Building on the steps taken with IRCA in 1986, IIRIRA further empowered federal authorities to enforce immigration restrictions by adding resources for border policing and for verification of employment credentials. It sought to improve border control by imposing criminal penalties for racketeering, alien smuggling and the use or creation of fraudulent immigration-related documents. It increased interior enforcement by agencies charged with monitoring visa applications and visa abusers and created procedures to remove aliens who appeared at America’s borders without proper documentation. It also required anyone desiring asylum to apply for such status within one year of entering the United States. These rules placed more responsibility on asylum seekers to provide the documentation needed to support their application for asylum. As a result, there has been a decline in asylum applications.
This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 . . . .
SEC. 101. BORDER PATROL AGENTS AND SUPPORT PERSONNEL.
(a) INCREASED NUMBER OF BORDER PATROL AGENTS.—The Attorney General in each of fiscal years 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001 shall increase by not less than 1,000 the number of positions for full-time, active-duty border patrol agents within the Immigration and Naturalization Service above the number of such positions for which funds were allotted for the preceding fiscal year . . . .
SEC. 102. IMPROVEMENT OF BARRIERS AT BORDER.
(a) IN GENERAL.—The Attorney General, in consultation with the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization, shall take
such actions as may be necessary to install additional physical barriers and roads (including the removal of obstacles to detection of
illegal entrants) in the vicinity of the United States border to deter illegal crossings in areas of high illegal entry into the United States . . . .
SEC. 121. LAND BORDER INSPECTORS.
In order to eliminate undue delay in the thorough inspection of persons and vehicles lawfully attempting to enter the United States,
the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury each shall increase, by approximately equal numbers in each of fiscal years
1997 and 1998, the number of full-time land border inspectors assigned to active duty by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the United States Customs Service to a level adequate to assure full staffing during peak crossing hours of all border crossing
lanes currently in use, under construction, or whose construction has been authorized by the Congress, except such low-use lanes as
the Attorney General may designate . . . .
Subtitle C—Interior Enforcement
SEC. 131. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR INCREASE IN NUMBER OF CERTAIN INVESTIGATORS.
(a) AUTHORIZATION.—There are authorized to be appropriated such funds as may be necessary to enable the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization to increase the number of investigators and support personnel to investigate potential violations of sections 274 and 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act by a number equivalent to 300 full-time active-duty investigators in each of fiscal years 1997, 1998, and 1999.