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Immigration Policy: Past to Present Current immigration policy rests on the twin pillars of the numerical limitations on admission and the grounds for exclusion. These provisions essentially constitute quantitative and qualitative criteria on which the U.S. immigration system has been based for more than half a century. Around them have been woven an awesome complex of exceptions, exemptions, waivers, conditions, criminal penalties, civil fines, reports, definitions, procedures, and classifications and an extremely broad exercise of discretion, in addition to which there are special provisions for asylees and refugees. The first part of this chapter sketches the legislative road the nation has followed in arriving at its present policy; the second part describes that policy. Legislative mandate and policy are the driving forces behind the need for statistics and the determinants of the kinds of information which, in turn, both program and . . . pa. Icy require. HISTORICAL AND LEGISLATIVE OVERVIEW Before the Twentieth Century: Unrestricted Entry When the nation posed for its first "family portrait" in 1790, the picture showed a recorded census population of around 3 1/4 million, all of whom were either immigrants themselves or descendants of relatively recent immigrants (Indians were not included). At that time, immigration to the United States was virtually unrestricted, and it continued in that vein for 85 years. Except for a brief flirtation with control in the Alien Act of 1798, which authorized the President to order the departure of aliens he judged to be dangerous, virtually no laws limiting immigration were enacted until 1875. As to policy, George Washington had proclaimed in 1783 that the "bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions, whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges. . . ." The Alien Act itself was not enforced and expired after its 2-year term. When the Civil War began in 1860, the population totaled more than 4 million. Between 1860 and 1885, immigration surged to 8 million arrivals, with more than 9 out of 10 of the immigrants coming from 13
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14 Northern and Western Europe. · In the latter part of the period, however, Immigrants began to arrive from countries on the southern and eastern rim of Europe and, in a little over 10 years, they represented the majority of immigrants. It was during this period that Congress, by its actions in passing the first exclusion law, assumed responsibility for regulating immigration and has retained to this day complete control of the criteria for admission, exclusion, and deportation of immigrants to the United States. The law passed in 1875 barred convicts and prostitutes; it brought to an end almost 100 years of open borders. The first racial law was enacted in May 1882 to bar Chinese laborers, and, shortly thereafter, in August of the same year, Congress added idiots, lunatics, and persons likely to become a public charge to the list of those who could be excluded. In short order, in 1885, in an action aimed at protecting the domestic labor market, Congress prohibited the entry of laborers induced to immigrate by job offers and, in 1888, allowed deportation of workers who had entered the country illegally. In 1891, Congress expanded grounds for exclusion, authorizing the deportation of any aliens entering unlawfully. And so it went. Over the years, the list has continued to expand: it now contains 33 specified grounds for exclusion. The Early Twentieth Century: The Beginning of Restrictions By the turn of the century, the unprecedented growth in both the number of immigrants and the mix of nationalities had begun to generate opposition to unrestricted entry, and the rush to exclude persons continued to mark the legislative history of immigration. In 1910, for the first time, Congress provided for expulsion on the basis of conduct after entry, supposedly in response to allegations that Oriental women--among others--were engaging in prostitution. The influx of nearly 13 million people into the United States between 1900 and 1914 generated.xenophobic outbursts from a wide spectrum of society. A respected anthropologist wrote of "hordes of immigrants of inferior racial value"; the report of the congressionally mandated Dillingham Commission (1911) supported the popular belief that immigrants from northwestern Europe were more desirable than their counterparts from Southern and Eastern Europe; and The New York Times editorialized against the growing "threat of anarchism" represented by an expanding Russian presence in our midst, stating: "[The United States] should cast out this drove of foreign destructionists who have come here to bring about its ruin" (1919:14~. On the western side of the continent, the concern was with the influx of Japanese, who were forbidden to buy or lease land in California and Texas and were subsequently excluded by law from entry as immigrants and found by the Supreme Court to be ineligible for citizenship. During World War I legislation barred Orientals generally. U.S. immigration policy discriminated against Asians until 1965. The crisis of World War I also led to legislation that tightened control of alien seamen, strengthened the law against aliens considered by the government to be subversive, and, after three presidential vetoes, added illiteracy as a ground for exclusion.
