Immigration: A Guide to Internet Sources

Order Code RS20936 Updated September 9, 2004 CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Immigration: A Guide to Internet Sources Barbara Salazar Torreon Information Research Specialist Information Research Division Summary This report identifies selected websites from the Internet on immigration topics in the United States. Selected government, legal, and organizational website addresses are provided. On March 1, 2003, enforcement function and service responsibilities of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) transferred to the newly created Cabinetlevel Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This report will be updated periodically as new information becomes available and to ensure the currency of the Web addresses as a result of the reorganization and during this time of transition. Selected Websites on Immigration Issues Listed below are selected websites examining immigration issues in three categories: federal government, legal sites, and organizations. A brief description accompanies each entry with details on related links. U.S. Government Websites The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296) reorganized the federal government with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and abolished the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), an agency of the Department of Justice (DOJ). On March 1, 2003, enforcement function and service responsibilities of the INS transferred to the DHS as the Bureau of Border Security (BBS) and Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) under the DHS Directorate of Border and Transportation Security (BTS). (See CRS Report RL31560, Homeland Security Proposals: Issues Regarding Transfer of Immigration Agencies and Functions, for additional details.) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Directorate of Border and Transportation Security (BTS) [http://uscis.gov/] This main page of the USCIS site (formerly the INS website) is the gateway to the latest immigration news and to links for specific “Hot Topics” such as the following. Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress CRS-2 Case Work — Resources for Congressional Offices [http://uscis.gov/graphics/aboutus/congress/index.htm] Information for congressional offices on assisting constituents with a variety of immigration questions is provided including case status online. Forms, Fees, and Fingerprints [http://uscis.gov/graphics/formsfee/index.htm] This website has electronic copies of numerous forms with detailed instructions as well as information on fees and applicant fingerprinting services. Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs] on Immigration [http://uscis.gov/graphics/faqs.htm] Answers to frequently asked questions ranging from “What’s a green card?” to “What type of a visa do I need?” are listed alphabetically by subject. Laws, Regulations, and Guides [http://uscis.gov/graphics/lawsregs/index.htm] Provides information on laws, regulations, interpretations on immigration law, and how laws and regulations are developed. Media and Public Affairs Information Headings [http://uscis.gov/graphics/publicaffairs/index.htm] Information is listed alphabetically by subject (admissions, benefits eligibility, citizenship/naturalization, enforcement, 245i, etc.) or chronologically. SEVIS — Student and Exchange Visitor System [http://www.ice.gov/graphics/sevis/index.htm] The SEVP program was formerly known as the Coordinated Interagency Partnership Regulating International Students (CIPRIS). This website has information on SEVIS which allows electronic data collection and reporting on nonimmigrant students/visitors and exchange student/visitors (F, M, and J visa categories). Statistics for Immigration to the United States, 1994-2002 [http://uscis.gov/graphics/shared/aboutus/statistics/index.htm] Access is provided to statistical data from the publication, Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, formerly the Statistical Yearbook of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and from other data systems. CRS-3 Bureau of Border Security (BBS) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Directorate of Border and Transportation Security (BTS) [http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/display?theme=50] Information on the BTS and how the enforcement functions of INS were transferred, along with other federal agencies. Included is a link to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at [http://www.bice.immigration.gov/graphics/index.htm]. With the March 1, 2003, transfer of INS immigration interior enforcement responsibilities into the DHS, the new Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was created. Library of Congress, American Memory, and THOMAS [http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/features/immig/alt/introduction.html] This website is maintained by the Library of Congress and contains historical information on immigration to the United States from the Library’s collections. Information on immigration bills can be located on THOMAS, the Library’s legislative website, at [http://thomas.loc.gov]. Click on “Bill Summary and Status” to search “immigration” in the 108th and past Congresses (93rd through 107th). U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign-Born Population Statistics [http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/foreign.html] It has data on the characteristics of the foreign-born population, including legal immigrants, undocumented immigrants, and temporary residents like students and workers on business visas. U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform [http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/uscir] The commission was created by the Immigration Act of 1990 and dissolved in December 1997. Its reports are available at this website maintained by the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic] The website of the DHS with links to all its 22 agencies. Information on immigration benefits and border management is accessed via the borders and immigration links located at [http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/theme_home4.jsp]. It also provides information on the U.S.