Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 107th Congress [Updated October 30, 2002]   [open pdf - 83KB]

"Top immigration issues before the 107th Congress include the reorganization of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), a part of the Department of Justice (DOJ); admissions policy; and the eligibility of non-citizens for public assistance. Also pending are measures to enable unauthorized aliens to become legal permanent residents (LPRs) and to reform temporary guest worker programs. Amendments proposed in the Senate would create a directorate of immigration affairs within the new department with responsibility for immigration service and enforcement functions. The Administration has proposed transferring all of INS to a new homeland security department under a border and transportation security division. Admissions policy, particularly responsibility for issuing visas, is a key issue in discussions about establishing a homeland security department. Congress is addressing non-citizen eligibility for public assistance in the context of bills to reauthorize federal public benefit programs. The 'farm bill' (P.L. 107-171) expands eligibility for food stamps for certain classes of LPRs. H.R. 4737 would reauthorize Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. This legislation would extend a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act- §245(i)- that currently covers illegal aliens whose sponsors filed petitions or applications on their behalf by April 30, 2001. H.R. 1885 has been passed in different forms by the House and Senate. Other pending bills would establish mechanisms to allow particular groups of unauthorized aliens- such as agricultural workers and students- to become LPRs."

Report Number:
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB10103
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