Redistributed as a Service of the National Library for the Environment*
RS20183: Immigration and Naturalization Service's FY2000 Budget
William J. Krouse
Analyst in Social Legislation
|Salaries & expenses appropriation||$1,637b||$2,336||$1,697||$1,621c|
|Crime trust fund||842||500||873||1,267|
|Examinations fee account||636||689||713||713|
|User fee account||486||518||446||446|
|Breached Bond/Detention Fund||177||117||128||118|
|Other off-setting fee receipts||8||12||3||9|
|Working Capital Fund||96||N/Ad||N/Ad||N/Ad|
|Total INS fundinge||$4,052||$4,270||$3,999||$4,264|
aAnticipated because of the uncertainties of projected fee receipts and future budget reprogrammings.
bIncludes a $10 million emergency supplemental and $4.7 million in restored funding for Year 2000 compliance that was previously rescinded, but does not include reimbursements of $10 million for Interagency Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces, nor $6 million from the Asset Forfeiture Fund.
cThe House adopted an amendment, which reduced INS funding by $44 million and increased funding for the Legal Services Corporation by that amount.
dN/A = Not Applicable
edColumns may not total due to rounding.
The INS budget is divided into four activities: Enforcement activities, which include the Border Patrol, Investigations, Detention and Deportation, Intelligence, and Inspections programs; Citizenship and Immigration Benefits, which include the Adjudication and Nationality and International Affairs programs; Immigration Support activities, which include the Training, Data and Communications, Information and Records Management, Construction and Engineering, and Legal Proceedings programs; and Program Direction, which provides for overall agency management and administration. In its annual budget submission, INS treats each funding source as a separate budget. Table 2 below is a CRS analysis of the FY1999 INS budget submission in which total funding from all sources was compiled by program allocation. Congress does not appropriate funding for INS by program; rather, Congress earmarks increases for specific programs (usually in report language). INS is prohibited from transferring funding between programs, projects, or activities in amounts of more than $500,000 or 10% of total program funding, whichever is less, without having prior approval from the House and Senate Appropriations Committees in the form of a reprogramming.
2. Immigration and Naturalization Service
Budget Allocations by Program
(budget authority in millions)
|Detention & deportation||540||671||727||773|
|CITIZENSHIP & IMMIGRATION BENEFITS|
|Adjudications & nationality||310||379||435||483|
|Data & communications||361||359||363||410|
|Information & records mgmt.||172||196||177||187|
|Construction & engineering||31||87||90||100|
|Management & Administration||165||166||157||174|
Source: Table prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) based on data from Immigration and Naturalization Service FY1999 and FY2000 Congressional Budgets.
aAnticipated because of the uncertainties of projected fee receipts and budget reprogrammings.
bSubtotals and totals may not total due to rounding.
cDoes not include $96 million provided to INS from the DOJ Working Capital Fund, which was unallocated in the INS FY2000 Congressional Budgets; nor does it include the $80 million for detention and deportation provided by the FY1999 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, P.L. 106-31.
Enforcement. The Border Patrol's major objectives are to prevent illegal entry into the United States between ports of entry. For FY2000, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees provide earmarks of about $100 million to hire and train an additional 1,000 Border Patrol agents in report language. In addition, Senate report language includes earmarks of nearly $23 million for Border Patrol equipment and $10 million to continue deploying remote border surveillance technologies.
The Administration's request, however, did not include funding for 1,000 new agents as mandated in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (P.L. 104-208). Further, the Administration has informed Congress that only 200 to 400 new agents will be hired this fiscal year due to a lack of qualified applicants in a strong labor market and high attrition rates among candidates. For FY1999, Congress had provided funding to hire an additional 1,000 agents, increasing the number of funded agent positions to 8,947. As of June, however, there were only 8,027 agents on duty and deployed. To curb attrition rates, the Senate adopted two amendments related to compensating Border Patrol agents. The first provides that any Border Patrol agent who completes 1 year of service at a GS-9 grade level, and whose performance rating is fully successful or higher, shall be classified as a GS-11. The second authorizes the Commissioner to provide Border Patrol agents with a language proficiency bonus. The Senate also adopted two amendments that would require INS to develop a plan to link immigration databases, particularly IDENT, with other DOJ criminal-case-tracking databases, like the National Crime Information Center. IDENT, a fingerprint-based identification system, was designed to identify repeat offenders and criminal aliens.
