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The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act


There have been many heated debates in the United States regarding laws and policies pertaining to immigration and immigration reform. One major result of this case was the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), enacted in 1996. This put significant immigration reforms into the laws of the United States. This bill had not only an impact on illegal immigrants, but also legal immigrants and people who are involved with the employment and housing of immigrants as well.

One of the areas touched upon in the IIRIRA was border patrol. It expressed the need for more border patrol enforcers, technologically advanced equipment, and better procedures for border patrol. It also addressed immigrants that "overstay" and gave provisions on investigators monitoring visa applications and people that abused them. Other illegal activities were amended in this act, such as illegal alien smuggling, racketeering, and the creation of fake immigration documents. Also, if immigrants committed crimes, it detailed new legislation about the implications, such as deportation.

Further Immigration Reforms:

Immigration reforms for employment practices are included in the IIRIRA. It addressed employers and illegal immigration practices. Benefits granted to aliens had restrictions placed on them, including both state and federal programs. In addition, there are further provisions throughout the IIRIRA immigration reform, outlined in the following Titles:

Title I: This area of the IIRIRA tightened the security of borders and border enforcement and helped establish legal alien entry and regulation within the country.

Title II: This title heightened the penalties and the enforcement for transporting illegal aliens into and within the United States. This included aliens that entered into the country willfully and citizens that have contributed to increasing illegal alien population by performing fraudulent activity.

Title III: Covers acceptable practices by which illegal aliens are processed when they are arrested at the arms of the law. This act states ways in which illegal aliens are arrested, imprisoned, mediated and whether or not they should be deported.

Title IV: Contains information about the employment of aliens. Covers such areas as employment pilot programs, practices of alien employers, and puts stipulations of illegal practices performed when employing an alien.

Title V: This title is designed to convey the government's assistance to aliens. It also outlines several eligibility restrictions before an alien may receive support from the government. Many new provisions were included in this title that are designed to benefit illegal aliens for immigration reform, including pilot work programs, medical expenses and fraudulent activities.

Title VI: Provides miscellaneous provisions related or unrelated to provisions in the titles above. It also contains technical aspects of the act to bring the whole of the document together. Contains regulations to foreign students entering the country and guidelines for visa waiver programs. Other immigration reforms in this title included other issues such as criminalization of female genital mutilation and stipulations for border patrol museums. It finally states that a provision would be unenforceable if it is found to be unconstitutional.

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