be reduced from 60 days to 45 days. Any failure to depart voluntarily would
result in increased civil penalties and ineligibility for immigration benefits and
In addition, under the bills, aliens under a final order of removal who evade
arrest and removal would be barred from seeking admission prior to removal, and
aliens who fail to comply with, or otherwise obstruct, a removal order would be
barred from discretionary relief.
H.R. 4437 and S. 2611 would expand expedited removal. More specifically,
these bills would require the DHS Secretary to place any alien who has not been
admitted or paroled, with minor exceptions, into expedited removal if the alien is
apprehended within 100 miles of the land border and 14 days of unauthorized entry.
Canadians, Cubans, and Mexicans would be notable exceptions to the expansion of
Under current law (INA §243(d)), the Secretary of State is required to deny visas
to nationals of countries, when informed by the Attorney General that the country has
denied or delayed accepting its citizens, nationals, or residents whom the United
States ordered removed. H.R. 4437 would rewrite this provision to authorize the
Secretary of DHS, after consultation with the Secretary of State, to deny the
admission of nationals of countries that deny or delay accepting their citizens,
nationals, or residents whom the United States ordered removed. In other words, it
would shift implementation from visa issuances at consulates abroad — where
reportedly the Attorney General has never invoked §243(d) — to alien admissions
at U.S. ports of entry. If enacted, foreign nationals who have visas but are from
uncooperative countries would be denied admission when they arrive at ports of entry
if the Secretary of DHS so deemed. S. 2611 would authorize the Secretary of DHS
to instruct the Secretary of State to deny a visa to any citizen, subject, national, or
resident of a country that has denied or delayed accepting its citizens whom the
United States ordered removed, until the country accepts its citizens.
Documentary Requirements for Western
The INA requires all U.S. citizens to bear a valid passport when entering and
departing the United States, but gives the President the authority to waive this
requirement. U.S. citizens are excepted from this requirement under several
circumstances, including when the citizen is traveling between the United States and
any country or territory in North, South, or Central America, excluding Cuba. P.L.
108-458 included language establishing what is now known as the Western
Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). WHTI requires the Secretary of Homeland
Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to develop and implement a plan
as expeditiously as possible to require a passport or other document(s) “deemed by
the Secretary of Homeland Security to be sufficient to denote identity and
citizenship,” for all travelers entering the United States. The law expressly states that
citizens and categories of individuals for whom documentation requirements have23
previously been waived fall under this new requirement. The deadline for fully
implementing WHTI in P.L. 108-458 was January 1, 2008. This deadline has been
eased by §546 of P.L. 109-295, which requires implementation not later than three
months after the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security certify that specified
requirements have been met, or June 1, 2009, whichever is earlier.
Consequences for Terrorist and Criminal Activity
Beyond the REAL ID Act, a number of bills have been introduced in the 109th
Congress to expand the terrorism-related and criminal grounds for inadmissibility
and deportation and to deny certain immigration benefits to aliens covered by such
grounds. The House has passed one of these bills, H.R. 4437. Provisions in Titles
II and VI of H.R. 4437 would modify immigration law relating to aliens involved in
criminal or terrorism-related activity in a number of ways. Among other things, H.R.
4437 would prohibit persons described in the terrorism-related grounds for
inadmissibility and deportation from being naturalized and restrict their eligibility for
certain immigration benefits, including relief from removal.24 H.R. 4437 would also
expand the criminal grounds for inadmissibility and deportation (including for alien
gang members), prohibit the adjustment of status of refugees and asylees who have
committed aggravated felonies, and expand the immigration-related and criminal
23 Under §7209(c)(2) of P.L. 108-458, however, the President does retain some discretion,
as specified, to waive documentary requirements for U.S. citizens.
24 For background on the current terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and
deportation, along with more detailed discussion of how H.R. 4437 would alter the
terrorism-related provisions of the INA, see CRS Report RL32564, Immigration: Terrorist
Grounds for Exclusion and Removal of Aliens, by Michael John Garcia and Ruth Ellen
penalties for certain types of document and immigration fraud.25 H.R. 6094, as
passed by the House, contains largely the same gang-related provisions as H.R. 4437.
Title II of S. 2611 contains provisions generally covering the same matters as
H.R. 4437. In addition, §764 of S. 2611 would expand the terrorism-related grounds
for inadmissibility (and by reference, the terrorism-related grounds for removal) to
cover any incitement or advocacy of terrorist activity (current law only expressly
covers incitement in certain circumstances).
Reduction of Appellate Review
Title VIII of H.R. 4437, as passed by the House, and parts of Titles IV and VII
of S. 2611, as passed by the Senate, would continue the trend of streamlining and
limiting certain administrative and judicial review procedures.26 These bills are not
identical but share certain similar provisions. The proposed changes generally fall
into a few categories: increasing resources; establishing administrative adjudication
procedures statutorily, rather than merely in regulations; establishing major
procedural changes in judicial review to handle the increased litigation; and
procedural clarifications in response to procedural interpretations in various federal
appellate court decisions.
Proposals in the latter two categories include provisions that would amend the
judicial review statute (INA §242) in various ways. H.R. 4437 would provide a
screening process under which a single federal appellate judge or circuit justice
would review a case within 60 days of assignment, and a petition for review would
be denied absent the issuance of a certificate of reviewability by the federal appellate
judge. The House-passed bill also includes provisions responding to certain federal
appellate holdings regarding immigration procedures. S. 2454 would likewise
establish a screening procedure with a certificate of reviewability, and would respond
to some federal appellate holdings regarding immigration procedures. In addition,
S. 2454 includes a controversial proposal to consolidate immigration appeals in one
circuit of the federal appellate courts. None of these proposals have been included
in S. 2611. Instead, the Senate-passed bill would provide for a related GAO study.
It seems likely that, even if these consolidation and other proposals are not ultimately
included in any immigration legislation enacted this Congress, they would be
reintroduced in the future.
H.R. 4437 would amend INA §242 to clarify that the restrictions on judicial
review of denials of discretionary relief would apply to individual determinations
25 For background on the present immigration consequences of criminal activity, as well as
the changes that H.R. 4437 would make to such consequences, see CRS Report RL32480,
Immigration Consequences of Criminal Activity, by Michael John Garcia. For more
particular information on laws concerning immigration-related document fraud, and the
effects that H.R. 4437 would have in this area, see CRS Report RL32657,
Immigration-Related Document Fraud: Overview of Civil, Criminal, and Immigration
Consequences, by Michael John Garcia.
26 For additional information, see CRS Report RL33410, Immigration Litigation Reform, by
Margaret Mikyung Lee.
made by the Attorney General or Secretary of Homeland Security under the
immigration laws regardless of whether such determinations were made in removal
proceedings and regardless of whether such decisions or actions were guided by
regulatory or other standards. H.R. 4437 would also make issuance of a
nonimmigrant visa subject to a waiver of any right to review of an inadmissibility
determination at a port of entry or to contest removal except for asylum.
