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Keeping Current with Immigration Law and Policy

Keep up-to-date with the new laws and policy changes that affect your immigration journey.
  1. FAQ: Immigrants and Voting (7)

Napolitano's Immigration Record
Janet Napolitano resigned as Homeland Security secretary in 2013 after a tenure that drew criticism and praise from both sides of the aisle, as well as immigrant advocates and detractors. Clearly, it's one of the toughest jobs in Washington.

Undocumented Immigrants Pay Many Taxes
A study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy finds that undocumented immigrants pay lots of taxes and would pay more to lift the U.S. economy under comprehensive immigration reform plans.

What Is the W Visa Program?
The proposed W Visa program would create a new class of workers that fills lower skilled U.S. jobs for temporary periods.

What Is Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) Status?
Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status allows undocumented immigrants to live and work legally in the United States as they pursue a path to a green card and U.S. citizenship.

What Is the Border Security Trigger?
The Senate's comprehensive immigration reform plan calls for border security triggers to be met before immigrants living in the country illegally can move forward on a pathway toward citizenship.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill
Senate's Gang of Eight releases details of historic proposal for comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes 13-year path to citizenship.

Immigration Holds Are Costly
Federal immigration holds are burden to jails and cost local governments plenty, University of Washington study finds.

What is E-Verify?
E-Verify is a federally run computer database that allows employers and businesses to check the immigration status of prospective employees before hiring them.

A Reprieve for Same-Sex Couples
Obama administration's immigration officials to recognize same-sex partners as family members when considering their legal status in deportation cases.

Obama, Romney Debate Immigration
President Obama and Mitt Romney had a lot to say about immigration during their second presidential debate at Hofstra University in October.

Arguments Against Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Opponents of comprehensive immigration reform say that allowing legal residency to the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country amounts to amnesty that will encourage more migrants to cross the U.S. border illegally.

What Is the Plan for National IDs?
Some supporters of comprehensive immigration reform believe all Americans and U.S. residents should have national ID card to verify who they are and what they're doing in the country.

State Legislatures Back Off Immigration Issues in 2012
State legislatures back off immigration issues in 2012 and write fewer immigration laws.

Arrest Record Can Thwart 'Deferred Action' Request
Undocumented immigrants who want to take advantage of the Obama administration's "deferred action" designation to avoid deportation must clear a criminal background check.

Obama Gives Reprieve to Illegal Immigrant Youths
President Obama announces plan to allow children of illegal immigrants to stay and work in the United States legally.

Obama's Immigration Record
President Obama couldn't deliver on comprehensive immigration reform during his first term but says he's determined to do it in his second.

DREAM Act Study Finds Potential Windfall
UCLA study finds that the DREAM Act would enable undocumented immigrant students to pump billions into the U.S. economy.

DHS Names Public Advocate
The Homeland Security Department named Andrew Lorenzen-Strait to be its new public advocate.

'Arizona Accord' Counters Controversial Law
Arizona Accord seeks to take some of the sting out of the state's stringent immigration law.

Skilled Immigrants Create Jobs in U.S.
Highly skilled immigrants create jobs for American workers.

Obama Changes Immigration Rule
The Obama administration will change rules to allow some illegal immigrants to remain in the United States with their families while seeking legal status.

Newt Gingrich on Immigration
Newt Gingrich has more moderate positions on U.S. immigration than most of his Republican rivals.

Rick Perry on Immigration
Texas Gov. Rick Perry irked conservatives when he signed a version of the DREAM Act.

Michele Bachmann on Immigration
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann holds conservative positions on immigration policy.

U.S. Business Needs Immigrants With Advanced Degrees
U.S. business wants more visas for immigrants skilled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Jon Huntsman on Immigration
Jon Huntsman takes moderate stands on immigration policy.

Ron Paul on Immigration
Republican Ron Paul sticks to libertarian beliefs when it comes to immigration.

Immigrants Who Buy U.S. Homes Could Qualify for Visas
Congress is considering giving residency visas to immigrants who buy homes in the United States.

Herman Cain on Immigration
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain opposes comprehensive immigration reform.