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1 The 1920s: The Flow is Stopped The most important legislation of the early period of the century, which was adopted in 1921 and 1924, was designed both to restrict overall immigration and to limit immigration from certain areas. Although earlier legislative efforts undoubtedly had some effects on restricting flows to the United States, Congress for the most part had resisted efforts to impose quotas. But in 1921 Congress passed its first quota act, limiting the annual number of immigrants from each country to 3 percent of the number of people born in that country and residing in the United States as reported in the 1910 census. The intent of the bill was to limit immigration to people from Northern and Western Europe and stop the "growing hordes" from Southern and Eastern Europe. This temporary measure was followed by the more restrictive Immigration Act of 1924, which used the "national origin" of each individual in the United States in 1890 as the basis for allocating the flow of immigrants. Despite attacks from many fronts, and change in 1929 to using the 1920 census population as the base, this approach stood as the standard for the next 40 years; the national origins quota system was not abolished until 1965. Since their adoption in 1921, numerical limitations have never been abolished and have been central in U.S. policy debates on immigration for more than 60 years. Coincident with the passage of the 1924 act, Congress established the Border Patrol, in response to the rising concern with illegal movements across the U.S. borders tenth Mexico and Canada. The first "legalization" provision, which acknowledged the need to accommodate long-term resident aliens not legally admitted for residence, was enacted in 1929 and applied to aliens who had entered the country before June 3, 1921. Through the years the qualifying entry date has been advanced; it is now June 30, 1948. Recent proposals for change would advance that date to January 1, 1973. The worldwide depression that began in 1929 virtually shut down the inflow of immigrants, which fell to the unheard-of level of 23,000 in 1933. Even the smallest quotas were left unfilled, and the number of people leaving the United States exceeded the number entering during each year from 1932 to 1936. As a result, during this period the attention of Congress temporarily turned elsewhere. World War II and the Postwar Years: Concerns About Security Reflecting concerns with security and the approach of World War II, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), which in 1891 had come into existence in the Treasury Department as the Bureau of Immigration, was transferred in 1940 from the Department of Labor to the Department of Justice, its present home. In the legislative area, the Alien Registration Act of 1940 introduced the concepts of voluntary departure in lieu of deportation and of suspension of deportation. Under the suspension provision, an alien could obtain permanent residence by showing that deportation would result in extreme hardship to the alien or to a U.S. citizen relative. The 1940 act also required the registration
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16 and fingerprinting of aliens and reports of change of address. The economic and political needs of the wartime United States and diminished levels of immigration led to liberalization in immigration policy. For example, in December 1943 the Chinese exclusion laws were repealed--two years after China had become a wartime ally. In 1942 the Brace ro Program was begun; through bilateral agreements, agricultural workers were admitted temporarily to the United States from Mexico, Barbados, Jamaica, and British Honduras. The postwar years saw substantial changes in immigration policy. On the one hand, the policy became more open: war brides, refugees, and temporary workers from Mexico were admitted under a variety of exceptions to existing legislation, and a new law in January 1948 provided for the temporary admission of exchange aliens as students, teachers, and for certain other purposes. The Displaced Persons Act of 1948 authorized the issuance of visas for refugees of World War II. Subsequently, the Refugee Relief Act of 1953 provided for the immigration of refugees and escapees from Iron Curtain countries. On the other hand, concerns with subversion and security began to dominate the national dialogue and were reflected in new, restrictive immigration legislation enacted by Congress in 1950 and 1952. The Internal Security Act in 1950 required that aliens in the United States submit address reports annually, made the exclusion or deportation of "subversives" easier, and proscribed the Communist party by name, so that proof of membership alone made an alien inadmissible. In 1952, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) was passed by Congress over President Truman's veto. It both carried forward many of the existing immigration provisions and introduced important changes, such as excluding drug addicts and those who sought to obtain a visa by fraud; it also established priorities within quotas. Although extensively amended since 1952, it is still the basic U.S. law on immigration. The changes have alleviated hardships at the same time that they have made the law more restrictive. The 1954 changes, for example, spared from exclusion an alien convicted of a single petty offense, and 1957 saw bans dropped on the immigration of illegitimate and adopted children and orphans, and discretionary waivers were permitted for aliens inadmissible on criminal or moral grounds or because of tuberculosis or visa fraud. Yet in 1956 a foreign residence requirement was imposed on exchange visitors so that they could not become lawful permanent residents of the United States unless they went home for 2 years. From 1965 to 1984: Change and Proposed Change Despite the urgings of Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy to revise the national origins quota system, it was not until 1965, during the administration of President Johnson, that Congress adopted the immigration reforms that guide U.S. policy to this day. With wide-ranging civil rights legislation about to be enacted into law and economic activity at a high point, President Johnson was able to enact the extensive reforms in immigration policy that had been introduced during the Kennedy administration. Included in his inaugural address in