S. 2611 would increase the number of litigation and adjudication personnel in
DHS, the Department of Justice, and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts;
and establish procedural guidelines for the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). It
would also provide for the appointment, qualifications, terms, and removal of
immigration judges and members of BIA and the continuation and expansion of a
legal orientation program providing information about immigration court procedures
to detainees on a nationwide basis. It would further provide for the participation of
senior district court judges in the selection of magistrates.
S. 2611 includes the Fairness in Immigration Litigation Act (§§421-423), which
would limit injunctive relief in immigration-related civil actions against the federal
government. This proposal is reportedly in response to permanent injunctive relief
concerning certain rights for El Salvadorans in deportation/removal proceedings
under Orantes-Hernandez v. Thornburgh, 919 F.2d 549 (1990), which the
Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have filed a motion to terminate; the
agencies assert that the circumstances giving rise to the injunction no longer exist.
The injunction impedes the application to El Salvadorans of expedited removal
procedures enacted since the issuance of the injunction, and some of the procedures
mandated by the injunction have become part of the standard operating procedures
for all aliens. These Fairness in Immigration Litigation provisions are also included
in H.R. 6095, as passed by the House, under the new title, “Ending Catch and
Release Act of 2006.” Another similar House bill on immigration litigation is H.R.
5541. Unlike S. 2611 and H.R. 6095, however, H.R. 5541 would prohibit a court
from certifying a class action in any civil action that pertains to the administration
and enforcement of immigration laws and is filed after the date of enactment.
The INA provides for the temporary admission of various categories of foreign
nationals, who are known as nonimmigrants. Nonimmigrants are admitted for a
temporary period of time and a specific purpose. They include a wide range of
visitors, including tourists, foreign students, diplomats, and temporary workers. The
latter group is the subject of major legislation and considerable interest in the 109th
Congress. The main nonimmigrant category for temporary workers is the H visa.
Among the visa classifications in the H visa category are the H-1B visa for
professional specialty workers, the H-2A visa for agricultural workers, and the H-2B
visa for nonagricultural workers. Foreign nationals also may be temporarily admitted
to the United States for work- or business-related purposes under other nonimmigrant
categories, including the B-1 visa for business visitors, the E visa for treaty traders
and investors, and the L-1 visa for intracompany transfers.27
The H-2A and the H-2B visa programs mentioned above are the two main
programs for temporarily importing low-skilled workers, sometimes referred to as
guest workers. The 109th Congress revised the H-2B program for nonagricultural
workers as part of P.L. 109-13. The H-2B language, added as a Senate floor
amendment and retained, as modified, in the final conference agreement as Title IV
of Division B, was based on S. 352/H.R. 793. These provisions cap at 33,000, the
number of H-2B slots available during the first six months of a fiscal year. They also
require DHS to submit specified information to Congress on the H-2B program on
a regular basis; impose a new fraud-prevention and detection fee on H-2B employers;
and authorize DHS to impose additional penalties on H-2B employers in certain
circumstances. In addition, for FY2005 and FY2006, these provisions exempt
“returning workers” who have been counted toward the 66,000 annual H-2B cap in
any of the past three years from being counted again. P.L. 109-364 contains a
provision to extend the H-2B returning worker exemption through FY2007. In
addition, S. 2611, as passed by the Senate, would extend the exemption through
Among the proposals to revise the H-2A program for agricultural workers are
bills known as AgJOBS (S. 359/H.R. 884). Among other provisions, these bills
would streamline the process of importing H-2A workers and make changes to
existing H-2A requirements regarding minimum benefits, wages, and working
conditions. S. 2611, as passed by the Senate, includes H-2A reform provisions like
those in Ag JOBS. (Provisions to legalize the status of certain agricultural workers
are discussed below in the LPR Status for Unauthorized Aliens section.)
Title I of H.R. 3333 would eliminate all the current H visa subcategories,
including the H-2A and H-2B visas, and replace them with a single H visa covering
aliens coming temporarily to the United States to perform skilled or unskilled work.
H visa holders could not change to another nonimmigrant status or adjust to LPR
status in the United States. Under H.R. 3333, the new H visa program could not be
implemented until the Secretary of Homeland Security makes certain certifications
to Congress, including that a congressionally mandated automated entry-exit system
is fully operational.28
Proposals to create new temporary worker visas have also been introduced in
the 109th Congress. Title IV of S. 2611, as passed by the Senate, would establish a
new H-2C guest worker visa for aliens coming temporarily to the United States to
perform temporary labor or services other than the labor or services covered under
27 For an overview of nonimmigrant admissions, see CRS Report RL31381, U.S.
Immigration Policy on Temporary Admissions, by Ruth Ellen Wasem.
28 For information on the entry-exit system issue, see CRS Report RL32234, U.S. Visitor and
Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) Program, by Lisa M. Seghetti and
Stephen R. Viña.
the H-2A visa or other specified visa categories. As introduced, S. 2611 would have
capped the proposed H-2C visa at 325,000 the first fiscal year and would have
established a process for adjusting the cap in subsequent fiscal years based on
demand for the visas. A Senate floor amendment (S.Amdt. 3981) that was agreed to
by voice vote replaced these provisions with a provision placing an annual cap of
200,000 on the H-2C visa. Under Title IV of S. 2611, an H-2C worker’s initial
authorized period of stay would be three years, and could be extended for an
additional three years. H-2C nonimmigrants in the United States could adjust to LPR
status. Petitions for employment-based immigrant visas could be filed by an H-2C
worker’s employer or, if the H-2C worker had maintained H-2C status for a total of
four years, by the worker.
Among the other pending bills to establish new temporary workers visas are S.
would establish new H-5A and H-5B visas. The H-5A visa would cover aliens
coming temporarily to the United States initially to perform labor or services “other
than those occupational classifications” covered under the H-2A or specified high-
skilled visa categories. The H-5B visa would cover certain aliens present and
employed in the United States since before May 12, 2005. S. 1033/H.R. 2330
includes special provisions for H-5A and H-5B workers to apply to adjust to LPR
Title V of S. 1438 would establish a new W temporary worker visa under the
INA. The W visa would cover aliens coming temporarily to the United States to
perform temporary labor or service other than that covered under the H-2A or
specified high-skilled visa categories. (S. 1438 would repeal the H-2B category.) In
addition, Title VI of S. 1438 would authorize DHS to grant a new status — Deferred
Mandatory Departure (DMD) status — to certain aliens present in the United States
since July 20, 2004, and employed since before July 20, 2005. Aliens could be
granted DMD status for up to five years. S. 1438 would not provide aliens in W
status or DMD status with any special pathway to LPR status.29
Professional and Managerial Workers
Much of the recent legislative action on foreign temporary workers in
professional and managerial jobs has focused on fees.30 Title IV of P.L. 108-447, the
Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2005, requires the Secretary of Homeland
Security to impose a fraud prevention and detection fee of $500 on H-1B
(professional specialty workers) and L (intracompany business personnel) petitioners.
