S 2611 in Congressional Session 109
Bill Number : S 2611
Title : A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.
SUMMARY AS OF:
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006
Subtitle A: Assets for Controlling United States Borders
Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary), for each of FY2007-FY2011, to:
Amends the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to increase the number of DHS full-time active duty immigration and enforcement personnel from 800 to 1,000 for each of the fiscal years through FY2011. Directs the Attorney General, for each of FY2007-FY2011, to increase by not less than 50 the number of full-time active duty Deputy U.S. Marshals that investigate immigration-related criminal matters. Authorizes FY2007-FY2011 appropriations.
Directs the Secretary to:
Authorizes FY2007-FY2011 appropriations.
Directs the Secretary to procure additional technological assets, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to achieve operational U.S. border control and to establish a border security perimeter (virtual fence) to provide a barrier to illegal immigration. Directs the Secretary and the Secretary of Defense to: (1) develop a plan to increase the use of Department of Defense (DOD) surveillance equipment to prevent illegal immigration along the U.S. international land borders; and (2) report to Congress. Authorizes FY2007-FY2011 appropriations. Directs the Secretary to conduct a one-year UAV test surveillance program along the U.S.-Canadian border. States that nothing in this section may be construed as altering the prohibition on posse comitatus use of the Army or Air Force.
Directs the Secretary to construct all-weather roads and acquire additional vehicle barriers and facilities necessary to achieve operational border control. Authorizes FY2007-FY2011 appropriations.
Authorizes the Secretary to maintain temporary or permanent checkpoints on roadways in border patrol sectors located near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) construct additional ports of entry along the U.S. international land borders; and (2) improve existing ports of entry.
Directs the Secretary to provide for: (1) fencing, vehicle barrier, and road construction and improvements in the Yuma and Tucson, Arizona, sectors; and (2) fencing and vehicle barrier construction in other high trafficked areas along the southern border.
Requires: (1) construction completion within two years; and (2) a report to the Committees. Authorizes appropriations.
Subtitle B: Border Security Plans, Strategies, and Reports -
Directs the Secretary to: (1) develop a systematic surveillance plan for the U.S. international land and maritime borders; and (2) report to Congress.
Directs the Secretary to:
Requires that such Strategy be consistent with the National Strategy for Maritime Security developed pursuant to Homeland Security Presidential Directive 13 (December 21, 2004).
Requires the Secretary of State to report annually to Congress respecting the exchange of North American security information, including provisions respecting:
Directs the Secretary of State to work with Canada and Mexico to establish a program to:
Directs the Secretary to provide:
Subjects funds made available to carry out this section to certain limits under the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2006.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) implement a plan to improve coordination between the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE) and the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection of DHS and any other federal, state, local, or tribal authorities to improve efforts to combat human smuggling; and (2) report to Congress. States that nothing in this section may be construed to provide additional immigration enforcement authority to any state or local entity.
Directs the Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection to: (1) collect statistics relating to the number and causes of deaths occurring at the U.S.-Mexico border; and (2) report to Congress.
Directs the Secretary of State to: (1) work with Mexico to improve coordination concerning border security, immigration law education, and circular migration; and (2) report to Congress annually.
Subtitle C: Other Border Initiatives -
Directs the Secretary, by October 1, 2007, to: (1) enhance connectivity between DHS' Automated Biometric Fingerprint Identification System (IDENT) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS); and (2) collect all fingerprints from each alien required to provide fingerprints during the alien's initial enrollment in the integrated entry and exit data system.
Directs the Secretary to implement a plan to ensure clear and secure two-way communication capabilities, including the specific use of satellite communications, among Border Patrol agents conducting operations between ports of entry, between Border Patrol agents and their respective Border Patrol stations, and between all appropriate border security agencies of DHS and state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.
Directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review Border Patrol agent basic training to ensure that it is provided as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, including a description of curriculum changes since September 11, 2001, and an evaluation of language and cultural diversity training.
Directs the Secretary, within six months of enactment of this Act, to submit to Congress a schedule for:
Directs the Secretary to: (1) provide all Customs and Border Protection officers with travel document fraud identification training, which shall be developed in consultation with the head of the Forensic Document Laboratory of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and (2) provide all Customs and Border Protection officers with access to the Forensic Document Laboratory.
Directs the Inspector General of DHS to: (1) assess the accuracy and reliability of the Forensic Document Laboratory; and (2) report to Congress. Authorizes FY2007-FY2011 appropriations.
Amends the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 to require that by October 26, 2007, every non-interim document issued by DHS which may be used as evidence of an alien's status as an immigrant, nonimmigrant, parolee, asylee, or refugee shall be machine-readable and tamper-resistant, and shall incorporate a biometric identifier.
Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to make any nonimmigrant visa in the possession of an alien who has overstayed his or her nonimmigrant visa void. (Currently, such provision refers only to the overstayed visa as being void.)
Authorizes the Secretary to require departing aliens to provide biometric data and other immigration-status information. Authorizes immigration officers to collect biometric data from:
Makes the knowing withholding of biometric data a grounds for inadmissibility. Authorizes FY2007-FY2008 appropriations to implement the automated biometric entry and exit data system at all land border ports of entry.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) conduct a study on the construction of a physical barrier system along the southern U.S. international land and maritime border; and (2) report to Congress. Includes in such study feasibility, cost, environmental, diplomatic, economic, property rights, immigration, and security assessments.
Directs the Inspector General of DHS to: (1) review the compliance of each Secure Border Initiative contract above $20 million with applicable cost requirements, performance objectives, program milestones, inclusion of small, minority, and women-owned businesses, and timelines; and (2) report improper conduct to the Secretary or other appropriate DHS official. Directs the Secretary to report to the Committees respecting each review. Directs the Secretary to report to the Committees within 60 days respecting Initiative contracts with foreign companies. Directs the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, within 30 days after receiving information regarding a proposed purchase of a contract to manage the operations of a U.S. port by a foreign entity, to report to Congress describing: (1) the proposed purchase; and (2) any related security concerns and how such concerns have been addressed. Authorizes additional FY2007-FY2009 appropriations to the Office of Inspector General of DHS.
Requires mandatory detention of an alien apprehended illegally seeking to enter the United States at a U.S. port of entry or land or maritime border as of October 1, 2007, unless such alien is: (1) paroled into the United States for humanitarian or public benefit reasons; or (2) permitted to withdraw an admission application and immediately departs from the United States. Provides that during the period 60 days after enactment of this Act and prior to October 1, 2007, an apprehended alien may be released with notice to appear only if: (1) the Secretary determines that the alien is not a national security risk; and (2) the alien provides a bond of not less than $5,000. Exempts from mandatory detention an alien who is a native or citizen of a Western Hemisphere country with whose government the United States does not have full diplomatic relations (currently, Cuba). States that nothing in such provision shall be construed as limiting: (1) an alien's right to apply for asylum or for relief or deferral of removal based on a fear of persecution; and (2) the Secretary's authority to determine whether an alien claiming asylum shall be detained or released after a finding of a credible fear of persecution.
Amends federal criminal law to make it unlawful for a person to elude customs, immigration, or agriculture inspection or fail to stop at the command of a U.S. enforcement officer or employee at a port of entry or customs or immigration checkpoint. States that a person who commits such an offense shall be:
States that: (1) if two or more persons conspire to commit such offense, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the conspiracy, each shall be punishable as a principal, except that the sentence of death may not be imposed; and (2) for the purposes of seizure and forfeiture of a vehicle or other conveyance in the commission of such offense, or in the case of disregarding the lawful authority or command of any U.S. officer or employee, such conduct shall constitute prima facie evidence of smuggling aliens or merchandise. Subjects a person who fails to obey the lawful orders of a border enforcement officer to fine and/or up to five years' imprisonment.
Authorizes a state (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands), with DOD approval, to use National Guard personnel or units of such state for up to 21 days annually to perform the following border security activities in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas:
Prohibits direct law enforcement participation. States that National Guard personnel or units may perform such activities in another state only pursuant to: (1) an agreement between the state governors; and (2) DOD approval. Terminates such authority on January 1, 2009.
Directs the Secretary and the Secretary of Defense to report to the appropriate congressional committees respecting incentives to encourage certain Armed Forces members and former members to serve in the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection.
Amends the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to extend the implementation date for the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative to the later of June 1, 2009, or three months after the Secretary and the Secretary of State make a required certification under this Act. Directs the Secretary of State to develop a Passport Card for U.S. citizen travel from the United States to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean countries, and Bermuda. States that such Card shall be deemed to be a U.S. passport for U.S. passport laws and valid for the same period as a U.S. passport. Sets forth related fee and technology requirement provisions.
Directs the Secretary and the Secretary of State to enter into a state enrollment demonstration program with at least one state under which:
Requires a related GAO study.
Provides that if the Secretary and the Secretary of State certify that certain Canadian identity documents meet specified security and citizenship standards the Secretary may determine that such documents are sufficient for U.S. entry. Directs the Secretary to expand expedited processing for repeat travelers to all ports of entry at the Canadian and Mexican borders. States that the identities of such travelers should be entered into a database of known travelers who have been subjected to in-depth background and watch-list checks to permit border control officers to focus more attention on unknown travelers, potential criminals, and terrorists.
Directs the Commissioner of Customs and Border Patrol to conduct and expand trusted traveler programs and pilot programs to facilitate expedited processing of U.S. citizens returning from pleasure craft trips in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Bermuda. States that one such program shall be conducted in Florida and modeled on the Canadian Border Boat Landing (I-68) program. Directs the Secretary to establish:
Directs the Secretary of State to implement an outreach plan to inform U.S. citizens about the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, facilitate acquisition of appropriate travel documentation for travel to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean countries, and Bermuda, and educate U.S. citizens about the requirements for such travel.