-VISIT Program, which is set up to secure our borders and expedite the entry/exit process. U.S. Department of State [http://www.state.gov/interntl] This website has information on some immigration topics such as visas, refugees, and cultural and educational exchanges. CRS-4 Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) [http://www.state.gov/g/prm] This website provides information on the refugee population worldwide and policies regarding assistance and admission to the United States. The PRM has primary responsibility for formulating policies on population, refugees, and migration. Bureau of Consular Affairs K and V Visas [http://travel.state.gov/visa/index.html] This website has information on the categories of nonimmigrant visas created by the LIFE Act, the new K and V visas. Included is information on where to apply and application forms. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs [http://exchanges.state.gov/education] This site has information on the Au Pair program and cultural and educational exchanges like the J Visa Exchange Program. Visa Services [http://travel.state.gov/visa/index.html] This website provides links to the Diversity Visa (DV)-2005 Lottery (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery) and other types of visa (immigrant and non-immigrant) information at [http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants_types_diversity3.html]. U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (IRS)— Aliens and Taxes [http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/faqs/index.html#13] This IRS website offers answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on aliens and taxes and a link to Immigrants and Social Security at [http://www.ssa.gov/immigration]. Legal Websites American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) [http://www.aila.org] This is the website of the national bar association of attorneys practicing immigration law. It provides the latest news on immigration legislation and AILA publications. Cornell University Immigration Law [http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/immigration.html] This website provides an overview of immigration law and offers access to federal and international legal materials as well as links to “Key Internet Sources.” CRS-5 Immigration Web Portal [http://www.ilw.com] This website has information for immigration lawyers and for those seeking assistance with immigration casework. It also provides access to Immigration Daily news at [http://www.ilw.com/lawyers/immigdaily]. National Immigration Law Center (NILC) [http://www.nilc.org] This is the website for an advocacy group assisting low-income immigrants and their families with legal questions on employment, public benefits, and NILC publications. Organizations’ Websites Americans for Better Immigration (ABI) [http://www.betterimmigration.org] A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that lobbies Congress for reductions in immigration numbers. The ABI maintains “immigration report cards” grading federal politicians on their immigration actions (by member name and by state) and provides a link to the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus. Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) [http://www.cis.org] Founded in 1985, the CIS is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization devoted exclusively to analyzing the “economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States.” Included are CIS publications, current news articles, and current information on common immigration topics such as citizenship, legal/illegal immigration, refugee/asylum issues, wages, and poverty. FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform) [http://www.fairus.org] FAIR is “a national, non-profit, public interest organization of concerned citizens who share a common belief that the unforeseen mass immigration that has occurred over the last 30 years should not continue.” Included are links to its publications, testimony before Congress, current issues and legislation, U.S. immigration history, and statistical data, and it provides links to similar conservative organizations. Georgetown University, Institute for the Study of International Migration [http://www.georgetown.edu/sfs/programs/isim] The Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) is part of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service affiliated with the Law Center at Georgetown University. The ISIM studies issues raised by international migration, including immigration to the United States and its social and legal impact. Click on “publications” for a list. CRS-6 Immigration Superhighway [http://www.immigration-usa.com/i_suphwy.html] This website has information on and links to the Immigration Nationality Act, immigration forms, advocacy groups, and news articles on current immigration topics. Migration Policy Institute (MPI) [http://www.migrationpolicy.org] Found in 1989, the MPI originated from the Carnegie Endowment’s International Migration Policy Program “to analyze the movement of people worldwide.” On May 22, 2002, the Migration Information Source at [http://www.migrationinformation.org] was launched by the MPI to provide current data and analysis on migration and refugee issues. National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR) [http://www.nnirr.org] This website is a forum for “a national organization of local coalitions and immigrant, refugee, community, religious, civil rights, labor organizations and activists.” Included are links to NNIRR’s bimonthly newsletter, current issues, and resources. National Visa Services [http://www.nationalvisaservice.com/index.asp] Founded in 1994, this self-proclaimed “Gateway to America” provides information on applying for the latest diversity lottery to obtain a green card. RAND’s Center for Research on Immigration Policy (CRIP) [http://www.rand.org/education/crip.html] Established in 1988 by RAND, one of the first “think tanks” in the United States, CRIP conducts analytical research and policy analysis on the integration of immigrants in the United States, access to public services by immigrants, the education of immigrants and their children, and links between immigration and national security issues. A link to a bibliography of CRIP publications in provided. Urban Institute’s Population Studies [http://www.urban.org] The Urban Institute is a nonpartisan economic and social policy research organization. Its Population Studies Research Center analyzes issues related to immigration such as immigrant health, economic status, undocumented aliens in the criminal justice system, and other topics. A listing of current Population Studies publications on various immigration issues can be accessed by clicking on “Policy Center” then “Projects” or by going directly to [http://www.urban.org/content/PolicyCenters/ Population/Projects/Projects.htm].