Section 426(b) of the act requires that the H-1B and L fraud prevention and detection
fee be divided equally among DHS, the Department of State (DOS), and the
Department of Labor (DOL) for use in combating fraud in H-1B and L visa
29 For further information and analysis, see CRS Report RL32044, Immigration: Policy
Considerations Related to Guest Worker Programs, by Andorra Bruno.
30 See CRS Report RL30498, Immigration: Legislative Issues on Nonimmigrant
Professional Specialty (H-1B) Workers; and CRS Report RL32030, Immigration Policy for
Intracompany Transfers (L Visa): Issues and Legislation, both by Ruth Ellen Wasem.
applications filed with DOS, investigating H-1B and L petitions filed with DHS, and
carrying out DOL labor attestation activities.
L Intracompany Visas. H.R. 3648, as ordered reported by the House
Judiciary Committee, would place new requirements on the L nonimmigrant visa
category, which permits multinational firms to transfer top-level personnel to their
locations in the United States for five to seven years. The bill would require the
Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to each charge fees of $1,500 to
employers filing certain visa applications and nonimmigrant petitions for L visas.
These provisions were included in Title V of H.R. 4241, the Deficit Reduction Act
of 2005, as passed by the House. The conference report (H.Rept. 109-362) on S.
1932 (P.L. 109-171), which was renamed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, did not
include these L visa provisions. S. 2611 would revise the INA provisions on the L
visa to address certain perceived abuses.
H-1B Visas. On October 20, 2005, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved
compromise language to recapture up to 30,000 H-1B visas that had not been issued
in prior years. An additional fee of $500 would be charged to obtain these recaptured
visas. Also under this compromise, an additional fee of $750 would be charged for
L-1 visas. This language was forwarded to the Senate Budget Committee for
inclusion in the budget reconciliation legislation. S. 1932, as passed by the Senate,
included these provisions in Title VIII. Neither the House-passed budget
reconciliation bill (H.R. 4241) nor the conference report on S. 1932 (P.L. 109-171),
however, contained these H-1B or fee provisions.
S. 2611 would raise the numerical limit on H-1B visas from 65,000 to 115,000
and would establish a formula by which to calculate future admissions. Like S. 1918,
and S. 2454, S. 2611 would add a new exemption from the H-1B annual numerical
limit for H-1Bs who have earned an advanced degree in science, technology,
engineering, or math from an accredited university in the United States. On a related
issue, S. 2454 and S. 2611 would extend foreign students’ practical training from 12
to 24 months and would expand the F student and J exchange visas for aliens who
have earned an advanced degree in science, technology, engineering, or math, options
that could become attractive alternatives to the H-1B visa for some employers.
H-1C Visas. P.L. 106-95 established a new H-1C nonimmigrant classification
for nurses coming to the United States to work in health professional shortage areas.
That law provided that H-1C petitions could be filed only during a specified four-
year period, which has since expired. H.R. 1285, as passed by the House and the
Senate, would amend P.L. 106-95 to allow for the filing of H-1C petitions for an
additional three years. It would not otherwise change the H-1C program.
In addition to the admission of temporary workers and other temporary visitors,
the INA provides for the admission of foreign nationals to the United States as LPRs.
Four elements underlie 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. Various measures to revise
permanent admissions have been introduced, but only one has been enacted thus far
in the 109th Congress. Some, such as the enacted measure on visas for nurses, are
narrowly targeted at particular aspects of the permanent immigration system. Others,
including S. 2611, S. 1033/H.R. 2330, S. 1438, S. 2454, and H.R. 3700 would
broadly change permanent admissions.31
Recaptured Visa Numbers for Nurses
During Senate floor consideration of the FY2005 Emergency Supplemental
Appropriations bill, an amendment was added to make up to 50,000 permanent
employment-based visas available for foreign nationals coming to work as nurses.
This provision was accepted by the conferees and enacted as §502 of P.L. 109-13,
Division B, Title V.
Recaptured Employment-Based Visa Numbers
On October 20, 2005, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved compromise
language that would, among other things, “recapture” up to 90,000 employment-
based visas that had not been issued to employment-based immigrants in prior years
(when the statutory ceiling of 140,000 visas was not met). An additional fee of $500
would be charged to obtain these recaptured visas. Like the H-1B and fee provisions
discussed above, this language was forwarded to the Senate Budget Committee; it
was included in Title VIII of S. 1932, as passed by the Senate. These provisions were
not included in House-passed H.R. 4241 or in the conference report on S. 1932 (P.L.
Elimination of Diversity Visas
The Security and Fairness Enhancement for America Act of 2005 (H.R. 1219)
would amend the INA to eliminate the diversity visa lottery. The purpose of the
diversity visa lottery is, as the name suggests, to encourage legal immigration from
countries other than the major sending countries of current immigration to the United
States. H.R. 1219 has been marked up by the House Immigration subcommittee.
The provisions of H.R. 1219 have been incorporated into H.R. 4437, as passed by the
House.32 Various Senate bills, notably S. 1438 and S. 2377, would also eliminate the
S. 1033/H.R. 2330
S. 1033/H.R. 2330 would make significant revisions to the permanent legal
admissions sections of the INA. Specifically, Title VI of the legislation would
remove immediate relatives of U.S. citizens from the calculation of the 480,000
31 For additional background and analysis, see CRS Report RL32235, U.S. Immigration
Policy on Permanent Admissions, by Ruth Ellen Wasem.
32 For more information, see CRS Report RS21342, Immigration: Diversity Visa Lottery,
by Ruth Ellen Wasem and Karma Ester.
annual cap on family-based visas for LPR status, thereby providing additional visas
to the family preference categories. It also would lower the income requirements for
sponsoring a family member for LPR status from 125% of the federal poverty
guidelines to 100%, and recapture for future allocations those LPR visas that were
unused due to processing delays from FY2001 through FY2005. In addition, it
would increase the annual limit on employment-based LPR visa categories from
140,000 to 290,000 visas, and raise the current per-country limit on LPR visas from
an allocation of 7% of the total preference allocation to 10% of the total preference
allocation (which would be 480,000 for family-based and 290,000 for
employment-based under this bill).
Title X of S. 1438 would make significant changes to the INA provisions on the
diversity visa and permanent employment-based admissions. It would eliminate the
diversity visa. It would reduce the allocation of visas to persons of “extraordinary”
and “exceptional” abilities and persons having advanced professional degrees (i.e.,
first and second preferences), and increase the number of visas to unskilled workers
from a statutory cap of 10,000 annually to a level of 36% of the 140,000 ceiling for
employment-based admissions (plus any other unused employment-based visas).