Subtitle D: Border Tunnel Prevention Act - Border Tunnel Prevention Act -
Amends federal criminal law to prohibit the construction or financing of an unauthorized tunnel or subterranean passage that crosses an international border between the United States and another country. Imposes a 20-year prison term for such offense. Doubles penalties for persons who use such a tunnel or passage to unlawfully smuggle an alien, illegal goods, controlled substances, weapons of mass destruction, or members of a terrorist organization. Imposes a ten-year prison term on any person who recklessly permits the construction or use of such a tunnel or passage on land that such person owns or controls. Subjects to forfeiture any property involved in, or traceable to, the construction or financing of such a tunnel or passage.
Directs the U.S. Sentencing Commission to promulgate or amend sentencing guidelines to provide for increased penalties for persons convicted of criminal offenses related to the construction or financing of such a tunnel or passage.
Subtitle E: Border Law Enforcement Relief Act - Border Law Enforcement Relief Act of 2006 -
Authorizes the Secretary to award FY2007-FY2011 grants to a tribal, state, or local law enforcement agency located in a county within 100 miles of a U.S. border with Canada or Mexico, or in a county beyond 100 miles that has been certified by the Secretary as a high impact area (as defined by this Act), to provide assistance in addressing: (1) criminal activity that occurs by virtue of proximity to the border; and (2) the impact of any lack of border security. Authorizes FY2007-FY2011 appropriations. Allocates two-thirds of such funds for use in the six states with the largest number of undocumented aliens, and one-third of such funds for high impact areas.
States that nothing in this subtitle shall be construed to authorize state or local law enforcement of federal immigration enforcement authority.
Subtitle F: Rapid Response Measures -
Authorizes the Secretary, if the governor of a border state declares an international border security emergency and requests additional Border Patrol agents, to provide such state with up to 1,000 additional agents. Directs the Secretary to ensure that agents are not precluded from performing patrol duties and apprehending violators of law, except in unusual circumstances if the temporary use of fixed deployment positions is necessary. Amends the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to raise from 2,000 to 3,000 the annual increase in the number of full-time Border Patrol agents for FY2006. (Supersedes Sec. 101(b) of this Act which increases the number of such agents by 2,000 in FY2006.)
States that the Border Patrol shall have complete and exclusive administrative and operational control over all assets utilized in carrying out its mission, including, aircraft, watercraft, vehicles, detention space, transportation, and all associated personnel. Directs the Secretary to:
Authorizes FY2007-FY2011 appropriations.
Interior Enforcement -
Amends INA to expand the scope of terrorist and security-related activities for which asylum, cancellation of removal, voluntary departure, permanent residence registry for certain aliens entering the United States before 1972, and exceptions to restrictions on removal will be denied. Applies such provisions to any act or condition constituting a ground for inadmissibility, excludability, or removal occurring or existing on or after the date of enactment of this Act.
Revises provisions respecting detention and removal of aliens under order of removal. Permits extension of the 90-day detention period for an alien under order of removal if the alien fails to:
States that the removal period shall:
Authorizes the Secretary to detain an alien subject to an administrative final order of removal who has been granted a stay of removal during the pendency of such stay. Authorizes the Secretary to parole an alien ordered removed and provide that such alien not be detained unless:
Requires that a detention review process be established for aliens under order of removal who have effected an entry and are cooperating with removal. Sets forth evidence provisions. Authorizes the Secretary to detain an alien for 90 days beyond the original removal (and extension) period.
Authorizes the Secretary to detain an alien beyond such 90-day period until removal if the Secretary certifies in writing that:
Authorizes the Secretary to:
Directs the Secretary to detain an alien who has effected an entry and is not cooperating with removal or if the Secretary has certified the detention. Restricts judicial review of detention to habeas corpus petitions in U.S. district court after exhaustion of all administrative remedies. Amends federal criminal law to permit a judicial officer to consider a person's immigration (and removal) status or whether such person has committed specified felonies in bail determinations.
Revises the definition of "aggravated felony" to:
Makes the provisions of this section effective on the date of enactment of this Act, and applicable to acts occurring on or after such date. States that specified amendments made by of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to the definition of aggravated felony shall continue to apply whether the conviction was entered before, on, or after September 30, 1996.
Amends the definition of "good moral character" to:
Prohibits approval of an immigrant visa petition if there is a pending proceeding against the petitioner that could result in denaturalization or the loss of permanent resident status. Requires that specified conditional permanent residents have the conditions on their residence removed before they can be naturalized. Revises provisions respecting district court review of denied naturalization applications. Sets a 120-day time limit to seek review.
Bars an alien:(1) removable on terrorist or security grounds from becoming naturalized; and (2) from being naturalized while in removal or denaturalization proceedings. Limits district court jurisdiction in cases of delay to a review of the delay's basis and remand of the matter with instructions to the Secretary. Makes the provisions of this section effective on the date of enactment of this Act, and applicable to acts occurring on or after such date.
Makes an alien inadmissible or deportable (provides the Secretary and the Attorney General with waiver authority) if the Attorney General or the Secretary (or a consular officer regarding inadmissibility) knows or has reason to believe that such alien: (1) is or has been a member of a criminal street gang; or (2) has participated in a criminal street gang's activities, knowing or having reason to know that such activities furthered the criminal gang's illegal activity. Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) terminate or modify temporary protected status for any reason, including national security, immediately upon publication of notice in the Federal Register; and (2) detain an alien provided temporary protected status whenever appropriate under any other provision of law. Increases penalties and sets mandatory minimum sentences for an alien who fails to depart when ordered removed, hampers removal, or fails to present himself or herself for removal. Authorizes the Secretary to instruct the Department of State to deny visas to individuals from a country that has denied or unreasonably delayed acceptance of a citizen, national, or resident of that country who has been ordered removed from United States until the country accepts such individual.
Revises alien smuggling and related offense provisions to expand the scope of activities included in such offense, including transporting or harboring a person outside the United States under circumstances in which such person is seeking to unlawfully enter the United States. Sets forth revised penalties for the following revised offenses if the activity:
Exempts from such provisions:
Establishes extraterritorial federal jurisdiction over smuggling offenses. Subjects a person who knowingly employs ten or more illegal aliens smuggled into the United States to fine and/or up to ten years' imprisonment. Subjects to forfeiture real or personal property used in smuggling, the gross proceeds of such violation, and any property traceable to such property or proceeds. Authorizes under specified conditions the evidentiary admission of the videotaped deposition of a witness who has been expelled from the United States or is otherwise unavailable to testify.
Directs the Secretary to:
Authorizes FY2007-FY2011 appropriations. Amends federal criminal law to provide a mandatory minimum sentence for carrying or using a firearm during an alien smuggling crime.
Revises illegal entry provisions. Makes it illegal to knowingly: (1) enter or cross the U.S. border at a time or place other than as designated by DHS; (2) elude examination or inspection; or (3) enter by means of a false or misleading representation or concealment of a material fact. Sets forth and criminal penalties for: (1) first violations; (2) subsequent violations, or following voluntary departure; and (3) violations after conviction of specified crimes. Subjects an alien, in addition to any criminal penalties, to a civil penalty (between $50 and $250) for each attempted illegal entry or border crossing.
Revises criminal penalties for reentry of a removed alien. Sets forth provisions respecting: (1) affirmative defense; and (2) limitations on challenging a previous removal order. Requires that any alien removed prior to completion of a prison term who enters or attempts to enter the United States, or is at any time found in the United States, be incarcerated for the remainder of the pending sentence at the time of deportation without any reduction for parole or supervised release unless the Secretary has consented to the alien's reentry. States that is not aiding a reentry offense to provide an alien with emergency humanitarian assistance or to transport the alien to a location where such assistance can be rendered without compensation.
Amends federal criminal law to revise and set forth provisions respecting passports, visa, and immigration fraud, including provisions respecting:
Amends INA to make passport, visa, and immigration fraud violations of federal criminal law grounds for inadmissibility or deportation.
Directs the Secretary to:
Authorizes state and local enforcement officers to:
Requires an annual IRP or alternative program report to Congress. Authorizes FY2007-FY2011 appropriations for IRP.
Revises voluntary departure provisions to:
Makes aliens ordered removed from the United States who fail to depart ineligible for discretionary relief from removal pursuant to a motion to reopen during the time they remain in the United States and for a period of ten years after their departure, except for motions to seek withholding of removal to a country where the alien's life or freedom would be threatened or to seek protection against torture. Makes the provisions of this section effective on the date of enactment of this Act with respect to aliens who are subject to a final order of removal entered on or after such date.
Amends federal criminal law to prohibit the knowing sale of firearms to, or the possession of firearms by, an alien paroled into the United States for humanitarian or public benefit reasons.
Establishes a ten-year statute of limitations for immigration, naturalization, and peonage offenses.
Authorizes Department of State and Foreign Service special agents to investigate identity theft and document fraud, peonage and slavery, and federal offenses committed in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
Amends INA to direct the Secretary to allocate at least 40 BICE agents and at least 15 Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) agents to each state. Authorizes a waiver for states with less than two million people. Requires appropriate security checks to be completed and any suspected immigration fraud to be investigated before any immigration benefit may be granted. Authorizes FY2007-FY2011 appropriations for the FBI for security check improvements conducted on behalf of BCIS. Requires the FBI to report to the Committees respecting such checks.
States that nothing in INA or any other statute shall be construed to require the federal government to grant any application, approve any petition, or grant or continue any status or benefit under the immigration laws to noncitizens suspected of having engaged in terrorist or other security-related activities, or with respect to whom a criminal or other investigation or law enforcement check has not been completed.
Directs the Secretary to reimburse states and local governments for costs associated with processing undocumented criminal aliens, including: (1) indigent defense; (2) criminal prosecution; (3) autopsies; (4) translators and interpreters; and (5) courts costs. Authorizes FY2007-FY2012 appropriations. Amends INA to authorize appropriations through FY2012 for state-requested incarceration assistance.
Directs the Secretary to provide transportation and officers to take illegal aliens apprehended by state and local law enforcement officers into DHS custody. Authorizes FY2007-FY2011 appropriations.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to border-adjacent Indian tribes adversely affected by illegal immigration for law enforcement, health care, environmental restoration, and cultural preservation. Directs the Secretary to report to the Committees respecting: (1) Border Patrol access on tribal lands, the extent to which such access may enhance immigration enforcement, and a strategy for improving cooperation with tribal authorities; and (2) DHS border security grants provided to Indian tribes. Authorizes FY2007-FY2011 appropriations.