Congress Considers Blue Cards for Farmworkers
Congress is considering overhauling the agriculture industry's guest worker program.

Seeking Asylum in the United States
There are two ways that refugees can obtain asylum in the United States.

What is the government’s Secure Communities program?
The government's Secure Communities deportation program has faced critics, changes.

U.S. Allows Cuban Migrants Different Treatment
The United States gives migrants from Cuba special treatment under the "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy.

Majority of Americans Support Arizona Senate Bill 1070
A poll from CBS News/New York Times reveals that the majority of Americans support tough immigration enforcement laws like Arizona's controversial Senate Bill 1070.

Arizona Senate Bill 1070 - Do You Support Senate Bill 1070
On April 23, 2010 Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070, known as the "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act." The controversial bill gives Arizona law enforcement the authority to stop individuals suspected of being in the country illegally, detain them while verifying immigration status, and arrest undocumented immigrants for transfer to ICE custody. Readers explain w…

Arizona Senate Bill 1070
On April 23, 2010 Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070 into law. The controversial bill gives Arizona law enforcement the authority to stop people whom officers have "reasonable suspicion" of being in the country illegally, detain these individuals while verifying immigration status, and arrest undocumented immigrants for transfer to ICE custody. Depending on who you ask, the controver…

Haiti Earthquake and its Effect on Immigration Policy
After the January 12, 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, the United States government altered certain immigration policies as part of its support of international recovery efforts.

Use of E-Verify Mandatory For Federal Contractors
As of September 8, 2009, all federal government contractors and certain subcontractors are required to check employees' eligibility to legally work in the U.S. using E-Verify.

Repeal of the HIV Travel and Immigration Ban
After more than 22 years, the United States antiquated policy preventing HIV-positive immigrants and nonimmigrants from entering the U.S. finally came to an end with a repeal of the ban.

What Are the Health Care Standards at ICE Detention Facilities?
ICE is responsible for providing safe and humane conditions to the detainees under its custody. Health care is one element of the agency's responsibility. All detention facilities must comply with national standards.

Who Manages ICE Detainees' Health Care?
ICE is responsible for providing safe and humane conditions to the detainees under its custody. Health care is one element of the agency's responsibility, which is managed by DIHS.

Health Care at ICE Detention Facilities
ICE is responsible for providing safe and humane conditions, which includes health care, to the detainees under its custody.

Change the U.S. Immigration System - What Would You Change About the …
The U.S. immigration system is broken--everyone agrees on that point--and there are many opinions on how best to fix our immigration system. If you had your way, what is the first thing that you would change about the U.S. immigration system?

DREAM Act Information Center
Your DREAM Act information center, including the latest legislative developments and DREAM Act resources.

Opposition to the DREAM Act
No one wants to see children suffer because of the actions of their parents, but there are some who feel that the negative effect of the DREAM Act on the U.S. outweighs the lifelong impact of a "No" vote on undocumented youth.

Immigration Reform Information Hub
The latest information and developments in the immigration reform debate.

Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009
In January 2009, Congress agreed that immigrant children should not have to wait five years for health coverage, and voted in favor of passing the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009.

President Obama's Immigration Agenda
President Obama's immigration agenda as posted on the official White House website.

Janet Napolitano on Immigration
An overview of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's views on key immigration issues.

REAL ID Act of 2005
The REAL ID Act of 2005 affects every person in America who uses a driver's license or state ID card for federal purposes.

What is the DREAM Act?
A definition of the DREAM Act.

What is the Immigration and Nationality Act?
A definition and history of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Sarah Palin on Immigration
An overview of Sarah Palin's views on key immigration issues.

Visa Waiver Program Expansion Problems
The visa waiver program allows citizens of certain countries to travel to the U.S. for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. In its efforts to expand the program, the Department of Homeland Security is faced with some significant challenges.

Immigration Elections Guide

Do you want to know if new immigrants can vote or where the candidates stand on the topic of immigration issues? Here with some help from About.com's political News & Issues Guides, you'll find a variety of perspectives on the candidates' stance on immigration, as well as some voting information for newcomers.

Whether you're a new citizen who wants to make an informed decision at the p…

John McCain on Immigration
An overview of John McCain's views on key immigration issues.

