Immigration: S Visas for Criminal and Terrorist Informants [Updated December 3, 2001] [open pdf - 31KB]
From the Summary: "In response to the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Congress passed legislation making permanent a provision that allows aliens with critical information on criminal or terrorist organizations to come into the United States in order to provide information to law enforcement officials. This legislation (S. 1424) became P.L. [Public Law] 107-45 on October 1, 2001. The law amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide permanent authority for the administration of the 'S' visa, which was scheduled to expire on September 13, 2001. On November 29, 2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced the 'Responsible Cooperators Program' to reach out to persons who may be eligible for the S visa. Up to 200 criminal informants and 50 terrorist informants may be admitted annually. Since FY1995, almost 700 informants and their accompanying family members have entered on S visas. This report will not be regularly updated."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21043