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17 early 1965, the revisions were enacted by Congress in late 1965. The legislation was both liberalizing and restrictive: it abolished the national origins quota system, ending the harsh limitations on immigration from Asian and Pacific countries and the restrictive treatment of countries in Eastern and Southern Europe; it also led to the first fixed ceiling on immigration from the Western Hemisphere (120,000), which went into effect in 1968. In 1964, the United States had also unilaterally ended the Bracero program, thus bringing to a halt the 22-year temporary worker program, which at its peak in the late 1950s allowed the entry of over 400,000 workers. Since 1965 additional major changes have been made to the existing legislation. For example, in 1966 Congress authorized the granting of permanent residence status to Cuban refugees, who now represent the largest number of refugees from a single country. In 1976 the annual limitation of 20,000 immigrants per country and the preference system were extended to the Western Hemisphere, and in 1978 separate numerical limitations on immigration for Easte`.. and Western Hemispheres were combined into a single worldwide annual limit of 290,000 per year. The total was reduced to 270,000 with the passage of the first permanent refugee and asylum legislation in March 1980, which created a separate refugee program and removed the refugee category from the preference system for immigrants. More recently, in December 1981, Congress sought to improve the efficiency of the INS by streamlining certain procedures, eliminating various reports to Congress and discontinuing the annual alien address reports. A selected list of immigration laws for the past 120 years is shown in Table 2-1. Since early 1976, Congress and the various administrations have been discussing and considering the possibilities of major amendments and modifications to the existing immigration legislation. Following a series of hearings' administration-initiated studies, and abortive legislative initiatives, Congress in late 1978 established the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy "to study and evaluate . . . existing laws, policies, and procedures governing the admission of immigrants and refugees to the United States and to make such administrative and legislative recommendations to the President and to the Congress as are appropriate" (P.L. 95-412:1978~. In March 1981 the commission issued its final report and recommendations, and shortly thereafter legislation to implement various of the recommendations was introduced into both the House and the Senate. In May 1983 the Senate approved its version of the legislation, and the House followed suit with a somewhat different version in June 1984. The legislation, however, known as Simpson-Mazzoli after its Senate and House sponsors, did not become law, because a conference committee was unable to reconcile the differences between the respective bills before Congress adjourned. The Simpson-Mazzoli bill would have introduced significant changes in the Immigration and Nationality Act by prohibiting the employment of illegal aliens and imposing sanctions on employers of aliens not authorized-to work and by authorizing amnesty to selected groups of illegal aliens who entered the United States before a prescribed date. The bill would also have imposed a 2-year foreign residence requirement on all foreign students and would have limited judicial review and thus
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18 TABLE 2-1 Chronology of Selected U.S. Immigration Legislation, 1864-1982 1864 Congress passes law legalizing the importing of contract laborers. 1875 The first federal restriction on immigration prohibits prostitutes and convicts. 1882 Congress curbs Chinese immigration. 1882 Congress excludes persons convicted of political offenses, lunatics, idiots, and persons likely to become public charges and places a head tax on each immigrant. 1885 Legislation prohibits the admission of contract laborers. 1903 List of excluded immigrants expanded to include polygamists and political radicals such as anarchists. 1906 Naturalization Act makes knowledge of English a requirement for naturalization. 1907 Head tax on immigrants is increased; added to the excluded list are people with physical or mental defects that may affect their ability to earn a living, people with tuberculosis, and children unaccompanied by parents. Gentlemen's agreement between U.S. and Japan restricts Japanese . . ~ Immigration. 1917 Congress requires literacy in some language for immigrants over 16 years of age except in cases of religious persecution; bans virtually all immigration from Asia. 1921 Temporary annual quotas are established, limiting the number of immigrants of each nationality to 3 percent of the number of foreign-born persons of that nationality living in the United States in 1910. Limit on Eastern Hemisphere immigration (mostly European) set at about 350,000. 1924 National Origins Law (Johnson-Reed Act) sets temporary annual quotas at 2 percent of a nationality's U.S. population as determined in 1890 census and sets a minimum quota of 100 for each nationality. Border Patrol established. 1929 Annual quotas of 1924 permanently set to be apportioned according to each nationality's percentage of the total U.S. population as determined in the 1920 census and applying that percentage against the total number permitted to enter, set at 150,000. Minimum quota of 100 for each nationality reaffirmed.