Barack Obama on Immigration
An overview of Barack Obama's views on key immigration issues.

Joe Biden on Immigration
An overview of Joe Biden's views on key immigration issues.

HIV/AIDS Immigration Ban Repealed
On July 16, 2008, the U.S. Senate passed the PEPFAR bill, which included an addendum to lift an Immigration and Naturalization Act policy banning HIV-positive immigrants from entering the country.

U.S. Mayors Pass Immigration Resolutions
The U.S. Conference of Mayors pass important immigration resolutions during the 76th Annual Meeting.

A Path to Legalization for Illegal Immigrants
Should the United States provide a path to legalization for illegal immigrants? The issue has been at the forefront of American politics for several years but the debate continues. What does a nation do with an estimated 10 to 20 million people residing in its country illegally?

Uniting American Families Act - Immigration Bill for Same-Sex Couples
Under the current Immigration and Nationality Act, same-sex couples do not have the same immigration rights as heterosexual. Learn more about this bill. Links to track its status in both the House and Senate are provided.

Obama's Views on Immigration Reform
A quick overview of 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama's policies and plans for immigration reform. From US Liberal Politics Guide, Deborah White.

What Is the Border 'Surge' Security Amendment?
The Hoeven-Corker border amendment calls for a military-type surge to beef up security and stop illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Driver's Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants
More states are passing laws that allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.

How To Visit the U.S. Without a Visa
The United States' Visa Waiver Program allows foreign nationals to come here for up to 90 days for business or travel without applying for a visa.

Rick Santorum on Immigration
Rick Santorum believes undocumented immigrants are criminals.

Kansas' Kobach Wrote Arizona Immigration Law
Kris Kobach is the author behind Arizona's controversial immigration law and those that followed in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

USCIS Director Mayorkas Outlines Rule Changes
USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas answers questions about rule change for undocumented immigrants with U.S. citizen relatives.

USCIS Goes After Scammers
USCIS trying to shut down websites that scam immigrants with fraudulent legal services.

The Top Immigration Embarrassments of 2011
Where there's immigration law and politics, there's bound to be embarrassment. And 2011 had plenty of it.

Alabama Immigration Law Hurting Economy
Dr. Samuel Addy studied Alabama's immigration law and found it is doing great damage to the state's economy.

Biden's Record on Immigration
Vice President Joe Biden will play a leading role in arguing the Obama administration's case for comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act during the campaign.

Birthright Citizenship
The Constitution says that children born in the United States automatically become American citizens.

Eric Holder Has Battled State Lawmakers, Congress
Eric Holder's first three years as U.S. attorney general have included legal fights with Congress and the states over restrictive immigration laws.

Tough Laws Driving Immigrants Underground
Tough new state and local laws are changing the behavior of immigrants in communities.

Republican Version of DREAM Act
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio writes a Republican version of the DREAM Act.

'Self Check' for Immigrant Workers
Government's 'Self Check' Program allows immigrant workers to verify their status and eligibility.

Profile of Marco Rubio
Sen. Marco Rubio wants his Republican Party to take more moderate positions on immigration.

The Debate Over Self-Deportation
Many Republicans support self-deportation policy as a solution to reduce illegal immigrant population in country.

Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship
The federal government takes renunciation of U.S. citizenship very seriously and, once granted, it is permanent.

U.S. Officials Investigate Baseball Visa Fraud
Major League Baseball and U.S. immigration officials dealing with immigration visa fraud scams.

Study: State Immigration Laws Hinder Police
Study finds that harsh state immigration laws hinder police and make communities less safe.

Changes for STEM Immigrants
The Obama administration has changed immigration rules to make it easier for immigrants with STEM skills to stay in the U.S.

Mayors' Study Calls for Visa Reforms
Mayors' study supports making more visas available for highly skilled immigrants and foreign workers.

Frequently asked questions about the Obama administration's new policy toward...
Frequently asked questions about the Obama administration's new policy toward young undocumented immigrants.

Supreme Court Rejects Most of Arizona Immigration Law
The Supreme Court, in a 5-3 decision, rejected most of Arizona's SB 1070 immigration law and sent a message to state legislatures about federal sovereignty when it comes to making laws aimed at illegal immigrants.