The Investigations program is responsible for criminal alien cases, immigration-related document and benefit fraud, alien smuggling, and employer sanctions. From FY1993 to FY1999, the Investigations program's budget has grown from $149 million to $301 million. In FY1998, INS investigations staff completed 42,751 criminal alien cases, 4,458 employer sanctions cases, 2,303 fraud cases, and 384 smuggling cases. Employer sanctions prohibit employers from knowingly hiring aliens who are unauthorized to work in the United States. In recent years, much of the Investigation's budget increases were used to step up employer sanctions enforcement; however, identifying and removing criminal aliens from the United States accounts for the largest percentage of the Investigations program's workload. The Senate report language includes an earmark of $3 million to establish law enforcement support centers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina to assist state local law enforcement in identifying criminal aliens. The House Appropriations Committee, in report language, expressed strong dissatisfaction over INS's interior enforcement strategy and directed the agency to focus on the end goal of deporting criminal and other removable aliens.
The Detention and Deportation program is responsible for detaining criminal and other removable aliens. In recent years, INS has come under intense criticism for not expeditiously deporting criminal aliens. At the end of FY1997, the Bureau of Prisons estimated that out of approximately 113,000 inmates in federal and federally contracted correctional facilities, 27% were non-citizens -- many of whom are subject to removal. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (P.L. 104-132) required the Attorney General to detain most aliens deportable for criminal convictions until their removal from the country. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (P.L. 104-208) included a provision that allowed the Attorney General to invoke a transition period for up to 2 years (FY1997-FY1998), during which certain criminal aliens could be released pending a deportation hearing and removal, but the Act also broadened the class of criminal and removable aliens that the Attorney General must detain.
By the end of FY1998, INS detention capacity had increased to 16,000 beds, 60% of which were occupied by criminal aliens. Despite increased funding, INS officials report that the agency does not possess the detention capacity to fully comply with this law in FY1999. They estimate that to do so, they would need a capacity of between 19,000 and 34,000 beds. The Detention and Deportation program came under greater fiscal strain this year when, due to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Mitch in Central America, the Administration suspended the removal of Central American aliens who had been ordered deported. Many of these aliens were convicted felons who could not be released. To meet detention mandates and other challenges, Congress has provided INS with an emergency FY1999 supplemental appropriation of $80 million (P.L. 106-31). Both House and Senate appropriators expressed dissatisfaction with INS for failing to request sufficient funding for alien detention. In June, the Administration submitted an amended FY2000 budget request, including a proposal to remove eligibility restrictions under Section 245(i) of the INA to increase funding for detention through that provision's penalty fee. Neither House nor Senate bills include such a provision. Instead, for FY2000, Senate report language earmarks an increase of $150 million, while House report language earmarks an increase of $200 million, to increase detention space. In FY1998, INS deported 55,211 criminals -- an 8% increase over FY1997. In addition, INS removed 113,861 non-criminals -- an 81% increase over FY1997; however, the bulk of this increase (76,113) consists of administrative removals for fraudulent documents through the expedited removal program at ports of entry.
The Inspections program is responsible for the admission of both citizens and foreign nationals through international ports of entry. INS inspectors also intercept inadmissible persons who seek to enter the United States with either altered or fraudulent documents, or by making a false claim to U.S. citizenship. For FY2000, the Administration requested $546 million for the Inspections program, which includes an enhancement of $9 million to hire 79 new inspectors and open additional expedited inspection lanes. The Senate committee did not earmark funding for additional inspectors, but earmarked funding for a dedicated commuter lane in San Luis, Arizona. The Senate bill also includes a provision to repeal Section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (Division C, P.L. 104-208), which requires the Attorney General to develop an entry/exit control system to track non-citizen arrivals and departures by March 30, 2001, for land border and sea ports of entry, and by September 30, 1998, for air ports of entry. The House bill contains no similar language.