Directs the Secretary to study detention alternatives.
Amends INA to include in the definition of "aggravated felony" specified passport, visa, and immigration fraud offenses (as provided for in section 208 of this Act).
Revises address reporting, registration, and related criminal penalty provisions.
Directs the Secretary to reimburse state and local governments for training and equipment costs related to federal immigration enforcement. Authorizes appropriations.
Includes in the definition of "aggravated felony" a third drunk driving conviction regardless of the states in which the convictions occurred or their felony or misdemeanor classification.
Amends the Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994 to repeal the June 1, 2006, expiration date for the foreign medical graduates working in medically underserved areas (J-1 visa) program.
Revises expedited removal provisions to authorize the Secretary to determine deportability and impose expedited removal on an alien who: (1) has not been lawfully admitted to the United States as a permanent resident; and (2) was convicted of an aggravated felony, certain firearm offenses, or specified offenses under INA, federal criminal law (including treason, sedition, sabotage, and espionage), the Military Selective Service Act, or the Trading with the Enemy Act.
Requires that the Secretary place an alien (other than from Mexico or Canada) who has not been admitted or paroled into expedited removal if apprehended within 100 miles of the border and within 14 days of unauthorized entry. Includes in the exception from expedited removal an alien who is a native or citizen of a Western Hemisphere country with whose government the United States does not have full diplomatic relations (currently, Cuba) who arrives by aircraft at a port of entry or who is present in the United States and arrived in any manner at or between a port of entry (currently, limited to port of entry arrival by aircraft). Makes the provisions of this section effective on the date of enactment of this Act, and applicable to aliens apprehended or convicted on or after such date.
Prohibits a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien convicted of murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, child pornography, or prostitution or trafficking in persons from petitioning for a family member's admission unless the Secretary determines that such petitioner poses no risk to the alien.
Affirms state law enforcement authority to assist (including transfer across state lines to federal custody) the federal government in enforcing U.S. immigration laws during the normal course of law enforcement duties. States that such provision shall not be construed to require state or local law enforcement personnel to assist in immigration law enforcement. Directs the Secretary upon state law enforcement request to take an apprehended alien into federal custody to:
Directs the Secretary to:
Authorizes the Secretary to enter into implementing contracts and cooperative agreements with state and local authorities. Authorizes appropriations.
Includes alien smuggling and trafficking in persons to those crimes subject to federal criminal money laundering provisions.
Provides for listing of immigration violators in the National Crime Information Center Database.
Directs the Secretary, within two years after enactment of this Act, to execute a cooperative enforcement agreement with at least one law enforcement agency in each state to provide alien smuggling-related training.
Directs the Secretary to:
Directs the Attorney General to expand the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transfer System (JPATS), including increasing: (1) bus and air hub use in three geographic areas; and (2) seat allocations for each metropolitan area.
Unlawful Employment of Aliens -
Amends INA to revise unlawful employment of alien provisions. Makes it unlawful for an employer to hire or to recruit or refer for a fee for U.S. employment:
Makes it unlawful for an employer, after lawfully hiring an alien, to continue to employ the alien knowing that the alien is (or has become) an unauthorized alien with respect to such employment. Makes it unlawful for an employer who uses a contract, subcontract, or exchange to obtain the labor of an alien in the United States knowing, or with reckless disregard that:
Makes good faith compliance by an employer with document certification and Electronic Employment Verification System (upon mandatory or discretionary participation) requirements an affirmative defense. Authorizes the Secretary, upon reasonable cause to believe that an employer has failed to comply with this section, to require that the employer certify within 60 days (with a discretionary extension) that the employer is in compliance or has instituted a compliance program.
Requires that an employer hiring or recruiting or referring for a fee verify a person's employment eligibility by:
Sets forth additional employer document and recordkeeping requirements. Subjects an employer to civil penalties for recordkeeping violations. States that nothing in this section authorizes the issuance or use of a national identification card.
Directs the Secretary, in cooperation with the Commissioner of Social Security, to implement an Electronic Employment Verification System to determine:
Requires all employers in the United States to participate in the System, with respect to employees hired on or after the date that is 18 months after the date that not less than $400 million has been appropriated and made available to implement the System. Authorizes the Secretary to:
Requires employer registration as a System participant. Considers the failure of an employer required to participate in the System to do so as an employment violation. Provides that a participating employer, upon request, shall be provided with an individual's identity and employment eligibility.
Requires an employer to:
States that an employer shall:
Provides an individual terminated from employment with administrative and judicial appeal rights, including recoupement of lost wages. Sets forth System limitations on collection and use of data, and provides penalties for such violations. Directs GAO to submit an annual System report to Congress. Directs the Secretary to establish complaint, investigation, and compliance (including pre-penalty notice and penalty mitigation) procedures.
Sets forth civil penalties for first-time and previously-fined violators of:
Authorizes the Secretary to impose additional penalties, including cease and desist orders, compliance plans, and criminal penalties. Permits an adversely affected employer to seek judicial review in U.S. district court within 45 days of a final determination. Sets forth criminal penalties (fine and/or prison) and injunctions for pattern or practice violations.
Prohibits an employer from requiring an individual to provide a financial guarantee or indemnity against any potential employment-related liability. Bars employers who are repeat violators or convicted of a crime under this section from federal contract, grant, or cooperative agreement eligibility for five years. (Employers holding federal contracts are similarly barred from new federal contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements.) Provides specified waiver authorities.
Amends the Social Security Act to direct the Commissioner of Social Security to establish a secure method to provide determinations of:
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to direct the Commissioner of Social Security to disclose to the Secretary, upon request, taxpayer identity information regarding:
Sets forth disclosure restrictions.
Terminates such DHS request authority three years after enactment of this Act.
Requires confidentiality compliance by DHS contractors. Authorizes appropriations.
Amends INA to establish in the Treasury the Employer Compliance Fund.
Directs the Secretary, subject to appropriations, to: (1) increase the number of worksite enforcement and fraud detection personnel by at least 2,200 for each of the next five years; and (2) ensure that at least 25% of BICE hours shall be used for such enforcement. Authorizes FY2007-FY2011 appropriations.
Makes an alien who misrepresents himself or herself as a U.S. national (currently, a citizen) inadmissible.
Applies antidiscrimination provisions to the System. Includes under unfair immigration-related employment practice provisions temporary protected status, parole, and H-2C visa temporary workers (established by this Act). Makes it an unfair practice to use the System to: (1) fire or undertake any adverse employment action due to a tentative nonconfirmation; (2) pre-screen an applicant; (3) verify a current employee after the first three days of employment; or (4) require an individual to make an inquiry under the self-verification procedures. Increases civil money penalties for violations of such employment practice provisions. Authorizes additional FY2007-FY2009 appropriations for dissemination of anti-discrimination information.
Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Reform -
Subtitle A: Temporary Guest Workers -
Directs the Director of the Bureau of the Census, jointly with the Secretary, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to study the impacts of the current and proposed annual grants of legal status, including immigrant and nonimmigrant status, along with the current level of illegal immigration, on U.S. infrastructure and quality of life. States that any regulation that would increase the number of aliens eligible for legal status may not take effect before 90 days after submission of such report.
Establishes a new nonimmigrant temporary worker category (H-2C visa).
Provides an initial three-year H-2C authorized stay and a single, three-year extension. (Exempts an alien who resides outside the United States and commutes to the United States to work as an H-2C nonimmigrant from such limitations.) Sets forth the following admission requirements:
Authorizes waiver of inadmissibility for specified labor certification, document, and unlawful presence violations committed prior to enactment of this Act for humanitarian, family unity, or public interest purposes.
Requires the Secretary to complete all appropriate background checks before an H-2C nonimmigrant may be admitted. Prohibits an H-2C nonimmigrant from changing nonimmigrant classification.
Terminates authorized H-2C admission and requires return to foreign residence if an alien is unemployed for 60 or more consecutive days.
Waives such provision if the unemployment results from:
States that an H-2C nonimmigrant who fails to depart within ten days of expiration of authorized admission shall be prohibited from receiving any future immigration benefits, other than asylum, restrictions on removal to a country where the alien's life or freedom will be threatened, or under the Convention Against Torture.
Provides a ten-year reentry bar for illegal entry or overstay. Provides for H-2C employment portability. Makes the spouse and children of an H-2C nonimmigrant eligible for H-4 nonimmigrant visas (established by this Act). Requires that such dependent aliens meet eligibility, medical, and background requirements.
