"Despite President Obama's calls for a national conversation on immigration reform, immigration has not been a front-burner issue for the 112th Congress. The 112th Congress, however, has taken legislative action on some measures containing provisions on a range of immigration-related topics. The Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (P.L. 112- 10) terminated a special refugee provision known as the Lautenberg amendment. This amendment was subsequently re-enacted for FY2012 [Fiscal Year 2012] by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (P.L. 112- 74). P.L. 112-74 also contains provisions on border security and other issues. P.L. 112-58, a narrow immigration law, concerns military service-based immigration benefits. The House has passed the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2011 (H.R. 3012), which would make changes to permanent employment-based and family-based admissions. It also has passed legislation to reauthorize the H-1C temporary worker category for nurses coming to work in medically underserved areas in the United States (H.R. 1933). In other action on immigration-related legislation, the House Judiciary Committee has reported or ordered reported bills on electronic employment eligibility verification (H.R. 2885), immigrant detention (H.R. 1932), visa security (H.R. 1741), and the diversity visa (H.R. 704). Both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee have reported bills on victims of trafficking (H.R. 2830, S. 1301), and the House Natural Resources Committee has reported a bill concerning foreign residents of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a U.S. territory in the Pacific. In addition, House and Senate committees and subcommittees have held hearings on a number of immigration-related issues. This report discusses immigration-related issues that have received legislative action or are of significant congressional interest in the 112th Congress. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations are addressed in CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report R41982, Homeland Security Department: FY2012 Appropriations, and, for the most part, are not covered here."
CRS Report for Congress, R42036