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19 TABLE 2-1 (continued) 1942 Bilateral agreements with Mexico, British Honduras, Barbados, and Jamaica cover entry of temporary foreign agricultural laborers to work in the United States--the Bracero Program. 1943 Chinese exclusion laws repealed. 1946 Congress passes War Brides Act, facilitating immigration of foreign-born wives, husbands, and children of U.S. armed forces personnel. 1948 Congress passes Displaced Persons Act (amended in 1950), enabling 400,000 refugees to enter the United States. 1950 Inte~-~al Security Act increases grounds for exclusion and deportation of subversives; all aliens required to report their addresses annually. 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (McCarran-Walter Act): o reaffirms national origins system, giving each nation a quota equal to its proportion of the U.S. population in 1920; o limits immigration from Eastern Hemisphere to about 150,000; leaves immigration from Western Hemisphere unrestricted; o establishes preferences for skilled workers and relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens; and o tightens security and screening standards and procedures. 1953 Refugee Relief Act admits over 200,000 refugees outside existing quotas. 1957 Laws allow immigration benefits for certain illegitimate and adopted children and orphans and permits waivers of inadmissibility for certain alien relatives otherwise excludable on criminal or moral grounds or because of tuberculosis or visa fraud. 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1965: 0 abolish the national origins system; o establish an annual ceiling of 170,000 for the Eastern Hemisphere with a 20,000 per-country limit, distributing immigrant visas according to a seven-category preference system that favors close relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens, those with needed occupational skills, and refugees; and o establish an annual ceiling of 120,000 for the Western Hemisphere with no per-country limit or preference system. 1975 Indochinese Refugee Resettlement Program begins.
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20 TABLE 2-1 (continued) 1976 Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1976: o extend the 20,000 per-country limit and the seven-category preference system to the Western Hemisphere and o maintain separate annual ceilings of 170,000 for the Eastern Hemisphere and 120,000 for the Western. Hemisphere. 1978 Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1978 combine the ceilings for both hemispheres into a worldwide total of 290, 000, with the same seven-category preference system and 20, 000 per-country 1 imit uniformly appl led. 19 78 Congre s s pa sse s law provid ing f or the exclusion or deportation of Nazi persecutors. 1980 Refugee Act removes refugees as the seventh preference category and establishes clear criteria and procedures for admission of refugees; reduces the worldwide limit for immigrants from 290,000 to 270,000 to reflect the removal of seventh preference from the total. 1981 INS Efficiency Act provides for certain technical changes in the Immigration and Nationality Act to enable the more efficient application of the law and abolishes annual reporting of addresses for aliens. 1982 Law permits nonimmigrant temporary workers who have lived continuously in the Virgin Islands since June 30, 1975, to obtain permanent residence in the United States. 1982 Law eases restrictions on the immigration to the United States of young Southeast Asians fathered by American servicemen. 1982 Congress reauthorizes for one year the refugee resettlement programs established in 1980. Source: U.S. Immigration Policy and the National Interest. The Final Report and Recommendations of the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy to the Congress and President of the United States, March 1, 1981, pp. 88-89, with updating.
