Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 107th Congress [Updated August 28, 2002]   [open pdf - 226KB]

"The basic U.S. law regulating immigration, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), was enacted in 1952 and has been amended since then. The last major overhaul of the INA occurred in 1996 with the passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA; Division C of P.L. 104-208). The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) of the Department of Justice (DOJ) administers and enforces the INA. (For a basic introduction to immigration, see CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report RS20916, Immigration and Naturalization Fundamentals.) In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, congressional interest in immigration was focused primarily on security-related issues, such as border security, admissions policy, and the tracking of foreign nationals in the United States. Major legislation was enacted in these areas. While security-related issues remain on the agenda and have gained renewed prominence with the Administration's proposal to establish a homeland security department, the 107th Congress is also considering other immigration issues. Top immigration-related issues currently before Congress are the reorganization of INS, admissions policy, and noncitizen eligibility for federal benefits. These issues are discussed, in turn, in the initial sections of this report. These discussions are followed by coverage of various proposed mechanisms for unauthorized aliens to obtain legal permanent resident (LPR) status and other immigration issues of significant congressional interest. (The 'Legislation' section at the end of the report lists enacted legislation and selected bills receiving action.)"

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CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB10103
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