Also with respect to employment-based immigration, it would recapture for future
allocations those employment-based visa numbers that were unused from FY2001
Title I of H.R. 3700 would substantially overhaul permanent admissions to the
United States. Among other provisions, it would reduce the worldwide level of
employment-based immigrants from 140,000 to 5,200 annually, and would limit the
abilities and persons having advanced professional degrees. In addition, it would
eliminate the family preference visa categories and the diversity visa.
Title IV of S. 2454 would substantially increase the number of visas issued to
LPRs. Foremost, this bill would no longer deduct immediate relatives of U.S.
citizens from the overall family-sponsored numerical limit of 480,000. It also would
no longer count the derivative family members of employment-based LPRs as part
of the numerical ceiling. S. 2454 would further recapture visa numbers from FY2001
through FY2005 in those cases when the family-based and employment-based
ceilings were not reached.
Similar to S. 1033/H.R. 2330, Title IV of S. 2454 would increase the annual
limit on employment-based LPR visa categories from 140,000 to 290,000 visas, and
raise the current per-country limit on LPR visas from an allocation of 7% of the total
preference allocation to 10% of the total preference allocation (which would be
These proposed increases to the worldwide ceilings and to the per-country limits
would ease the visa wait times that oversubscribed countries (i.e., China, India,
Mexico, and the Philippines) currently face by substantially increasing their share of
the overall ceiling.
S. 2454 also would reallocate family-sponsored and employment-based
immigrant visas. With respect to employment-based visas, it would shift the
allocation of visas from persons of “extraordinary” and “exceptional” abilities and
persons having advanced professional degrees (i.e., first and second preferences)
toward unskilled workers, whose visa allocation would increase from 10,000 to
based preference categories. Employment-based visas for certain special immigrants
would no longer be numerically limited.
Title V of S. 2611 would substantially increase legal immigration and would
restructure the allocation of these visas. The Senate-passed bill would no longer
deduct immediate relatives of U.S. citizens from the overall family-sponsored
numerical limit of 480,000. It would increase the annual number of
employment-based LPRs from 140,000 to 450,000 for FY2007 through FY2016, and
set the limit at 290,000 thereafter. Although derivative family members of
employment-based LPRs would no longer count under the 450,000/290,000
numerical ceiling, S. 2611 would establish a total cap of 650,000 employment-based
LPRs and their accompanying families.
Similar to other Senate bills, S. 2611 would further increase overall levels of
immigration by reclaiming family and employment-based LPR visas when the annual
ceilings were not met, FY2001-FY2005. Title V of S. 2611 would raise the current
per-country limit on LPR visas from an allocation of 7% of the total preference
allocation to 10% of the total preference allocation (which would be 480,000 for
family-based and 450,000/290,000 for employment-based under this bill).33 The bill
also would eliminate the exceptions to the per-country ceilings for certain family-
based and employment-based LPRs.34
LPR Status for Unauthorized Aliens
Some immigration reform bills before the 109th Congress contain highly
controversial provisions to enable certain unauthorized aliens in the United States to
adjust to LPR status. In the case of S. 1033/H.R. 2330, as discussed in the section
on guest workers above, a separate guest worker visa would be established for
unauthorized aliens, who would then be able to adjust to LPR status through the
permanent employment-based immigration system. Other bills, such as Senate-
passed S. 2611, would establish legalization mechanisms separate from guest worker
33 The per-country ceiling for dependent states is raised from 2% to 7%.
34 For an analysis of per-country limits and actual admissions by country, see CRS Report
RL32235, U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions, by Ruth Ellen Wasem.
programs. Under Title VI, Subtitle A of S. 2611, the Secretary of DHS would adjust
the status of an alien and the alien’s spouse and minor children to LPR status if the
alien meets specified requirements. The alien would have to establish that he or she
was physically present in the United States on or before April 5, 2001; did not depart
during the April 5, 2001-April 5, 2006 period except for brief departures; and was not
legally present as a nonimmigrant on April 5, 2006. Among the other requirements,
the alien would have to establish employment for at least three years during the April
5, 2001-April 5, 2006 period and for at least six years after enactment, and would
have to establish payment of income taxes during that required employment period.
Such adjustments of status would not be subject to numerical limits.
Also under Title VI, Subtitle A of S. 2611, aliens who are unable to meet the
presence and employment requirements for adjustment to LPR status but who have
been present and employed in the United States since January 7, 2004, and meet other
requirements, could apply to DHS for Deferred Mandatory Departure (DMD)
status.35 Eligible aliens would be granted DMD status for up to three years. An alien
in DMD status could apply for immigrant or nonimmigrant status while in the United
States, but would have to depart the country in order to be admitted under such
status. The alien could exit the United States and immediately re-enter at certain land
points of entry. Aliens granted DMD status who are subsequently admitted to the
country as H-2C aliens could apply to adjust to LPR status, as described above in the
Guest Workers section.
Title VI, Subtitles B and C of S. 2611 contain additional provisions that would
enable certain unauthorized aliens in the United States to apply for LPR status.
Subtitle B would establish a “blue card” program for certain agricultural workers in
the United States. Under the program, aliens who had performed requisite
agricultural employment and meet other requirements would be able to obtain “blue
card” status. Not more than 1.5 million blue cards could be issued during the five
years beginning on the date of enactment. After meeting additional requirements,
blue card holders would be able to adjust to LPR status outside the INA’s numerical
Subtitle C, known as the DREAM Act, would enable aliens who first entered
the United States before age 16, have a high school diploma or the equivalent or have
been admitted to an institution of higher education, and meet other requirement to
apply for LPR status. Individuals who qualify would be granted LPR status on a
conditional basis. No numerical limitations would apply. The conditional LPR
status would be valid for six years, after which the alien could apply to have the
condition removed subject to specified requirements.
During Senate consideration of S. 2611, several amendments to eliminate or
modify legalization provisions in the bill were debated. These included two
unsuccessful amendments to delete the Subtitle A and Subtitle B legalization
provisions for aliens who had been in the United States since April 5, 2001, and for
agricultural workers (S.Amdt. 3963), and to expand the Subtitle A legalization
35 The DMD provisions in S. 2611 differ from those in S. 1438; the S. 1438 provisions are
discussed in the Guest Workers section above.
program for those in the United States since April 5, 2001, to cover aliens in the
country since January 1, 2006 (S.Amdt. 4087).
House-passed H.R. 4437 does not contain provisions to legalize the status of
unauthorized aliens in the United States.
The INA includes a variety of provisions to assist aliens who have been victims
of specified types of illegal activities, including domestic violence and trafficking.