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21 expedited the procedures for settling disputes. The legislation also was significant in that it contained mandates for the preparation and submission of a range of statistical products. Throughout all this history, it is important to note one very important factor, consistent over time and conspicuous by its ' absence--namely, the lack of any substantive controls on emigration, "out" movement of the population. Various laws and administrative requirements do limit people's freedom to travel from the United States to certain nations or require visitors to complete and provide certain documents upon leaving the United States, but the freedom to leave the country, with rare exceptions (e.g., criminals, etc.) is very loosely circumscribed and virtually uncontrolled. This policy--which is in conformity with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights--has meant that data on the people leaving the United States, their numbers, reasons, or characteristics, do not exist. PRESENT LAW Numerical Limitations The Immigration and Nationality Act provides that up to 270,000 immigrants may be admitted annually under the preference system. Exemptions from the numerical limitations a're accorded to spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and to parents of adult U.S. citizens. Ministers of religion and certain other persons are also exempt. Legal permanent resident aliens, having been counted under the numerical limitations when they first immigrated, are not counted again under those limitations when they return' to the United States after a temporary absence. Refugees are subject to separate limitations. Under the numerical limitation on immigration, there are six preference categories for visa issuance, four on the basis of relationship and two on the basis of occupation; see Table 2-2 for an outline of the preference system. Each category is allocated a specified percentage of the authorized' vise numbers. Relatives are allocated 80 percent? professionals and other workers, 20 percent. If the authorized number of visas is not issued for the preference'categories, alien visas can be issued to prospective immigrants in tine' nonpreference category. .. . To prevent any one country or a few countries from capturing the lion's share of the visa numbers, every foreign country is subject to a 20,000 annual ceiling on visas. Dependent areas and colonies are subject to an annual limitation of 600, chargeable against the mother country. In general, place of birth determines the country against whose numerical limitation a prospective immigrant is charged. To deal with hardship in special situations, a spouse or child may be charged to the foreign state of the accompanying spouse or parent when necessary to prevent the separation of families. The procedures for obtaining immigrant visas are prescribed in the INA. Except for nonpreference aliens and special immigrants (and refugees), a petition must be filed with and approved by the INS before an immigrant visa may be issued by a consular officer of the Department
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22 TABLE 2-2 Current Visa Allocation System NUMERICALLY EXEMPT IMMIGRANTS: Immediate re let ive s of U. S . cit izens Spouses Unmarried minor children Parents of adult U.S. citizens Special immigrants Certain ministers of religion Certain former employees of the U. S. government abroad Certain persons who have lost U.S. citizenship NUMERICALLY LIMITED IMMIGRANTS (270, 000): Percent age and Preference Category Number of Visas First Unmarried adult children of U.S. 20: or 54, 000 citizens and their children Second Spouses and unmarried sons and 26% or 70, 200a daughters of permanent resident aliens Third Fourth Fifth Sixth Members of professions or persons of 10% or 27, 000 exceptional ability in the arts and sciences and their spouses and children Married children of U.S. citizens and 10% or 27, ooOa the ir spouse s and children Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. 24X or 64, Sooa c it izens and the ir spouse s and chi ldren Workers in skilled or unskilled occupa- 10% or 27, 000 t ions in which 1 abaters are in short supply in the United States, the ir spouse s and chi ldren Nonpreference Other qualif fed applicants Any numbers not used abovea Note: A minor is under 21 years of age; an adult is 21 or older. Refugees are not inc. luded in the visa allocat ion system. aNumbers not used in higher preferences may be used in these cat egorie s .
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23 of State to a prospective immigrant. In the case of a petition on behalf of a relative, the petitioner must establish status as a U.S. citizen or as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence and his or her relationship to the beneficiary. In the case of a petition based on a person's profession or occupation, the petitioner must have a job offer, and the Secretary of Labor must certify that qualified Americans are not available and that wages and working conditions would not be adversely affected by the person's admission. Refugees and Asylees The number of refugees that may be admitted is determined annually by the President after consultation with the Congress. Applicants for refugee status are first reviewed by an immigration officer to determine if they are qualified, then permitted to proceed to this country. On arrival they are admitted as refugees. After they have been in the United States 1 year, they are reinterviewed and permitted to acquire!the status of lawful permanent residents. A person who has firmly resettled in another country is no longer eligible to enter the United States as a refugee. Applications for asylum may be submitted by aliens in the United States or at a port of entry. If granted asylum--which is based on a finding that a person would face persecution if forced to return to his or her country of nationality or residence--the alien may apply for permanent resident status 1 year after the grant. Not more than 5,000 asylees may be adjusted to the status of permanent resident in a fiscal year. Exclusion Grounds There are 33 grounds of inadmissibility, affecting both immigrants and nonimmigrants such as visitors, students, or temporary workers, enumerated in the INA. They cover a wide range, including involvement in criminal, immoral, or subversive activities; the presence of physical or mental afflictions; and economic factors that result in the exclusion of paupers, vagrants, and workers who would deprive or compete unfairly with Americans for jobs. However, the ground under which most aliens are denied visas and refused admission to the United States is unenumerated. Over 400,000 nonimmigrant visas are denied annually by consular officers because they are not "satisfied" that the applicant is a bona fide nonimmigrant. An additional 128,000 visas (immigrant and nonimmigrant) are denied because the applicant failed to comply with documentary requirements.* Over 200,000 aliens who arrive each year at ports of entry with visas or under visa exemptions are persuaded by immigration officers to withdraw their applications for admission and return home. Less than 700 are refused entry in a formal exclusion hearing before an immigration judge.