Sets forth H-2C employer provisions. Requires an employer to file an H-2C petition with the Department of Labor (DOL) attesting that: (1) specified efforts to recruit and employ U.S. workers have been made; (2) the hiring will not adversely affect wages and working conditions of similarly-employed U.S. workers, nor that the hiring has caused the separation of a U.S. employee of such employer within the 180 day period beginning 90 days before petition filing; (3) the H-2C will be paid wages and be provided with working conditions and benefits (including insurance if not otherwise covered by state workers' compensation law) as are provided to similarly-employed U.S. workers; (4) there is no ongoing strike or labor dispute; (5) notice of the petition has been provided to the employees' bargaining representative or if there is no bargaining unit, conspicuous notice has been posted or electronically disseminated; (6) except where there is a shortage of U.S. workers, there are insufficient qualified workers; (7) the employer is not ineligible to employ H-2Cs; and (8) there is a bona fide employment offer. Requires: (1) an employer to notify DHS and DOL of an H-2C's separation from employment or transfer to another employer within three days; and (2) DHS to provide all approved H-2C petitions to DOL for potential audit. Makes an employer who misrepresents a material fact, makes a fraudulent statement, or otherwise fails to comply with the terms of such petition attestations ineligible to participate in any labor certification program for up to three years. States that beginning on the date that is one year after the date of the enactment of the Initial Entry, Adjustment, and Citizenship Assistance Grant Act of 2006, the Secretary may not approve any H-2C petition if the work is not agriculture-based and is located in a metropolitan or micropolitan statistical area in which the unemployment rate for workers who have not completed any education beyond a high school diploma during the most recently completed six-month period averaged more than 9%. Prohibits an H-2C employee from being treated as an independent contractor. States that an H-2C employee shall: (1) be covered by federal, state, or local employment laws as applicable to similarly employed U.S. workers; (2) comply with federal, state, and local tax laws; and (3) have whistleblower protections. Requires foreign labor contractors and employers that engage in foreign labor contracting to disclose (in English or the worker's language) specified information to H-2C workers at the time of recruitment, including: (1) employment location and description; (2) compensation; (3) duties; (4) benefits and any associated costs; (5) any labor dispute or labor organizing effort; and (6) injury or death insurance coverage. Prohibits foreign labor contractors from providing false or misleading information or assessing any recruitment fees. Requires: (1) an employer to notify DOL at least every two years of the identity of any foreign labor contractor engaged by such employer; and (2) DOL registration (two-year validity) of foreign labor contractors. Directs the Secretary of Labor to promulgate complaint procedures. Provides that: (1) complaints shall be filed within 12 months after the violation; and (2) DOL shall determine if reasonable cause exists respecting a complaint within 30 days of its filing, within 60 days of a determination of reasonable cause, issue notice to the parties and hearing opportunity, and make a finding within 60 days after the hearing. Provides attorney's fees for a successful complainant. Authorizes the Secretary of Labor to: (1) bring a court action for remedial action (including injunctive relief) for damages, or to ensure compliance; and (2) impose administrative relief and penalties, including back wages, benefits, and civil money penalties.
Directs the Secretary to implement an H-2C employment management system.
Makes sections 403, 404, and 405 effective one year after the date of enactment of this Act with regard to aliens, who, on such effective date, are in their foreign country of residence.
Directs the Secretary of Labor to establish a publicly accessible Web page that provides a single Internet link to each state workforce agency's electronic job registry. Requires employers to: (1) attest that they have posted a job at a prevailing wage level; and (2) maintain records for at least one year after the date on which an H-2C nonimmigrant is hired that describe the reasons for not hiring any U.S. applicants for such position.
Establishes the Temporary Worker Task Force which shall report to Congress, DOL, and DHS respecting: (1) H-2C aliens' impact on U.S. workers' wages, conditions, and employment; and (2) the need for an annual H-2C numerical limitation. Amends INA to set a 200,000 annual limit on H-2C admissions. Provides for H-2C adjustment of status to permanent resident through employer petition, or self-petition if: (1) the alien has been employed in H-2C status for a cumulative period of at least four years; (2) an employer attests that the employer will employ the alien in the offered job position; (3) the Secretary of Labor certifies that there are not sufficient U.S. workers qualified and available to fill the job position; or (4) the Secretary of Labor certifies that there are not sufficient U.S. workers qualified and available to fill the position in which the alien is, or will be, employed; and (5) the alien submits at least two specified documents to establish current employment. Requires an H-2C adjustment applicant to: (1) be physically present in the United States; and (2) meet (naturalization) English language and civics requirements. Authorizes the Secretary to extend the stay of an H-2C nonimmigrant with a pending labor certification or immigrant visa petition in one-year increments until a final permanent resident decision has been made.
Directs the Secretary of State to enter into a bilateral agreement with the home country of H-2C aliens which shall require the home country to: (1) accept the return of nationals who are removed from the United States within three days of such removal; (2) cooperate with the U.S. government to reduce gang membership and human trafficking and smuggling, and control illegal immigration; (3) provide the U.S. government with passport information and criminal records of aliens who are seeking admission to, or are present in, the United States, and admission and entry data to facilitate U.S. entry-exit data systems; (4) educate home country nationals about U.S. temporary worker programs to ensure that they are not exploited; and (5) evaluate means to provide returning workers with housing incentives.
Expands the S-visa (aliens who assist U.S. law enforcement to investigate and prosecute crimes and terrorist activities) classification for criminal-related information to include information concerning a criminal enterprise undertaken by a foreign government. Adds a third S-visa category for persons who are in possession of, and willing to provide the United States with information about, governments or organizations that are at risk of developing, selling, or transferring weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or related delivery systems. Increases annual fiscal year S-visa admissions to 1,000. (Eliminates separate limits for criminal- or terrorist-related categories.) Authorizes admission for spouses, unmarried children, and parents of S-visa holders. Requires DHS to submit an explanatory report to Congress if fewer than 25% of the 1,000 total S-visas are granted in a calendar year.
Provides that an L-visa (intracompany transferee/specialized knowledge) nonimmigrant coming to the United States to open or be employed in a new facility may be approved for a period not to exceed 12 months only if the employer has a business plan, sufficient physical premises to carry out the proposed business activities, and the financial ability to start doing business immediately upon petition approval. Prohibits: (1) extension of such approval period until the employer submits specified information to DHS, with an exception for extraordinary circumstances beyond the employer's control; and (2) employment of an L-visa dependent spouse during the first nine months of such 12-month petition approval. (Permits employment upon an extension approval.) Directs DHS to establish a program with the Department of State to verify a facility's or company's U.S. and foreign existence.
Directs the Secretary of Labor, subject to the availability of appropriations, to increase the number of compliance investigators dedicated to enforcing compliance with this title by at least 2,000 annually.
Expands the visa waiver program to establish a probationary admission for a country if: (1) the country is a member of the European Union (EU) and is providing material support to the United States or the multilateral forces in Afghanistan or Iraq; and (2) the Secretary determines that the country's participation in the visa waiver program does not compromise U.S. law enforcement interests. Terminates designation for a country that is not in full compliance with visa waiver requirements within two years after probationary designation. Authorizes the Secretary of State to grant a two-year extension.
Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary to carry out this subtitle for the first fiscal year beginning before the date of enactment of this Act and each of the subsequent fiscal years beginning not more than seven years after the effective date of the regulations promulgated by the Secretary to implement this subtitle.
Subtitle B: Immigration Injunction Reform - Fairness in Immigration Litigation Act of 2006 -
States that if a court determines that prospective relief should be ordered against the government in any civil immigration action the court shall: (1) limit the relief to the minimum necessary to correct the violation; (2) adopt the least intrusive means to correct the violation; (3) minimize, to the greatest extent practicable, the adverse impact on national security, border security, immigration administration and enforcement, and public safety; and (4) provide for relief expiration on a specific date which is not later than the earliest date necessary for the government to remedy the violation. Provides that preliminary injunctive relief shall expire 90 days after entry unless otherwise determined by the court. Requires a court to promptly rule on any government motion to vacate, modify, or otherwise terminate a prospective relief order in a civil immigration action. Provides for an automatic 15-day stay of the prospective relief order. Authorizes a court to enter an order to postpone an automatic stay' s effective date for up to 15 days. Provides that any order staying, suspending, delaying, or otherwise barring an automatic stay's effective date, other than an order to postpone the effective date for up to 15 days, shall be treated as an order refusing to vacate, modify, or otherwise terminate an injunction and shall be appealable. Prohibits a court in a civil immigration action from entering, approving, or continuing a consent decree that does not comply with the prospective relief requirements under this section. States that nothing in this section shall preclude parties from entering into a private settlement agreement that does not comply with such requirements if the terms of the agreement are not subject to court enforcement other than reinstatement of the civil proceedings that the agreement settled.
Sets forth effective dates for prospective relief orders, pending motions, and automatic stays for pending motions
Amends INA to revise the annual worldwide computation for family-sponsored immigrants. Removes immediate relatives (spouses, children, and parents) of U.S. citizens from the annual worldwide ceiling of 480,000 family-based visas. Provides for unused visa recapture. Revises the annual worldwide computation for employment-based immigrants. Increases such ceiling to: (1) 450,000 for each of FY2007-FY2016; and (2) 290,000 as of FY2017. Provides for unused visa recapture. Exempts spouses and children of employment-based immigrants from such limits for visas issued as of October 1, 2004. Limits, with specified exclusions, the number of such visas to 650,000 for each of FY2007-FY2016.
Increases annual per country (10% of annual total) and dependent area (5% of annual total) limits for employment-based and family-sponsored immigrant visas.
Revises the preference allocation (currently, a numerical allocation) for family-sponsored immigrants as follows: (1) 10% of the worldwide total for unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; (2) 50% of the worldwide total for spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters of permanent resident aliens (at least 77% allocated to spouses and children); (3) 10% of the worldwide total to married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and (4) 30% of the worldwide total for brothers and sisters of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old. Revises the preference allocation for employment-based immigrants as follows: (1) 15% (currently, 28.6%) of the worldwide total for priority workers; (2) 15% (currently, 28.6%) of the worldwide total for aliens who are members of the professions with advanced degrees or of exceptional ability; (3) 35% (currently, 28.6%) of the worldwide total for skilled workers and professionals; (4) 5% (currently, 7.1%) for employment creation/investor immigrants; and (5) 30% for other workers as a separate category (currently, part of the skilled workers, professions, and other workers category). Exempts all special immigrants from worldwide and numerical limits.
Revises the definition of "immediate relative" to: (1) mean a child, spouse, or parent of a U.S. citizen (and each child of such child, spouse, or parent who is accompanying or following to join the child, spouse, or parent), except that, in the case of parents, such citizens shall be at least 21 years of age; and (2) permit a widow or widower of a U.S. citizen to seek permanent resident status if married at least two years at the time of the citizen's death, or if married less than two years by showing through a preponderance of the evidence that the marriage was entered into in good faith and not solely to obtain an immigration benefit. (Currently, only through a showing of at least two years of marriage.)
Exempts aliens seeking U.S. entry to fill shortage occupations (under a blanket certification) from worldwide and per-country numerical limitations through September 30, 2017. Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to: (1) report to Congress on the source of newly licensed nurses and physical therapists in each state; (2) contract with the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine to determine the necessary level of federal investment under the Public Health Service Act to eliminate the domestic nursing and physical therapist shortage; and (3) collaborate with other agencies in working with the five countries from which the most nurses and physical therapists arrived to reduce such emigration.