Many of these provisions were enacted as part of the (1) Violent Crime Control and
Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322), which included the original Violence
Against Women Act (VAWA); (2) Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection
Act of 2000 (VTVPA; P.L. 106-386), which included VAWA 2000; and (3)
Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-193).
Special INA provisions benefit aliens who have been battered or subjected to
extreme cruelty by their U.S. citizen or LPR spouses or parents. For example, these
provisions establish special procedures and rules for battered aliens with respect to:
petitioning to obtain LPR status; adjusting to LPR status in the United States; and
obtaining relief from removal or deportation.
P.L. 109-162 amends and broadens existing protections for battered immigrants.
It represents a compromise between provisions included in House-passed H.R. 3402
and Senate-passed S. 1197. Under current law, battered spouses and children of
citizens or LPRs who meet specified criteria are treated differently than most other
prospective family-based immigrants, who must be the beneficiaries of immigrant
visa petitions filed by their family members. Battered aliens are allowed to file
immigrant visa petitions on their own behalf, which is known as VAWA self-
petitioning. P.L. 109-162 makes self-petitioning available to the battered parents of
citizens. It also makes VAWA self-petitioners whose petitions are approved eligible
for employment authorization, and more generally, allows the Secretary of DHS to
grant work authorization to battered spouses of certain nonimmigrants. Among its
other provisions, P.L. 109-162 places new requirements on the K visa, and
establishes rules and associated penalties for international marriage brokers. P.L.
The 109th Congress has enacted two bills with provisions on victims of
trafficking. P.L. 109-164, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act
of 2005 (H.R. 972), authorizes appropriations for existing grant programs under
VTVPA. It also creates several new grant programs, including grants to develop,
expand, or strengthen trafficking victims assistance programs for U.S. citizens and
LPRs, and grants to strengthen law enforcement programs to investigate and
prosecute domestic trafficking involving U.S. citizens and LPRs. In addition, P.L.
109-164 creates a pilot program to establish three residential treatment facilities for
trafficking victims who are minors.
The INA includes a nonimmigrant category, known as T status or the T visa, for
aliens who are victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons. P.L. 109-162 makes
various changes to the T visa to expand existing protections. Although under current
law there is no time limit on the duration of T status, under regulation it is limited to
three years. P.L. 109-162 authorizes T status for four years, and allows for additional
year-by-year extensions upon certification from selected officials, including state and
local law enforcement, that the alien’s continued presence in the United States is
required to assist in a criminal investigation or prosecution. P.L. 109-162 removes
the requirement that there must be a finding of hardship for family members of the
trafficking victim (T visa recipient) to be given T visas, and allows aliens with T
status to adjust to LPR status, after the shorter of three years or the conclusion of the
investigation or prosecution of the trafficking crime. The act also allows an alien to
change from another nonimmigrant classification to T status, and removes illegal
presence as a reason to deny the change in status.
Other Legislation and Issues
President Bush has proposed a worldwide refugee ceiling for FY2007 of 70,000,
with 50,000 of these numbers allocated among the regions of the world and the
remaining 20,000 comprising an “unallocated reserve” to be used if, and where,
additional refugee slots are needed. The worldwide refugee ceiling for FY2006 was
70,000, with 60,000 allocated numbers and 10,000 unallocated numbers. As of
September 30, 2006, actual FY2006 refugee admissions totaled 41,277. Refugee
admissions for FY2005 totaled 53,813. Refugee numbers that are unused in a fiscal
year are lost; they do not carry over into the following year.
The “Lautenberg amendment,” first enacted in 1989, requires the Attorney
General (now the Secretary of DHS) to designate categories of former Soviet and
Indochinese nationals for whom less evidence is needed to prove refugee status, and
provides for adjustment to LPR status for certain former Soviet and Indochinese
nationals denied refugee status. P.L. 108-199 amended the Lautenberg amendment
to add a new provision, known as the “Specter amendment,” that directs the Attorney
General to establish categories of Iranian religious minorities who may qualify for
refugee status under the Lautenberg amendment’s reduced evidentiary standard. P.L.
109-102 extends the Lautenberg amendment through FY2006. H.R. 5522, as
reported by the Senate Appropriations Committee, would extend the amendment
The “McCain amendment,” first enacted in 1996, made the adult children of
certain Vietnamese refugees eligible for U.S. refugee resettlement. P.L. 107-185
revised the amendment for FY2002 and FY2003. Among its provisions, this law
enabled adult children previously denied resettlement to have their cases
reconsidered. P.L. 109-102 extends the amendments, as revised, through FY2007.
Resettlement Funding. For FY2006, P.L. 109-149 includes an
appropriation of $575.6 million for the refugee resettlement programs administered
by the Department of Health and Human Service’s (HHS) Office of Refugee
Resettlement (ORR). This funding, however, like most other FY2006 discretionary
appropriations, is subject to a 1% recision enacted as part of the FY2006 Defense
appropriations bill (P.L. 109-148). For FY2007, the President has requested $614.9
million for refugee assistance. The FY2007 Labor, HHS, Education appropriations
bill reported by the House Appropriations Committee (H.R. 5647) would appropriate
$604.3 million for ORR programs, while the Senate Appropriations Committee-
reported bill (S. 3708) includes an appropriation of $599.9 million for ORR
Citizenship and Naturalization
Legislative proposals have been introduced in the 109th Congress concerning
restrictions on U.S. citizenship at birth, naturalization reform, and naturalization
based on military service. A desire to eliminate incentives for illegal immigration
and concern about divided national loyalties have led to proposals to restrict
birthright citizenship either by constitutional amendment or by statutory
interpretation of constitutional language, so that persons born in the United States
would only become citizens at birth if their parents were U.S. citizens, lawful
permanent residents, or at least lawfully present in the United States. Measures
containing such provisions include S. 2117, H.J.Res. 41, H.J.Res. 46, H.R. 698, H.R.
3700, H.R. 3938, and H.R. 4313. These proposals vary as to where the line would
be drawn concerning the parents’ status. Such proposals reportedly were submitted
to the House Rules Committee for consideration as floor amendments to H.R. 4437
and to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration as an amendment to the
Chairman’s mark, but in the former case, no such amendments were included in the
final rule and in the latter case, apparently no such amendment was considered.