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24 Temporary Admissions Most aliens come to the United States for a temporary purpose rather than for permanent residence. In 1982 some 11.5 million people entered the country as temporary admissions (excluding short-tenm border crossers from Mexico and Canada). By far the largest group of temporary admissions is visitors. Others included in this category are foreign officials, people here on business, crew members of vessels and aircraft, students, temporary workers, and trainees. Each of these groups is specified in the legislation, which sets forth conditions under which they can be admitted and whether they may work in this country. Nonimmigrants in two groups may not work under any circumstances: visitors for pleasure and transit aliens, i.e., people passing through the country in order to reach another country. People in some groups, such as students and exchange visitors, may be granted permission to work by the INS or the exchange program sponsor. Deportable Classes There are 19 Reportable classes enumerated in the statute. Inadmissible aliens who manage to gain admission may be deported on the ground that they were excludable at the time of entry. There is no statute of limitations, and this provision operates retroactively to include all prior exclusion acts as well as the 33 grounds in the current law (but see the discussion of exceptions below). An alien may also be deported for acts or omissions after entry. A special deportation provision deals with the problem of sham marriages contracted to circumvent the immigration laws. The largest number of deportable aliens located are those who entered without inspection, that is, other than at an authorized border crossing point . Of the 970,246 illegal aliens found in 1982 by INS, 822,463 (85~) were in that category. In the same year, the next largest groups were visitors, crew members, and students, most of whom remained beyond the period of their authorized stay and some of whom violated the teems of their temporary admission by unauthorized work. In most cases deportable aliens located in the United States are given the opportunity to depart voluntarily, at their own expense and without the institution of deportation proceedings. In 1982 about 810,000 aliens were permitted to depart voluntarily ; 14 ,154 were deported. An alien under deportation proceedings has several avenues of re fief . For example, if otherwise eligible, he or she may apply for an adjustment of status to that of permanent resident if an immigrant visa is available or if the person has been residing in the United States continuously since a date prior to June 30, 1948. Permanent residence through suspension of deportation can occur if the person has been physically present in the United States for at least 7 years ( 10 years in certain cases). An alien may avoid deportation if it is established that *Total visa denials (immigrant and nonimmigrant) in fiscal 1982 amounted to 877,486.
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25 deportation would subject him or her to persecution on account of race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or membership in a social group. And whether or not the alien is under deportation proceedings, an alien who believes that he or she would be subject to persecution for such reasons may apply for asylum. The government must establish Reportability by clear, convincing, and unequivocal evidence. Any decision of an immigration judge may be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. The board is a component of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, an independent agency within the Department of Justice. An alien may file a petition for judicial review from a final order of deportation in the Circuit Court of Appeals within 6 months of the order. Filing of the petition automatically stays deportation pending determination by the court, unless it directs otherwise. Powers of Immigration Officers The enforcement powers needed to apprehend suspected illegal aliens and issue warrants of arrest are expressly spelled out in the law. Immigration officers are authorized, without a warrant, to interrogate persons believed to be aliens as to their right to be in the United States and to arrest any alien who they have reason to believe is in the United States in violation of the law and likely to escape before a warrant can be obtained. In addition, immigration officers are empowered to search, without a warrant, any vehicle within a reasonable distance--defined as 100 air miles--from any external boundary of the United States. For the purpose of patrolling the border to prevent illegal entry, immigration officers are empowered to have access to private lands, but not dwellings, within 25 miles of the border. CONCLUSION The foregoing review of U.S. immigration policy and its legislative history illustrates the complexity of the issues and the changing views of immigration. It also highlights the extent to which the laws spell out in great detail the affected groups, the actions to be taken, available enforcement powers, and fines and penalties that compel compliance--and thus define the statistical boundaries. This degree of specificity has another effect: it sets forth both the groups and the activities for which selected statistics are necessary, if for no other purpose than to provide measures of magnitude for administrative and legislative review.
Representative terms from entire chapter: