Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (07/30/1998)

Border Improvement and Immigration Act of 1998 - Amends the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 with respect to the automated entry-exit control system to exempt from required recordkeeping: (1) land border crossings; and (2) permanent resident and certain other aliens.

(Sec. 3) Requires the Attorney General to report: (1) on the feasibility of implementing an automated entry-exit control system that would include land border arrivals and departures; and (2) annually on the development status of the automated entry-exit control system, and on visa overstays identified through such system. Requires integration of overstay information into Department of State and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) databases.

(Sec. 5) Authorizes the Secretary of State or the Attorney General to waive all or part of any fee for issuance of a combined border crossing identification card and nonimmigrant tourist or business visa where the application is made in Mexico on behalf of a Mexican national who is less than 15 years old. States that such visa shall expire on the earlier of: (1) ten years after issuance; or (2) when the child becomes 15 years old. Authorizes a parent or guardian to request a regular visa with a fee which shall expire as normally provided for such tourist and business visas.

States that related fees may be set at a level that provides full recovery of the costs of providing machine readable visas and border crossing cards.

Modifies the border crossing restriction implementation schedule.

Requires tourist and business visitor visas to continue to be processed at least until October 1, 2000, in the Mexican border cities of Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, Ciudad Acuna, Piedras Negras, Agua Prieta, and Reynosa.

(Sec. 6) Authorizes appropriations for INS and United States Customs Service border control and enforcement activities. Sets forth specified set-asides for FY 1999 and subsequent fiscal years. Authorizes: (1) use of equipment funds for new technologies; and (2) transfer up to ten percent of FY 1999 set-asides for other equipment uses. Sets aside specified FY 1999 and 2000 funds for peak hours and investigative resource enhancement.

Provides for increased numbers of full-time Immigration and Naturalization and Customs inspectors at U.S. land borders, with at least half of such inspectors to be assigned to the northern border.