Arguments Against Arizona Law
Opponents of Arizona's immigration law and those that followed believe they are unconstitutional, promote profiling and damage local economies.

Profile of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer was an enthusiastic opponent of illegal immigration and supporter of the controversial law Senate Bill 1070 when she signed it into law.

What Health Care Ruling Means for Immigrants
Supreme Court ruling means immigrants with legal residency can buy health care insurance but undocumented immigrants are excluded.

Congress Legislation Cracks Down on ex-Americans
Congress considers crackdown against people such as Denise Rich and Eduardo Saverin who renounce their U.S. citizenship to avoid paying taxes.

Illegal Immigrant Solutions - What Should the U.S. do About Its Illeg…
Illegal immigration and undocumented people already within the U.S. is an issue that will be part of comprehensive immigration reform. Tell others what you would want included in the new legislation.

Human Trafficking Victimizes Immigrants, U.S. Stiffens Sanctions
Millions of immigrants worldwide are victims of human trafficking, and President Obama announces new measures to help fight it.

Catholic Bishops Back Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Catholic bishops adopt a policy that supports comprehensive immigration reform, the DREAM Act and a guest-worker program.

The Case for Workplace Enforcement
Enhancing workplace enforcement through E-Verify is an important part of the comprehensive immigration reform debate in Congress.

Arguments for the DREAM Act
Arguments supporting DREAM Act legislation for young illegal immigrants.

Study Shows Arizona Law Hurts State Economy
Arizona Economic Study by Center for American Progress finds that state's hardline immigration law is hurting the economy and eliminating jobs.

The Gang of Eight
'Gang of Eight' in Senate negotiates a compromise legislation for comprehensive immigration reform.

Supreme Court Limits Automatic Deportation
Supreme Court rules that Jamaican immigrant green-card holder can't be automatically deported for conviction on minor drug charge.

Heritage Report Criticizes Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Controversial Heritage Foundation report says comprehensive immigration reform proposal will cost the federal government $6.3 trillion over 50 years.

USCIS Laws, Regulations and Guides
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services maintains this legal information page with information on current immigration laws. You will also find handbooks and manuals used by immigration officers, as well as guides created to help you through the immigration process.

Center for Immigration Studies
Founded in 1985, CIS is "the nation's only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States."

What Is the Border Commission?
The Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill calls for the creation of a Border Commission to develop border security if the federal government fails to rein in illegal immigration in five years.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill 2013
In June 2013, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill that was the most sweeping overhaul of the U.S. system in 27 years.

What Is the Child Citizenship Act of 2000?
The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows certain adopted foreign-born children to be automatically naturalized as U.S. citizens.

Obamacare FAQs for Immigrants
Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, allows legal immigrants to buy health insurance on the state-based exchanges. Unauthorized immigrants are excluded.

California Enacts Immigration Reforms
California moves forward with the Trust Act and an aggressive package of new immigration laws, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown to protect immigrant rights.

Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship
People who give up their U.S. citizenship lose all the rights and privileges of being an American citizen.

Reform Plan Will Add Millions of Voters
A Center for Immigration Studies report finds that the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform plan could add about 17 million new potential voters by 2036.

Federal Immigration Prosecutions Soar

Deportation Policy Shifts Toward U.S.-Mexico Border
Shift in deportation apprehension areas tracks with changes in Obama administration's immigration policy.

What Is the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)?
The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) runs the Justice Departments immigration court system.

What Is the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)?
The Board of Immigration Appeals reviews decisions by immigration judges.

More States Give Unauthorized Immigrants Tuition Breaks
More states giving in-state college tuition breaks to unauthorized immigrant students.

What Is the Zadvydas Ruling?
The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Zadvydas v. Davis case set a precedent against unlimited detention of immigrants awaiting deportation.

Some States Bar Lower Tuitions for Unauthorized Immigrants
Unauthorized immigrants barred from in-state college tuition rates in Arizona, Georgia and Indiana.

Government Accepting DACA Renewals
Immigrants who entered the country illegally as children can renew deferred action (DACA) status with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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