Widows and Orphans Act of 2006
Creates an N-visa special immigrant category for certain alien minors and females referred by a U.S. government agency who have a credible fear of harm due to age or sex and who lack adequate protection. States that special immigrant status for such individuals shall be adjudicated within 45 days and that, if granted, the alien shall be paroled into the United States and allowed to apply for status adjustment within one year of arrival. Authorizes appropriations. Bars an alien's U.S. admission until a federal database search has been conducted to determine whether the alien is ineligible for admission on criminal, security, or related grounds. Requires aliens to be fingerprinted and to submit such fingerprints and other required biometric data to the Secretary within 30 days of entry. Authorizes administrative review of a determination that an alien is ineligible for admission on criminal, security, or related grounds based on a database search. Precludes judicial review of such determinations.
Revises student visa provisions. Authorizes 24 months of optional practical training time for foreign students (F-1 visa). Establishes: (1) an F-4 foreign student visa category for an alien who has been accepted and plans to attend an accredited U.S. advanced degree program in mathematics, engineering, technology, or the sciences; and (2) an F-5 foreign student visa category for an alien who maintains actual residence and place of abode in the alien's country of nationality except that the alien's actual course of study may involve a distance learning program for which the alien is temporarily visiting the United States for up to 30 days. Replaces the current J-visa with a J-STEM visa category for an alien who is a student, scholar, trainee, teacher, professor, research assistant, specialist, or leader in a field of specialized knowledge who: (1) is coming temporarily to the United States as a participant in a program designated by the Secretary of State for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, or receiving training and who, if coming to the United States to receive graduate medical education or training, also meets specified requirements (and the alien spouse and minor children of any such alien if accompanying the alien or following to join the alien (J-1 visa)); or (2) has been accepted and plans to attend an accredited U.S. graduate program in the sciences, technology, engineering, or mathematics (J-2 visa). Includes F-4 and J-2 visa nonimmigrants among those nonimmigrant categories whose entry is not presumed to be under immigrant status. Provides that an F-4 or J-2 visa shall be valid: (1) during the period of graduate study; (2) for an additional one-year period after program completion if the alien is actively pursuing a program-related employment offer; and (3) for the additional period necessary for the adjudication of any application for labor certification, employment-based immigrant petition, and application for permanent resident status adjustment if such application for labor certification or employment-based immigrant petition has been filed within one year after program completion. Exempts from the two-year home residency requirement: (1) J-2 nonimmigrants; or (2) other nonimmigrants who would have qualified for such visa if the new law had been enacted before the completion of their graduate studies. Authorizes full-time foreign students to work off campus part-time in a position unrelated to their field of study. Requires employer wages, hours, and U.S. citizen recruitment attestation. Authorizes F-4 and J-2 nonimmigrants (or or other nonimmigrants who would have qualified for such visa if the new law had been enacted before the completion of their graduate studies) to file for permanent resident status adjustment if: (1) the alien has earned an advanced degree in the sciences, technology, engineering, or mathematics; (2) an immigrant petition has been filed; and (3) a $2,000 fee has been paid (80% allocated for scholarships and 20% allocated for fraud prevention). States that an application for status adjustment: (1) may not be approved until an immigrant visa number becomes available; and (2) may be filed with a supplemental fee even if no visa is available. Provides three-year employment and advanced parole travel documentation for such nonimmigrants who have applied for status adjustment.
Exempts from numerical limitations on employment-based immigrants: (1) aliens who have earned advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math and have been working in their fields in the United States under a nonimmigrant visa in the three years prior to filing for adjustment; (2) recipients of national interest waivers; and (3) spouses and minor children of employment-based immigrants. Waives the labor certification recruitment requirement for those with advanced U.S. degrees in the sciences, technology, engineering, or math. Sets annual limits for temporary specialty workers/fashion models (H-1B visa) at: (1) 65,000 for each of FY2004-FY2006 (currently, 65,000 for each fiscal year after FY2003); (2) 115,000 for the first fiscal year beginning after enactment of this provision; and (3) a market-based calculation for each subsequent fiscal year, with a 20% increase for the following year if the previous year's quota is reached. Exempts an alien with an advanced degree in science, technology, engineering, or math from H-1B limitations. Includes immigrants with advanced degrees in the diversity immigrant category. Establishes the annual worldwide limit for such immigrants at 18,333 for diversity immigrants, and 36,667 for advanced degree immigrants. Provides that immigrants with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math shall have a separate limitation equal to that for advanced degree immigrants, which shall include economic and workforce considerations. Makes such provisions effective as of October 1, 2006.
Exempts children of naturalized Filipino World War II veterans from worldwide or numerical immigrant limitations.
Provides: (1) expedited petition processing (30 days) for O-visa and and P-visa artist, entertainers, and athletes; and (2) that adjudications not decided in 30 days for non-profit petitioners or individuals petitioning primarily on behalf of a nonprofit petitioner shall have their cases converted to the premium processing program without a fee.
Provides that Canadian powerline workers seeking U.S. entry to perform powerline repair and maintenance shall be admitted into the United States under the same conditions as provided for under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Amends the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 1998 to provide that: (1) determinations as to whether an individual is a child of a parent shall be made using the individual's age and status on October 21, 1998; (2) an application filed based on status as a child may be filed for the benefit of such child by a parent or guardian of the child if the child is physically present in the United States on such filing date; and (3) such amended provision shall also apply to a person present in the United States ordered excluded, removed, deported or ordered to depart voluntarily who files a new motion or a motion to reopen in the same manner as such provision applied prior to April 1, 2000.
Subtitle B: SKIL Act - Securing Knowledge, Innovation, and Leadership Act of 2006 or the SKIL Act of 2006 -
Amends INA to exempt from the annual H-1B (specialty occupation/fashion models) visa cap an alien who has: (1) earned a master's or higher degree from an accredited U.S. university; (2) been awarded a medical specialty certification based on post-doctoral training and experience in the United States; or (3) is employed at a nonprofit organization (currently, employed at a nonprofit research organization).
Sets annual H-1B limits at: (1) 65,000 for each of FY2004-FY2006 (currently, 65,000 for each fiscal year after FY2003); (2) 115,000 for the first fiscal year beginning after enactment of this provision; and (3) a market-based calculation for each subsequent fiscal year, with a 20% increase for the following year if the previous year's quota is reached. (This provision is similar to, but not identical to, the amendments made in section 508(c) of this Act.)
Exempts from worldwide immigration caps an alien who: (1) has earned a master's or higher degree from an accredited U.S. university; (2) has been awarded medical specialty certification based on postdoctoral training and experience in the United States; (3) will work in shortage occupations; (4) has earned a master's degree or higher in science, technology, engineering, or math and has been working in a related field in the United States during the three-year period preceding his or her immigrant visa application; (5) has extraordinary ability or received a national interest waiver; or (6) is the spouse or minor child of an employment-based immigrant. Extends special labor certification rules to members of the professions possessing master's degrees or higher from U.S. universities or who have medical specialty certification based on U.S. training and experience.
Revises student visa provisions. Establishes a new F-1 foreign student visa for an alien who: (1) is a bona fide student qualified to pursue a course of study in mathematics, engineering, technology, or the sciences leading to a bachelors or graduate degree at a U.S. institution of higher education particularly designated by the alien and approved by the Secretary, which institution shall have agreed to report to the Secretary the termination of attendance of each nonimmigrant student, and if any such institution of learning or place of study fails to make reports promptly the approval shall be withdrawn; or (2) is engaged in temporary post-graduation employment related to such alien's area of study for a period or periods of not more than 24 months. Permits an F-2 (former F-1 designation) foreign student or F-4 (former F-3 designation) Canadian or Mexican foreign student engaged in temporary post-graduation employment related to such alien's area of U.S. study to remain in the United States for up to 24 months. Authorizes full-time foreign students to work part-time off campus at a job not related to their field of study. Requires employer wages, hours, and U.S. citizen recruitment attestation.
Authorizes an L-1 (intracompany transfer) visa extension beyond the fifth or seventh year if the individual has an immigrant application or labor certification that has been pending for at least 365 days.
Permits an alien with an approved labor certification to apply for permanent resident status adjustment if there is no visa immediately available by paying a $500 supplemental fee.
Directs the Secretary to establish a pre-certification procedure for employers who file multiple employment petitions.
Directs the Secretary to establish and collect a fee for premium processing of: (1) employment-based immigrant petitions; and (2) an administrative appeal of any decision on a permanent employment-based immigrant petition.
Revises certain labor certification provisions respecting: (1) prevailing wage rate; (2) job order placement; and (3) administrative appeals.
Prohibits immigration application approval until background and security checks have been completed and any fraud allegations have been resolved.
Authorizes temporary workers (E, H, I, L O, or P visas) whose visas have expired during the 12-month period prior to filing an application to renew their same category visa from within the United States.
Subtitle C: Preservation of Immigration Benefits for Hurricane Katrina Victims
Hurricane Katrina Victims Immigration Benefits Preservation Act
Defines "direct result of a specified hurricane disaster" to include direct damage caused by Hurricane Katrina (on or after August 26, 2005) or Hurricane Rita (on or after September 21, 2005).
Authorizes the Secretary to provide special immigration status to: (1) an alien beneficiary of an immigration petition, nonimmigrant fiance or fiancee (K-visa), or labor certification application filed on or before August 26, 2005 (Hurricane Katrina) if the petitioner, applicant, or beneficiary died, was disabled, or lost employment as a direct result such Hurricanes; (2) an alien who as of August 26, 2005, was the spouse or child of such alien and was accompanying or following to join such alien by August 26, 2007; and (3) an alien who is the grandparent or legal guardian of a child whose parents died as a consequence of such Hurricanes, if either of the parents on August 26, 2005, was a U.S. citizen, national, or legal permanent resident.
Extends nonimmigrant status until the later of the original termination of status date or one year after death or disability for an alien lawfully in the United States on August 26, 2005, who: (1) was disabled as a consequence of such Hurricanes; or (2) on such date was the spouse or child of such alien, or the spouse or child of an alien who died as a consequence of such Hurricanes. Authorizes temporary employment. Extends for one year the time for filing an extension or change of nonimmigrant status application for an alien lawfully in the United States on August 26, 2005, whose failure to timely file was caused by Hurricane-related office closures, mail delays, or other appropriate delays. Provides that an alien who was lawfully present in the United States as a nonimmigrant on August 26, 2005, who was prevented from timely departing the United States due to Hurricane-related office closures, airline delays, or other appropriate delays or closures shall not be considered as unlawfully present in the United States during the period beginning on August 26, 2005, and ending on the alien's departure date, if such departure occurs by February 28, 2006. Provides that: (1) a FY2005 diversity immigrant visa may be used from October 1, 2005-April 1, 2006, if an alien was prevented from using such visa in FY2005 due to Hurricane Katrina-related office closures, mail or airline delays, or other appropriate delays or closures; and (2) the spouse and child of a FY2005 diversity immigrant who died as a consequence of Hurricane Katrina shall until June 30, 2006, if not otherwise entitled to immigrant status, be entitled to the same status and order of consideration as would have applied if the principal alien were not deceased, and if the spouse's or child's visa had been adjudicated by September 30, 2005. Extends the expiration date of an immigrant visa that expires before February 26, 2006, until February 26, 2006, (unless a longer validity period is otherwise provided under this Act) for an alien who was unable to enter the United States due to Hurricane Katrina-related destruction, damage, or legal prohibition on inhabiting the alien's intended residence, office closures, airline delays, or other appropriate delays or closures. States that a diversity immigrant visa available in FY1998 and in a subsequent fiscal year may be granted to a qualified alien who has properly applied for such visa or status adjustment in the fiscal year for which the alien was selected notwithstanding the end of such fiscal year. (Currently, such a visa is available through the end of the fiscal year for which the alien was selected.) Extends for 90 days temporary protected status filing or registration for an alien who was unable to do so because of such Hurricanes. Extends for 60 days voluntary departure for an alien whose departure period expired during the period August 26, 2005-December 31, 2005, and who was unable to depart because of such Hurricanes. Permits H-visa nonimmigrants (temporary workers) who lost their jobs due to such Hurricanes to accept new employment if the employer petition is filed by August 26, 2006 (such employment authorization to continue while the petition is being adjudicated).
Permits the alien spouse (if not separated at the time of death) and child of a U.S. citizen who died as a consequence of such Hurricanes to be considered an immediate relative if the alien files a petition within two years of the citizen's death. Terminates such status upon an alien spouse's remarriage. Provides that the spouse, child, or unmarried son or daughter: (1) who was included in a family-sponsored petition filed before August 26, 2005, by a lawful permanent resident alien who died as a consequence of such Hurricanes may have the family-sponsored immigrant petition date as originally filed without having to file a new petition; and (2) of such an alien who was not included in such a petition but was present in the United States on August 26, 2005, may self-petition for such status. Authorizes temporary employment. Provides that an alien who, as of August 26, 2005, was the spouse or child of a refugee, asylee, or employment-based immigrant who died as a consequence of such Hurricanes shall have his or her respective refugee, asylee, or status adjustment claim determined as if the death had not occurred. Waives public charge inadmissibility grounds.
States that an alien who: (1) received public benefits as a result of such Hurricanes shall not be deemed inadmissible or deportable; and (2) aged out of immigration-related benefits as a result of such Hurricanes may be granted such benefits.
Authorizes the Secretary to suspend or modify specified employment eligibility verification requirements in response to national emergencies or disasters. Requires congressional notice. Terminates such authority on August 26, 2008.
Authorizes the Secretary to administer the oath of naturalization in any federal court without regard to residence requirements for an alien who resided in an immigration district affected by such Hurricanes.
Authorizes the Secretary or the Attorney General to waive immigration violations committed on or before March 1, 2006, by an alien: (1) who was in lawful status on August 26, 2005; and (2) whose failure to comply with the immigration laws was a direct result of such Hurricanes.
Directs the Secretary to establish evidentiary standards for demonstrating that any of the following occurred as a consequence of such Hurricanes: (1) death; (2) disability; or (3) loss of employment due to business damage or destruction.
Authorizes the Secretary to instruct any federal agency to issue temporary identification documents to individuals affected by such Hurricanes, which shall be acceptable for identification purposes until August 26, 2006. Prohibits an agency from issuing such identity documents after January 1, 2006. States that such documents shall not constitute proof of citizenship or immigration status.
States that the Secretary is not required to promulgate regulations prior to implementing this subtitle.
Extends specified change of address notice deadlines to the period from August 26, 2005, through the date of enactment of this Act for an alien who resided on August 26, 2005, in an immigration district affected by such Hurricanes.
Maintains foreign student and exchange program status for an alien who was lawfully in such status on August 26, 2005, but failed to meet a condition of such status because of such Hurricanes, if the person is reenrolled in a qualifying program by September 15, 2006.
Work Authorization and Legalization of Undocumented Individuals -
Subtitle A: Access to Earned Adjustment and Mandatory Departure and Reentry - Immigrant Accountability Act of 2006 -
Directs the Secretary to adjust to permanent resident status an alien (principal alien) who satisfies the following: (1) files an application and pays a $2,000 fine (not applicable to minors) and other applicable fees; (2) was physically present in the United States on or before the date that is five years before April 5, 2006, was not legally present in the United States on April 5, 2006, under any nonimmigrant classification, and did not depart from the United States during the five-year period ending on April 5, 2006, except for brief and innocent departures; (3) was not inadmissible under specified grounds; (4) has been employed in the United States for at least three years during the five-year period ending on April 5, 2006, and at least six years after the date of enactment of this subtitle (with specified exceptions for persons under 20 or over 65 years old, the disabled, pregnant women, and post-secondary students); (5) submission of specified employment-verifying documents; (6) federal income tax payment or agreement to make such payments; (7) demonstration of basic citizenship skills (exceptions for persons 65 years or older or persons who are disabled); (8) security and law enforcement clearances; and (9) Selective Service registration requirements. Prohibits an alien's status adjustment until the Secretary determines that the priority dates have become current for the class of aliens whose family-based or employment-based petitions for permanent residence were pending on the date of enactment of this Act. Provides permanent resident adjustment for: (1) the spouse, or child who was under 21 years of age on the date of enactment of this subtitle of a principal alien; or (2) an alien who, within five years preceding the date of enactment of this subtitle, was the spouse or child of a principal alien if the termination of the qualifying relationship was connected to domestic violence, or the spouse or child has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty. Subjects the spouse and children to the same rules of inadmissibility as apply to a principal alien. Makes immigrant visa limits inapplicable to aliens adjusted under this subtitle. Authorizes waiver of grounds of inadmissibility based upon humanitarian, family unity, or public interest grounds, except for inadmissibility relating to: (1) health; (2) criminal activity; (3) security and related grounds; and (4) polygamists and child abductors. Makes an alien ineligible for adjustment to permanent resident status if the alien: (1) has been removed from the United States for overstaying the period of authorized admission, for removal upon arrival, or for expedited removal for criminal activity; (2) failed to leave under voluntary departure; (3) has illegally reentered the United States; (4) has been convicted of a felony or three or more misdemeanors; or (5) constitutes a criminal or security danger. Authorizes specified waiver grounds. Directs DHS to provide applicants with a document of authorization. States that an alien in removal proceedings who establishes prima facie eligibility for status adjustment shall be entitled to termination of the proceedings pending the outcome of the alien's application, unless the removal proceedings are based on criminal or national security grounds. States that an alien (and spouse and children) who files for status adjustment shall: (1) subject to security and law enforcement clearance, be granted temporary work authorization and be permitted to travel abroad; (2) not be detained or removed pending final adjudication; and (3) not be considered an unauthorized alien. Provides for confidentiality of application information, including a fine of up to $10,000 for misuse of such information. Makes it unlawful to make false statements or create a false document with respect to status adjustment applications. (Exempts incorrect employment data submitted by an alien, employer, or union to obtain work from such provision.) Provides that a person who violates such provision shall be: (1) fined or imprisoned not more than five years, or both; and (2) considered to be inadmissible to the United States. Makes an adjusted alien ineligible for federal means-tested public benefits unless the alien meets specified criteria under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. Sets forth limited administrative and judicial review of status adjustment applications, including a single level of DHS appellate review. Provides that: (1) after denial of administrative or appellate appeal a case may be reviewed in federal district court and then federal appellate court; and (2) removal may not take place until a final decision is rendered establishing ineligibility, unless removal is based on criminal or security grounds. Provides employers with protection from: (1) civil and criminal tax liability relating to the employment of adjusting aliens; and (2) civil and criminal liability relating to the provision of application-related employment records. Authorizes appropriations for application processing. Requires an alien who files an application for adjustment to pay: (1) a $2,000 fine (waived if under 18 years old); and (2) a $750 state impact assistance fee ($100 for spouse and child). Provides that an alien present in the United States on January 7, 2004, who seeks to adjust but does not meet the employment or continuous physical presence tests shall be eligible to depart and seek readmission. Authorizes the Secretary to grant Deferred Mandatory Departure (DMD) status (three-year maximum) to illegal aliens to allow such aliens time to depart the United States and seek admission as a nonimmigrant or immigrant alien. Requires the alien to meet the following requirements: (1) continuous illegal nonimmigrant U.S. presence beginning as of January 7, 2004, (with permitted temporary departures); (2) U.S. employment, whether full time, part time, seasonal, or self-employed before January 7, 2004, and continuous subsequent U.S. employment except for unemployment periods of not longer than 60 days; and (3) a showing of admissibility and that such alien has not assisted in racial, religious, or political or social persecution. States that an alien may be required to undergo a medical exam. Requires evidence of employment, including Social Security, tax, or other government records. Exempts an alien who is 65 years or older on the date of enactment of this Act from such employment requirements. Makes an alien ineligible for DMD if the alien: (1) has been removed from the United States for overstaying the period of authorized admission, for removal upon arrival, or for expedited removal for criminal activity; (2) failed to leave under voluntary departure; (3) has illegally reentered the United States; (4) has been convicted of a felony or three or more misdemeanors; or (5) constitutes a criminal or security danger. Authorizes specified waiver grounds. Authorizes the Secretary to terminate DMD status if an alien: (1) was ineligible; or (2) commits a removable act. Requires the Secretary to create a DMD application form. Sets forth application process provisions, including mandatory security and law enforcement background checks. Requires a alien granted DMD status to: (1) depart prior to DMD expiration; and (2) register with DHS at the time of departure. Provides that an alien may apply for readmission from inside or outside the United States, but may not be granted readmission until U.S. departure. Authorizes the Secretary to waive the departure requirement if the alien is granted an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa and can show that departure would create a substantial family hardship. Provides that the spouse or child of a principal alien granted an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa before departure does not have to depart. Makes an alien who fails to depart prior to DMD status expiration ineligible for immigration benefits (exceptions for asylum or related benefits) for ten years and subject to fines of up to $3,000. Directs DHS to issue DMD aliens with machine-readable documents with biometric identifiers that may be used for employment, entry, and travel purposes. States that DMD aliens shall not be: (1) considered to be permanently residing in the United States and shall be treated as nonimmigrants; and (2) eligible to adjust to immigrant status until the earlier of eight years after enactment of this section, or consideration of all specified immigration applications filed prior to enactment of this section. Establishes a $1,000 DMD application fee ($500 spouse or child fee) and a $750 state impact assistance fee ($100 spouse or child fee). Authorizes DMD alien employment, and requires continuous U.S. employment during such status. Makes it unlawful to make false statements or create a false document with respect to DMD applications. Provides that a person who violates such provision shall be: (1) fined or imprisoned not more than five years, or both; and (2) considered to be inadmissible to the United States. Sets forth limited judicial review provisions. Establishes in the Treasury the State Impact Assistance Account. Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish the state impact assistance grant program for state health and education services to noncitizens.
Subtitle B: Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2006 or the AgJOBS Act of 2006 -
Defines specified terms. Chapter 1: Pilot Program for Earned Status Adjustment of Agricultural Workers -
Directs the Secretary to confer "blue card status" upon an alien who: (1) has performed agricultural employment in the United States for at least 863 hours or 150 work days during the 24-month period ending on December 31, 2005; (2) applied for such status during the 18-month application period beginning on the first day of the seventh month that begins after the date of enactment of this Act; and (3) is otherwise admissible to the United States. Authorizes such aliens to travel abroad and work in the United States in the same manner as provided for permanent resident aliens. Permits termination of blue card status once obtained only upon a determination of deportability. Authorizes termination of blue card status prior to adjustment to such status if: (1) the adjustment was the result of fraud or willful misrepresentation; or (2) the alien commits an act that makes such alien inadmissible to the United States as an immigrant, is convicted of a felony or three or more misdemeanors committed in the United States, or is convicted of an offense, an element of which involves bodily injury, threat of serious bodily injury, or harm to property in excess of $500. Requires an employer to provide a blue card alien and the Secretary with a written record of employment. Terminates such requirement six years after enactment of this Act. Requires: (1) a blue card to be encrypted, machine-readable, contain biometric identifiers, and be designed to prevent tampering and counterfeiting; and (2) an alien granted a blue card to pay a $100 fine. Limits the number of blue cards that may be issued during the five-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act to 1.5 million. Makes a blue card alien ineligible for specified federal public benefits for five years after status conference. Directs the Secretary to establish, and sets forth the provisions of, a complaint disposition process for blue card aliens who allege firing without just cause. Directs the Secretary to adjust a blue card alien to permanent resident status if the alien has performed at least: (1) five years of U.S. agricultural employment, for at least 100 work days or 575 hours, but in no case less than 575 hours per year, during the five-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act (with discretionary credit for extraordinary circumstances); or (2) three years of U.S. agricultural employment, for at least 150 work days or 863 hours, but in no case less than 863 hours per year, during the five-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act. Requires: (1) applications to be filed no later than seven years after enactment of this Act; and (2) payment of a $400 fine. Authorizes denial of permanent resident adjustment and termination of blue card status if: (1) the adjustment to blue card status was the result of fraud or willful misrepresentation; or (2) the alien commits an act that makes such alien inadmissible to the United States as an immigrant, is convicted of a felony or three or more misdemeanors committed in the United States, or is convicted of a single misdemeanor for which the actual sentence served is at least six months. Subjects a blue card alien who does not timely file for status adjustment to removal. Requires an alien to satisfy federal tax liabilities. Confers permanent resident status on the spouse and minor child of an alien granted such status, including any individual who was a minor child on the date such alien was granted blue card status, if the spouse or minor child applies for such status, or if the principal alien includes the spouse or minor child in an application for permanent resident status adjustment. Provides that the spouse and minor child of a blue card alien: (1) may not be removed while the principal alien maintains such status, except if such spouse or child commits an act that makes such alien inadmissible, or is convicted of specified criminal acts; and (2) may travel abroad. Permits a spouse to work. Sets forth application provisions, including confidentiality provisions (with a fine of up to $10,000 for misuse of such information). Makes it unlawful to make false statements or create a false document with respect to such status adjustment applications. Provides that a person who violates such provision shall be: (1) fined or imprisoned not more than five years, or both; and (2) considered to be inadmissible to the United States. Directs the Secretary to establish an adjustment fee schedule. Waives worldwide and foreign state numerical limitations and certain grounds of inadmissibility (entry, labor certificate, and document violations) with respect to blue card alien permanent resident adjustments. Authorizes waiver of other grounds of inadmissibility (excluding certain criminal, security, or public charge grounds) for family unity, humanitarian, or public interest reasons. Provides a temporary stay of removal and work authorization for an alien apprehended prior to or during the blue card application period who can show a nonfrivolous case of status eligibility. Sets forth limited administrative and judicial review provisions respecting status determinations. Authorizes FY2007-FY2010 appropriations.
Amends the Social Security Act to exempt blue card aliens from prosecution for social security-related identity or payment false statements if such conduct occurred prior to the granting of blue card status. Makes such provision effective on the first day of the seventh month that begins after the date of enactment of this Act. Chapter 2: Reform of H-2A Worker Program -
Amends H-2A visa (agricultural labor or temporary or seasonal services) provisions. Replaces the existing labor certification requirement with a labor attestation requirement containing: (1) a description of the nature and location of the job; (2) the job's expected beginning and ending dates; (3) the number of jobs; and (4) specified labor assurances respecting job opportunities covered by collective bargaining agreements and non-covered job opportunities. States that the Secretary of Labor shall: (1) review applications only for completeness and obvious inaccuracies; and (2) certify an application's filing within seven days, unless such errors are found. Sets forth employment requirements, including: (1) prohibition of preferential treatment for alien workers; (2) provision of comparable insurance if state workers compensation insurance is not available; (3) provision of free housing or a housing allowance alternative (including provisions for workers engaged in the range production of livestock); (4) transportation reimbursement; and (5) a work guarantee for the hourly equivalent of at least three-fourths of the work days of the total period of employment, excluding termination for cause or contract impossibility. Provides with respect to wages that: (1) employers must provide the higher of the prevailing wage in the occupation in the area of intended employment or the adverse effect wage rate (and not less than the greater of the federal hourly wage or the state minimum wage); and (2) for three years state adverse effect wage rates shall remain at January 1, 2003, levels, with subsequent annual adjustments. Requires a GAO report on wage protections. Establishes the Commission on Agricultural Wage Standards under the H-2A program, which shall report on U.S. agricultural worker-H2A worker wage relationships. Terminates the Commission upon such report's submission. Sets forth H-2A admission and extension of stay provisions. Makes an alien ineligible for H-2A status if at any time during the past five years such alien has violated such provisions or other nonimmigrant provisions, including overstay of authorized admission. Provides for waiver of ineligibility for unlawful presence. States that an H-2A alien shall: (1) be admitted for up to a 10-month employment period; and (2) remain in such status for a maximum of three years (including extensions). Permits an alien employed as a sheepherder, goat herder, or dairy worker to be admitted for an initial 12-month period, with up to three one-year extensions. Sets forth permanent resident status adjustment provisions for such aliens. Directs the Secretary of Labor to establish a process to investigate aggrieved person and third-party complaints. Provides a private right of action (which shall be the only federal or state right of action) for H-2A complaints respecting: (1) housing or housing allowance; (2) transportation reimbursement; (3) wages; (4) job offer violations; (5) employment guarantee; (6) motor vehicle safety; and (7) discrimination. Sets forth private right of action provisions.
Chapter 3: Miscellaneous Provisions -
Directs the Secretary to establish and periodically adjust a fee schedule (based upon the number of job opportunities in an employers' application) for the employment of aliens under this subtitle, and a collection process for such fees from participating employers.
Requires implementing regulation to be issued not later than one year after enactment of this Act.
Directs the Secretary to submit an annual report to Congress that identifies for the previous year: (1) the number of H-2A job opportunities approved and the number of workers actually admitted, by state and by occupation; (2) the number of such aliens reported to have abandoned employment; (3) the number of such aliens who departed the United States within the specified period; (4) the number of aliens who applied for blue card status, and the number of such aliens whose status was so adjusted; and (5) the number of blue card aliens who applied for permanent residence, and the number of such aliens so approved.
Makes the H-2A and fee provisions effective one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, unless otherwise provided. Directs the Secretary to report to the appropriate congressional committees respecting implementing measures for this subtitle.
Subtitle C: Dream Act - Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2006 or the DREAM Act of 2006 -
Amends the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to repeal the denial of an unlawful alien's eligibility for higher education benefits based on state residence unless a U.S. national is similarly eligible without regard to such state residence. Makes such repeal effective as if included in the enactment of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.