Concern about divided national loyalties has also motivated legislation to reform
naturalization by restricting dual nationality. Section 1201 of H.R. 4437, as passed
by the House, would codify the existing oath of allegiance in the INA (currently the
exact wording is prescribed in regulations pursuant to substantive principles
established in the INA). Section 643(h) of S. 2611, as passed by the Senate, would
revise and codify language for the oath of allegiance. Both of these provisions would
require DHS, in cooperation with DOS, to inform the country in which the new U.S.
citizen has a pre-existing nationality that the citizen has renounced allegiance to that
foreign country and has sworn allegiance to the United States. Bills containing
similar provisions and/or others intended to restrict dual nationality include S. 1087,
S. 1815/H.R. 4168, H.R. 688, H.R. 2513, and H.R. 3938.
In addition to barring terrorists from naturalization as noted in an earlier section,
§609 of H.R. 4437 and §204 of S. 2611 would reform the naturalization process by
providing that no application shall be considered while there is any pending
proceeding concerning an applicant’s inadmissibility, deportability, or rescission of
lawful permanent resident status; and no petition for immigrant status for a person
shall be approved if there is any criminal or civil administrative or judicial
proceeding pending that could result in the sponsor-petitioner’s denaturalization or
loss of lawful permanent resident status. These provisions would also provide that
an alien admitted under the INA for conditional lawful permanent residence shall
only be considered lawfully admitted to permanent residence and have the
conditional period count for naturalization purposes if the conditionality has been
removed; and would restrict judicial jurisdiction over naturalization delays and
judicial review of naturalization denials. Section 612 of H.R. 4437 and §204 of S.
2611 would bar an alien who had been determined at any time to have been an alien
described in the national security/terrorism/genocide grounds for inadmissibility/
removal from being considered a person of good moral character for naturalization
Section 643 of S. 2611 would provide resources and establish programs for
naturalization and naturalization education. Section 643(c)(2) of S. 2611 would
reduce the period of required legal residency for naturalization from five years to four
years for lawful permanent residents who demonstrate fluency in English in
accordance with regulations to be prescribed by DHS in consultation with DOS.
Section 768 of S. 2611 would, among other things, establish guidelines for a redesign
of the citizenship test of English and civics knowledge.
Section 821 of S. 2611 would amend INA §320, which establishes the
conditions for automatic citizenship of children born outside the United States (who
do not otherwise qualify for citizenship under INA §301). The amendment would
take effect retroactively to the original INA date of enactment. Section 821 would
permit the automatic citizenship of a child born outside the United States to at least
one U.S. citizen parent who satisfies certain physical presence requirements, where
the child is under the age of 18 years. It would thereby eliminate the current
requirement that a foreign-born child be residing in the United States as a lawful
permanent resident in order to acquire automatic citizenship. (Changes that §821 of
S. 2611 would make to the automatic citizenship requirements applicable to adopted
children are covered below in the International Adoption section.)
Finally, sections in Title VII of S. 2611 would build on the expansion of
expedited naturalization and other citizenship-related benefits for aliens serving in
the U.S. military enacted by Title XVII of P.L. 108-136. Among other things, S.
2611 would waive the fingerprint requirement for members of the Armed Forces who
were fingerprinted by DOD upon enlistment if they submit a naturalization
application within 12 months of enlistment. It would provide that aliens shall not be
denied the opportunity to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, and that aliens may be
granted U.S. citizenship after at least two years of honorable and satisfactory service
on active duty and have other requirements waived, if they file an application,
demonstrate English and civics knowledge and good moral character to their chain
of command, and take the oath of allegiance. Similar legislative proposals include
S. 2097, S. 2165, S. 3947, H.R. 661, H.R. 901, H.R. 3018, H.R. 3911, and H.R.
4533. Section 509 of S. 2611 would provide that numerical limits on immigrant
visas shall not apply to the adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens naturalized
under a statute benefitting Filipino World War II veterans.
International adoption begins essentially as a legal matter between a private
individual(s) and a foreign court or government, as the prospective parents must
comply with the adoption rules of that country.36 No United States government
agency is directly involved in the adoption process in another country or locates
children to be adopted. Nonetheless, the prospective parents must meet the U.S.
legal requirements as defined in the INA to bring a child adopted abroad into the
United States. Under U.S. law, petitioning for an orphan requires two distinctive
determinations: (1) whether the prospective adoptive parents are able to care for the
child; and (2) whether the child meets the definition of orphan under the INA.
In 1993, the United States signed the Hague Convention on Intercountry
Adoption. In 2000, Congress passed the International Adoption Act of 2000 (P.L.
As required by the Convention, among other things, the implementing legislation
establishes the central adoption authority of the United States in DOS. The Secretary
of DHS is responsible for filing applications of prospective adoptive parents with the
Title VIII of Senate-passed S. 2611, added to the bill by S.Amdt. 4025, would
make changes to the international adoption process.38 S. 2611 would mandate that
DOS establish an Office of Intercountry Adoptions, to be headed by an Ambassador
at Large for Intercountry Adoptions, who would be responsible for advocating for
children, advising the President on intercountry adoptions, representing the U.S.
government in diplomatic matters that arise as part of the intercountry adoption
process, and developing and overseeing policies relating to intercountry adoptions.
In addition, the bill would transfer all the responsibilities for administering
intercountry adoption cases from DHS to DOS.
Currently under INA §320, citizenship is automatically acquired by all foreign-
born children who are under the age of 18; who are residing in the United States as
LPRs; and who are in the legal and physical custody of at least one parent who is a
U.S. citizen. Adopted children can qualify for automatic citizenship upon entry to
the United States provided that the adoption is finalized before the child enters the
United States. S. 2611 would amend INA §320 so that a child adopted abroad would
automatically become a U.S. citizen upon adoption by at least one U.S. citizen who
has resided in the United States for at least five years, two of these years after the age
of 14. The adoption must be full and final, and the child must be under the age of 16
on the adoption date. Under this change, the adopted child would no longer have to
enter the United States to acquire citizenship.
Furthermore, S. 2611 would create a new nonimmigrant W visa for an
adoptable child who is coming to the United States to be adopted by a U.S. citizen
who has been approved to adopt by DOS. The visa would be valid for four years,
and the W visa holder would have all the rights and benefits of an LPR.
36 For more information on international adoptions, see CRS Report RL31769, Immigration:
International Child Adoption, by Alison Siskin.
37 The United States has not formally ratified the Convention.
38 These amendments are similar to provisions found in H.R. 3896, S. 1934, and S. 3031 in
the 108th Congress. All the bills were entitled the Intercountry Adoption Reform Act or
Immigration Issues in Free Trade Agreements
Immigration issues often raised in the context of the free trade agreements
(FTAs) include whether FTAs should contain provisions that expressly expand
immigration between the countries as well as whether FTAs should require that the
immigrant-sending countries restrain unwanted migration (typically expressed as
illegal aliens). The question of whether the movement of people — especially
temporary workers — is subsumed under the broader category of “provision of
services” and thus is an inherent part of any free trade agreement also arises.
The Australian FTA, signed on May 18, 2004, does not contain any explicit
immigration provisions. However, P.L. 109-13 includes a provision that touches on
the nexus of H-1B visas and FTAs. Specifically, Division B, Title V, §501 of the
law adds 10,500 visas for Australian nationals to perform services in specialty
occupations under a new E-3 temporary visa.