Citizenship and Immigration Benefits. The Adjudications and Nationality program encompasses what many view as the core INS service mission. INS adjudications officers examine claims for immigration benefits, e.g., family- and employment-based immigrant petitions, non-immigrant extensions of stay and changes of status, investor visas, adjustments to immigrant status, temporary protected status, employment authorizations, and naturalization. They deny a relatively low percentage of claims on the basis of clearcut ineligibility, and an even lower percentage on the basis of fraud. At times, adjudication officers uncover larger patterns of fraudulent activity, but such cases are referred to the INS investigators. For FY2000, the Administration requested $483 million for the Adjudications and Nationality program.
In FY1995, to meet the demand of increasing naturalization applications, INS launched a naturalization initiative -- Citizenship USA. In FY1996, INS processed 1.1 million immigrants for naturalization. The agency, however, failed to ensure that all fingerprint checks on applicants were completed by the FBI, allowing some with serious criminal records to naturalize. As reforms were implemented, naturalization claim completions dropped to 582,000 in FY1997, and to 473,000 in FY1998. Meanwhile, naturalization claims receipts continued to increase steeply until about mid-year FY1998, when they began to decrease, but they still have not leveled off to their pre-1992 level. The Senate Appropriations Committee noted in report language that large increases in funding have been committed to improving the adjudications process in last the two fiscal years and that "definite progress" had been made in restoring integrity to this process; however, large pending caseloads continue to exist (1.8 million for naturalizations at the end of May). The Senate committee recommended in report language that INS create a system of performance-based incentives and penalties in order to encourage productivity among managers and employees. Senate report language includes an earmark of $96 million from DOJ's Working Capital Fund to reduce pending caseloads. House report language, by contrast, includes no increased funding for caseload reduction. The House Appropriations Committee noted, however, that over the past two years INS had been provided with $339 million to reduce pending caseloads, but with few visible results.
The International Affairs program is primarily concerned with processing refugees for resettlement in the United States. In recent years, however, INS has increased its international presence in the areas of alien smuggling and international law enforcement. In addition, this program funds the INS Asylum Corps, the reform of which is pointed to as a success and a model for reforming other INS programs.
Immigration Support. A number of INS programs provide agency-wide support for programs that carry out INS service and enforcement operations. Two of these programs provide the informational infrastructure upon which the entire INS operates and aptly illustrate joint support of both the enforcement and service missions. The Data and Communications program oversees information resource management systems that provide direct support for INS's operational programs. These systems support both INS's enforcement and service missions. Likewise, the Information and Records Management program supports both the enforcement and service missions, since a file is maintained on any action the agency may take, whether it be an Order to Show Cause in a deportation case or an immigrant petition on behalf of a relative. For Construction and Engineering, the Administration's FY2000 request included an increase of nearly $71 million in new funding to build additional Border Patrol stations and checkpoints, and detention facilities, which would bring this program's total budget to $100 million for FY2000. For various INS construction projects, the Senate bill provides $139 million, while the House committee recommends $90 million.
The Legal Proceedings program funds INS attorneys who represent the agency before Immigration Judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals in removal cases. INS attorneys also provide legal counsel to the Commissioner, Regional Directors, District Directors, and Border Patrol Chiefs, and support attorneys in the DOJ Civil Division when removal cases are appealed to federal courts.
INS Restructuring. The Administration is moving forward with plans to restructure INS by more clearly separating immigration services and enforcement programs operationally in a single agency. On July 15, 1999, Representative Rogers, Chairman of the House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary Subcommittee, introduced a bill (H.R. 2528) to dismantle the agency and create two separate bureaus at the Department of Justice: one for immigration services and the other for enforcement. Shortly thereafter, two other proposals to restructure INS differently were introduced (H.R. 2860 and S. 1563). (For background, see CRS Report RS20279, Immigration and Naturalization Service Reorganization and Related Legislative Proposals.)
|National Council for Science and the Environment
1725 K Street, Suite 212 - Washington, DC 20006
202-530-5810 - info@NCSEonline.org