Immigration and refugee policy is the responsibility of the federal government. The most recent effort by Congress to enact comprehensive reforms in this area was in 1996, when the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) became law. The legislation contained several elements designed to prevent illegal immigration. It increased funding for more U.S. Border Patrol agents and authorized the building of new fences and detention facilities. It strengthened criminal penalties for immigrant smuggling and document fraud. It also contained several provisions designed...
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