The U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement
(DR-CAFTA) was signed on August 5, 2004, and implementing legislation was sent
to the U.S. Congress on June 23, 2005. Although DR-CAFTA does not contain any
explicit immigration provisions, migration trends from these nations arise as an
H.R. 4437, as passed by the House, and S. 2611, as passed by the Senate,
would broaden and increase penalties for criminal offenses of document fraud and
add such offenses to the criminal grounds for inadmissibility and deportation.
Among other things, these bills would provide for either the establishment of a new
DHS Fraudulent Documents Center or increased access to the existing DHS Forensic
Document Laboratory in order to collect and disseminate information assisting law
enforcement officers in identifying fraudulent immigration and travel documents.
Various provisions would amend the existing document fraud statutes generally or
individually to: establish that the distribution of fraudulent documents is a crime;
increase the penalties for document fraud; provide for a uniform statute of limitations
for document fraud and other immigration-related offenses; provide for the forfeiture
of any property used to commit an immigration fraud offense or the proceeds of such
an offense; criminalize attempt and conspiracy to commit immigration fraud; and
criminalize schemes to defraud aliens, including misrepresenting oneself as an
attorney in immigration matters. S. 2611 would also provide an exception for
legitimate refugees and asylees who often must use fraudulent documents to escape
persecution in their countries; and increase the number of fraud detection
enforcement agents with regard to worksite enforcement.
39 For complete discussion and legislative tracking of DR-CAFTA, see CRS Report
RL31870, The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement
(DR-CAFTA), by J. F. Hornbeck; and CRS Report RL32322, Central America and the
Dominican Republic in the Context of the Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) with the
United States, coordinated by K. Larry Storrs. For a more general discussion and analysis,
see CRS Report RL32982, Immigration Issues in Trade Agreements, by Ruth Ellen Wasem.
Other Legislation Receiving Action
State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). SCAAP
provides reimbursement to state and local governments for the direct costs associated
with incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens. P.L. 109-162 authorizes
appropriations for SCAAP of $750 million for FY2006, $850 million for FY2007,
and $950 million for each fiscal year from FY2008 through FY2011. It also would40
require that SCAAP reimbursement funds be used only for correctional purposes.
Section 218 of S. 2611, as passed by the Senate, includes changes to SCAAP
that would require the Secretary of DHS to reimburse states and localities for costs
associated with detaining and processing undocumented criminal aliens. The costs
covered include indigent defense; criminal prosecution; autopsies; translators and
interpreters; and court costs. S. 2611 would authorize appropriations for these
processing costs at $400 million for each fiscal year from FY2007 through FY2012.
Additionally, appropriations for compensation under SCAAP would be authorized
at such sums as necessary for FY2007; $750 million for FY2008; $850 million for
FY2009; and $950 million for FY2010-FY2012.
S Visa. The nonimmigrant S visa is currently available to aliens who are
determined to be in possession of critical reliable information concerning a criminal
or terrorist organization, enterprise, or operation that they are willing to supply to law
enforcement authorities or a court. Section 410 of S. 2611, as passed by the Senate,
would expand the S visa to include aliens who: are in possession of critical reliable
information concerning the activities of governments or organizations (or their
agents, representatives, or officials) regarding weapons of mass destruction and
related delivery systems; and are willing to supply that information to U.S.
authorities. S. 2611 also would increase the numerical limit on the S visa from 250
to 1,000 per fiscal year.
Additionally, S. 2611 would require DHS to report to Congress should the
number of nonimmigrants admitted on S visas fall below 25% of the numerical limit.
The report is required to include descriptions of the efforts made by the Secretary of
Homeland Security to admit such nonimmigrants; reasons why fewer than 25% were
admitted; and any extenuating circumstances contributing to the shortfall in
Unaccompanied Alien Children. S. 119, as passed by the Senate, would
create procedures for DHS officers to follow when they encounter an unaccompanied
alien child. It would establish new procedures to make it easier for unaccompanied
alien children to be placed with family members and other individuals and entities,
and would establish conditions for the detention of these children. Among its other
provisions, it would require that unaccompanied alien children have counsel to
represent them in immigration proceedings, and would require the establishment of
a pilot program to study providing guardians ad litem to assist unaccompanied alien
children involved in immigration proceedings.
40 See CRS Report RL33431, Immigration: Frequently Asked Questions on the State
Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), by Karma Ester.
Foreign Medical Graduates. Unless granted a waiver, foreign medical
graduates who are in the United States on J visas to receive graduate medical
education or training must return to their home countries and reside there for at least
two years before they can apply for an immigrant visa, permanent residence, or an H
or L nonimmigrant visa (see “Temporary Immigration,” above). The authority to
issue a waiver of the foreign residence requirement to a foreign medical graduate
based on the request of a state public health department currently applies to aliens
who acquired J status before June 1, 2006. H.R. 4997, as passed by the House,
would extend this waiver authority to cover aliens who acquire J status before June
Special Immigrant Status for Translators. H.R. 2293, as reported by
the House Judiciary Committee, would authorize DHS to grant LPR status as
“special immigrants” to certain nationals of Iraq and Afghanistan who worked with
the U.S. Armed Forces as translators, and their spouses and children. The bill would
place an annual cap of 50 on the number of principal aliens who could be granted
special immigrant status.
Nonimmigrant Traders and Investors from Denmark. H.R. 3647,
as passed by the House, would make nationals of Denmark eligible to enter the
United States on E nonimmigrant visas as treaty traders or treaty investors.
The following are immigration bills or bills with significant immigration
provisions that have received legislative action in the 109th Congress beyond
hearings. All of these measures are discussed earlier in the report.
P.L. 109-13 (H.R. 1268). Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for
Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005. Includes REAL ID
Act. Reported by Appropriations Committee (H.Rept. 109-16) on March 11, 2005.
Passed House on March 16, 2005. Reported by Senate Appropriations Committee
(S.Rept. 109-52) on April 6, 2005. Passed Senate, as amended, on April 21, 2005.
House agreed to conference report (H.Rept. 109-72) on May 5, 2005; Senate agreed
on May 10, 2005. Signed on May 11, 2005.
