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  • Issue Brief posted August 1, 2014 by Diem Nguyen Salmon National Defense Panel Provides Congress an Honest Path Forward

    This week, the bipartisan National Defense Panel (NDP) delivered to Congress its review of the Department of Defense (DOD) 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). This report comprises a key element of information needed by Congress and the American public to truly understand the state of the US military and the requirements to meet today’s threats. Unlike the QDR—which…

  • Issue Brief posted April 30, 2014 by Diem Nguyen Salmon Congress Should Not Cut Critical Defense Capabilities and Readiness

    A month after the fiscal year (FY) 2015 defense budget was submitted to Congress, the Department of Defense (DOD) released the report Estimated Impacts of Sequestration-Level Funding.[1] The report highlights areas where additional cuts will be made in order to comply with sequestration-level funding. While it dutifully tabulates the affects on procurement programs,…

  • Issue Brief posted April 23, 2014 by Diem Nguyen Salmon, Dakota Wood Congress Should Support the Marines’ New Amphibious Combat Vehicle Plan

    For the past several years, the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) has been working to better understand how the amphibious operations environment has changed and what those changes mean for relevant capabilities and operational concepts. A confluence of technological difficulties, changing operational requirements, and constrained budgets has forced the Corps to alter course…

  • Issue Brief posted March 31, 2014 by Diem Nguyen Salmon FY 2015 Defense Budget Request: Options and Challenges for Congress

    The Obama Administration recently released its annual budget request for the Department of Defense (DOD) for fiscal year (FY) 2015. Over the past several years, the DOD’s annual President’s Budget Requests (PBR) have grown increasingly complicated, if not outright unhelpful. Due to the uncertainty of sequestration, the lack of appropriations bills, and politics, recent…

  • Backgrounder posted December 5, 2011 by Mackenzie Eaglen, Diem Nguyen Salmon Super Committee Failure and Sequestration Put at Risk Ever More Military Plans and Programs

    Abstract: The Budget Control Act, which ended the impasse over the debt ceiling and created a Super Committee to identify more deficit reduction proposals, cuts the defense budget by $1 trillion and paves the way for further reductions next year. These cuts come on top of successive rounds of deep cuts in defense dollars and capabilities that Congress and the Obama…

  • Backgrounder posted January 25, 2010 by Diem Nguyen Salmon, Jena Baker McNeill Biometric Exit Programs Show Need for New Strategy to Reduce Visa Overstays

    Abstract: Despite Congress's mandate in 2007 that the Department of Homeland Security track all foreign visitors biometrically by June 2009, DHS missed the deadline, and biometric exit, as opposed to the current biographic approach, has proved costly without adding much additional security. Following is a plan on how Congress can break the stalemate--and provide useful…

  • WebMemo posted May 13, 2009 by James Sherk, Diem Nguyen Salmon Restricting H-1B Visas Is Bad for Business and the Economy

    Reports have indicated that Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) plan to introduce a bill that would limit the ability of companies to hire H-1B employees.[1] Arguing that H-1B visa recipients are a threat to American workers, their proposal would add new layers of regulation and procedures making it more difficult for companies to hire…

  • WebMemo posted April 7, 2009 by Jena Baker McNeill, Diem Nguyen Salmon Help the Economy and Federal Deficit by Raising H-1B Caps

    On April 1 of each year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) starts accepting applications for the H-1B visa. For the past several years, the number of H-1B visa applications has easily surpassed the annual cap of 65,000, sometimes in a matter of days. Even with the economic downturn, the USCIS is still expected to receive enough applications to…

  • WebMemo posted March 6, 2009 by Jena Baker McNeill, Diem Nguyen Salmon Enforcing Immigration Laws: State and Local Law Assistance Needed

    On March 4, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on a GAO report related to oversight of 287(g), a program granting Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) the ability to train state and local police to enforce federal immigration laws. GAO emphasized the need for such increased oversight to better define the role of ICE and state and local law…

  • WebMemo posted March 6, 2009 by Jena Baker McNeill, Diem Nguyen Salmon U.S., Canada Working Together on Improving Border Security

    On January 15, the United States Northern Command Joint Task Force-North accidentally released to the public a briefing that expressed concerns over terrorists entering the U.S. from Canada. While the report was taken offline and out of public view shortly thereafter, this briefing is one of many reports centered on U.S./Canadian security policies, including a…

  • WebMemo posted February 20, 2009 by Jena Baker McNeill, Diem Nguyen Salmon Reviewing DHS: The International Dimension of Homeland Security

    Since her confirmation, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Janet Napolitano, has been working to acquaint herself with the inner workings of DHS while developing her policy priorities for this new Administration. On January 21, she issued the first in a series of directives requiring DHS to provide her with detailed information on the…

  • Executive Summary posted February 13, 2009 by Diem Nguyen Salmon, Matt A. Mayer, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Executive Summary: Next Steps for Immigration Reform and Workplace Enforcement

    Legislative efforts in immigration reform have died off since the debate on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1348), but for the past several years, the Bush Administration did considerable work in advancing immigration reform outside the legislative process. One such effort was to enhance internal enforcement of immi­gration laws. The new emphasis…

  • Backgrounder posted February 13, 2009 by Diem Nguyen Salmon, Matt A. Mayer, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Next Steps for Immigration Reform and Workplace Enforcement

    Legislative efforts in immigration reform have died off since the debate on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1348), but for the past several years, the Bush Administration did considerable work in advancing immigration reform outside the legislative process. One such effort was to enhance internal enforcement of immigration laws. The new emphasis…

  • WebMemo posted October 30, 2008 by Diem Nguyen Salmon, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Tackling Fraud in H-1B: Work Visas Need Sensible Oversight

    In September, USCIS released the "H-1B Benefit Fraud and Compliance Assessment," where it found that 51 of the 246 sampled H-1B petitions (about 21 percent) were fraudulent. Some examples of fraud are petitions from businesses that do not exist, employers paying less than the required prevailing wage, or visa holders working a different job than what was stated in…

  • Backgrounder posted September 30, 2008 by James Sherk, Diem Nguyen Salmon Next Steps for Immigration and Border Security Reform: Restructuring the Work Visa

    Last year, lawmakers on Capitol Hill tried and failed to pass comprehensive immigration and border security reform. The bill died largely because it tried to do too much. Granting amnesty to 12 million ille­gal aliens would cause rampant fraud and a tsunami of applications that would overwhelm America's already over-stretched and backlogged immigration services. Creating…