P.L. 109-97 (H.R. 2744). Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug
Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006. Includes alien
smuggling provision. Reported by Appropriations Committee (H.Rept. 109-102) on
June 2, 2005. Passed House on June 8, 2005. Reported by Senate Appropriations
Committee (S.Rept. 109-92) on June 27, 2005. Passed Senate, as amended, on
September 22, 2005. House agreed to conference report (H.Rept. 109-255) on
October 26, 2005; Senate agreed on November 10, 2005. Signed on November 3,
P.L. 109-102 (H.R. 3057). Foreign Operations, Export Financing and
Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2006. Includes refugee provisions. Reported
by Appropriations Committee (H.Rept. 109-152) on June 24, 2005. Passed House
on June 28, 2005. Reported by Senate Appropriations Committee (S.Rept. 109-96)
on June 30, 2005. Passed Senate, as amended, on July 20, 2005. House agreed to
conference report (H.Rept. 109-265) on November 4, 2005; Senate agreed on
November 10, 2005. Signed on November 14, 2005.
P.L. 109-149 (H.R. 3010). Departments of Labor, Health and Human
Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006. Includes
provisions on refugee resettlement funding. Reported by Appropriations Committee
(H.Rept. 109-143) on June 21, 2005. Passed House on June 24, 2005. Reported by
Senate Judiciary Committee (S.Rept. 109-103) on July 14, 2005. Passed Senate, as
amended, on October 27, 2005. House disagreed to conference report (H.Rept. 109-
on December 14, 2005; Senate agreed on December 21, 2005. Signed on December
P.L. 109-162 (H.R. 3402). Violence Against Women and Department of
Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005. Includes provisions on battered aliens,
trafficking victims, and SCAAP. Reported by Judiciary Committee (H.Rept. 109-
as amended on December 16, 2005. House agrees to Senate amendment on
December 17, 2005. Signed on January 1, 2006.
P.L. 109-163 (H.R. 1815). National Defense Authorization Act for
FY2006. Includes provisions on U.S. Military patrols at the border. Reported by
Armed Services Committee (H.Rept. 109-89) on May 20, 2005. Passed House on
May 25, 2005. Passed Senate, as amended, on November 15, 2005. House agreed
to conference report (H.Rept. 109-360) on December 19, 2005; Senate agreed on
December 21, 2005. Signed on January 6, 2006.
P.L. 109-164 (H.R. 972). Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization
Act of 2005. Reported by International Relations Committee (H.Rept. 109-317, Part
I) on November 18, 2005, and by Judiciary Committee (H.Rept. 109-317, Part II) on
December 8, 2005. Passed House on December 14, 2005. Passed Senate on
December 22, 2005. Signed on January 10, 2006.
P.L. 109-271 (S. 3693). Makes technical corrections to P.L. 109-162.
Includes provisions on battered aliens. Passed Senate on July 19, 2006. Passed
House on July 29, 2006. Signed on August 12, 2006.
P.L. 109-295 (H.R. 5441). Department of Homeland Security
Appropriations Act, 2007. Reported by Appropriations Committee (H.Rept. 109-
476) on May 22, 2006. Passed House on June 6, 2006. Reported by Senate
Appropriations Committee (S.Rept. 109-273) on June 29, 2006. Passed Senate, as
amended, on July 13, 2006. House agreed to conference report (H.Rept. 109-699)
on September 29, 2006; Senate agreed on September 29, 2006. Signed on October
P.L. 109-364 (H.R. 5122). John Warner National Defense Authorization
Act for FY2007. Includes H-2B visa provisions. Reported by Armed Services
Committee (H.Rept. 109-452) on May 5, 2006. Passed House on May 11, 2006.
Passed Senate, as amended, on June 22, 2006. House agreed to conference report
(H.Rept. 109-702) on September 29, 2006; Senate agreed on September 30, 2006.
Signed on October 17, 2006.
P.L. 109-367 (H.R. 6061). Secure Fence Act of 2006. Passed House on
September 14, 2006. Passed Senate on September 29, 2006. Signed on October 26,
H.R. 1285 (Rush). Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Reauthorization
Act of 2005. Passed House on June 20, 2006. Passed Senate on December 6, 2006.
H.R. 1817 (Cox). Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act for
FY2006. Includes provisions on role of state and local law enforcement in
enforcement of immigration law. Reported by Homeland Security Committee
(H.Rept. 109-71, Part I) on May 3, 2005; by Energy and Commerce Committee
(H.Rept. 109-71, Part II) on May 13, 2005; and by Judiciary Committee (H.Rept.
H.R. 2293 (Hostettler). Amends INA to provide special immigrant status
for aliens serving as translators with the U.S. Armed Forces. Reported by Judiciary
Committee (H.Rept. 109-99) on May 26, 2005.
H.R. 3647 (Sensenbrenner). Renders nationals of Denmark eligible to
enter the United States as nonimmigrant traders and investors. Reported by Judiciary
Committee (H.Rept. 109-251) on October 18, 2006. Passed House on November 16,
H.R. 3648 (Sensenbrenner). Amends INA to impose additional fees on
immigration services for intracompany transferees. Ordered to be reported by
Judiciary Committee on September 29, 2005.
H.R. 4312 (King, P.). Border Security and Terrorism Prevention Act of
2005. Reported by Homeland Security Committee (H.Rept. 109-329, Part I) on
December 6, 2005.
H.R. 4437 (Sensenbrenner). Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and
Illegal Immigration Control Act. Reported by Judiciary Committee (H.Rept. 109-
H.R. 4830 (Dreier). Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2006. Passed House
on September 21, 2006.
H.R. 4997 (Moran, Jerry). Physicians for Underserved Areas Act. Passed
House on December 6, 2006.
H.R. 5522 (Kolbe). Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related
Programs Appropriations Act, 2007. Includes refugee provisions. Reported by
Appropriations Committee (H.Rept. 109-486) on June 5, 2006. Passed House on
June 9, 2006. Reported by Senate Appropriations Committee (S.Rept. 109-277) on
July 10, 2006.
H.R. 5647 (Regula). Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services,
and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2007. Includes provisions
on refugee resettlement funding. Reported by Appropriations Committee (H.Rept.
H.R. 6094 (Sensenbrenner). Community Protection Act of 2006. Passed
House on September 21, 2006.
H.R. 6095 (Sensenbrenner). Immigration Law Enforcement Act of 2006.
Passed House on September 21, 2006.
H.R. 6160 (Rogers, M. [Ala.]). More Border Patrol Agents Now Act of
H.R. 6162 (Rogers, M. [Ala.]). Secure Border Initiative Financial
Accountability Act of 2006. Passed House on September 28, 2006.
S. 119 (Feinstein). Unaccompanied Alien Child Protection Act of 2005.
Reported by Judiciary Committee (without written report) on April 14, 2005. Passed
Senate, as amended, on December 22, 2005.
S. 1197 (Biden). Violence Against Women Act of 2005. Reported by
Judiciary Committee (without written report) on September 12, 2005. Passed Senate,
as amended, on October 4, 2005.
S. 2611 (Specter). Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006.
Passed Senate, as amended, on May 25, 2006.
S. 3708 (Specter). Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and
Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2007. Includes provisions on
refugee resettlement funding. Reported by Appropriations Committee (H.Rept. 109-