Authorizes the Secretary to cancel the removal of, and adjust to conditional permanent resident status, an alien who: (1) entered the United States prior to his or her sixteenth birthday, and has been present in the United States for at least five years immediately preceding enactment of this Act; (2) is a person of good moral character; (3) is not inadmissible or deportable under specified INA grounds; (4) at the time of application, has been admitted to an institution of higher education, or has earned a high school or equivalent diploma; and (5) from the age of 16 and older, has never been under a final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal. Authorizes waiver of certain grounds of deportability or ineligibility for humanitarian, family, or public interest reasons. Considers, with discretionary extensions, an alien to have failed to maintain continuous U.S. presence if the alien has departed for any period exceeding 90 days or for any aggregate periods exceeding 180 days. Prohibits removal of an alien whose conditional status application is pending.
Sets forth the conditions for a six-year conditional permanent resident status, including: (1) termination of status and return to previous status; and (2) removal of conditional status to permanent status. Requires an alien to file a petition for removal of conditional status and sets forth such petition's required attestations.
Authorizes: (1) the Secretary to adjust to conditional permanent resident status an alien who has satisfied the appropriate requirements prior to enactment of this Act; and (2) an alien to petition for permanent resident status at the end of the conditional residence period if such alien has complied with specified requirements during the entire period of conditional residence.
Grants the Secretary exclusive jurisdiction to determine eligibility for relief under this subtitle, except where an alien has been placed into deportation, exclusion, or removal proceedings in which case the Attorney General shall have exclusive jurisdiction until such proceedings' termination. Directs the Attorney General to stay the removal proceedings of any alien who: (1) meets specified conditional status requirements; (2) is at least 12 years old; and (3) is enrolled full-time in primary or secondary school. Authorizes such an alien to work.
Makes it unlawful to make false statements or create a false document with respect to an application under this subtitle. Subjects a person who violates such provision to fines or up to five years' imprisonment, or both.
Provides for: (1) confidentiality of information, with exceptions for specified law enforcement or coroner's office purposes; and (2) a fine of up to $10,000 for knowing violations of such confidentiality.
Provides for expedited application processing (without additional fees).
States that an alien who adjusts to permanent resident status under this subtitle shall be eligible only for the following assistance under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965: (1) specified student loans; (2) federal work-study programs; and (3) other services under such title.
Requires GAO to report seven years after enactment of this Act respecting the number of aliens: (1) who were eligible for cancellation of removal and status adjustment; (2) who applied for status adjustment; (3) who were granted status adjustment; and (4) whose conditional status was removed.
Subtitle D: Grant Programs to Assist Nonimmigrant Workers -
States that an alien: (1) is not ineligible for immigration benefits under this title solely because of certain federal passport, visa, and other document violations during the period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act and ending on the date that DHS begins accepting applications for benefits under this title; (2) who commits such a violation during the period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act and ending on the date that the alien applies for eligibility for such benefit may be prosecuted for such violation if the alien's application is denied; and (3) who is apprehended prior to the beginning of the applicable application period and establishes prima facie eligibility for status adjustment may not be removed from the United States for 180 days after the first day of such applicable application period unless the alien has engaged in criminal conduct or is a threat to the national security.
Authorizes the Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, to award grants to qualified nonprofit community organizations to educate, train, and support nonprofit agencies, immigrant communities, and other interested entities regarding the provisions of this Act. Authorizes FY2007-FY2009 appropriations.
Strengthening American Citizenship Act of 2006 -Directs the Chief of the Office of Citizenship of DHS to provide grants (up to $500) to assist legal U.S. residents who declare an intent to apply for citizenship in the United States to meet naturalization requirements. Provides such grants to an accredited institution of higher education or other qualified educational institution for tuition, fees, books, and other educational resources required by the English language course in which the legal resident is enrolled. Amends INA to provide that a legal U.S. resident who demonstrates English fluency will satisfy the residency requirement upon the completion of four years (currently, five years) of continuous U.S. legal residency. Directs the Secretary to establish an American citizenship grant program for qualified entities to provide civics, history, and English classes to promote the patriotic integration of prospective citizens. Authorizes appropriations. Authorizes the Secretary, through BCIS, to establish the United States Citizenship Foundation to support the functions of the Office of Citizenship. Expresses the sense of Congress that dedicating increased funds to the Office should not result in an increase in BCIS fees. Authorizes appropriations for the Office. Prohibits fund use for political or advocacy organizing. Requires an annual Office report to specified congressional committees. Amends INA to set forth a new oath of allegiance. Directs the Secretary to: (1) incorporate a knowledge and understanding of the oath of allegiance into the history and government citizenship test; and (2) notify the embassy of the country of which a new citizen was a citizen or subject that such citizen has renounced allegiance to that foreign country and sworn allegiance to the United States. Establishes a new citizens award program to recognize citizens who: (1) have made an outstanding contribution to the United States; and (2) were naturalized during the ten-year period ending on the date of such recognition. Directs the Secretary to: (1) implement a strategy to enhance public awareness of naturalization ceremonies; and (2) report annually to Congress.
Requires an alien who receives a benefit under this title to pay a $500 additional fee, which shall be used for detention of illegal aliens and border security purposes.
Authorizes the Secretary of State to award a grant to a U.S. land grant university to establish a national program for a broad, university-based Mexican rural poverty mitigation program. Authorizes appropriations.
Subtitle A: Immigration Litigation Reduction -
Chapter 1: Appeals and Review -
Directs the Secretary, in each of FY2007-FY2011, and subject to appropriations, to increase the number of immigration attorney positions in the Office of General Counsel by at least 100. Authorizes FY2007-FY2011 appropriations. Directs the Attorney General, in each of FY2007-FY2011, and subject to appropriations, to: (1) increase the number of attorney positions in the Office of Immigration Litigation by at least 50; (2) increase the number of immigration attorneys in the United States Attorneys' office by at least 50; (3) increase by the number of full-time immigration judges by at least 20, and increase the number of judicial support positions by at least 80; and (4) increase the number of Board of Immigration Appeals full-time staff attorney and attorney support positions by at least ten, respectively. Authorizes FY2007-FY2011 appropriations. Directs the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, in each of FY2007-FY2011, and subject to appropriations, to increase the number of attorneys in the Federal Defenders Program who litigate federal criminal immigration cases by at least 50.
Chapter 2: Immigration Review Reform -
Provides that the Board of Immigration Appeals (of the Department of Justice) shall have a Chair and 22 other immigration appeals judges. States that the Board shall: (1) have jurisdiction to hear appeals pursuant to specified regulations concerning the organization, jurisdiction, and powers of the Board of Immigration Appeals; and (2) not have jurisdiction to hear an appeal of a decision of an immigration judge for an order of removal entered in absentia. Sets forth provisions respecting: (1) scope of review; (2) three-judge panels; (3) en banc process; (4) Board decisions; and (5) Chair duties.
States that: (1) the Chief Immigration Judge and other immigration judges shall be appointed by the Attorney General and shall have at least five years of professional, legal expertise or at least three years of professional or legal expertise in immigration and nationality law; and (2) immigration judges shall hear matters related to any removal proceeding.
States that no immigration judge or Board member may be removed or otherwise subject to disciplinary or adverse action for their exercise of independent judgment and discretion.
States that the Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review shall continue to operate a legal orientation program to provide basic information about immigration court procedures for immigration detainees and shall expand such program on a nationwide basis. Authorizes appropriations.
Directs the Attorney General to issue implementing regulations for this subtitle not later than 180 days after enactment of this Act.
Requires a GAO study of the appellate process in immigration appeals cases, including consideration of: (1) consolidating all such appeals into an existing circuit court, such as the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; (2) consolidating all such appeals into a centralized appellate court consisting of active circuit court judges temporarily assigned from the various circuits, in a manner similar to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court or the Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals; or (3) implementing a mechanism by which a panel of circuit court judges shall have the authority to reassign such appeals from circuits with high caseloads to circuits with low caseloads.
Specifies that federal district court judges who have retired from regular active service may be participate in magistrate selection.
Subtitle B: Citizenship Assistance for Members of the Armed Services - Kendell Frederick Citizenship Assistance Act -
Directs the Secretary to use the fingerprints provided by an individual at the time of military enlistment to satisfy any naturalization fingerprint requirements if the individual: (1) may be naturalized; (2) was fingerprinted at the time of enlistment; and (3) submits a naturalization application within 12 months of enlistment.
Requires the Secretary to: (1) establish a toll-free naturalization assistance telephone number for Armed Forces members and their families; and (2) after any modification of naturalization laws, update the appropriate application form, instructions and guidebook, and Internet website to reflect such modification.
Directs GAO to: (1) report to the appropriate congressional committees respecting the naturalization application adjudication process; and (2) conduct a study of this Act's implementation.
Subtitle C: State Court Interpreter Grant Program - State Court Interpreter Grant Program -
Directs the Administrator of the Office of Justice Programs (of the Department of Justice) to: (1) make grants to state courts for programs to assist individuals with limited English proficiency access and understand state court proceedings in which they are a party; and (2) allocate specified funds to establish a court interpreter technical assistance program to assist state courts receiving grants under this Act. Authorizes the use of grant awards by state courts to:
Sets forth base, discretionary, and additional state allotment provisions.
Authorizes FY2007-FY2010 appropriations.
Subtitle D: Border Enforcement and Technology Modernization -
Border Infrastructure and Technology Modernization Act -
Directs the Administrator of General Services to annually update the Port of Entry Infrastructure Assessment Study (prepared by the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection) and report to Congress. Requires each update to: (1) identify port of entry infrastructure and technology improvement projects that would enhance border security and facilitate commerce; (2) include the projects identified in the National Land Border Security Plan; and (3) prioritize such projects based on security and commerce enhancement. Directs the Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (of DHS) to such implement projects according to their priority.
Directs the Secretary to submit an annual National Land Border Security Plan to Congress, which shall include a vulnerability assessment of each port of entry on the northern or southern border. Authorizes the Secretary to establish one or more port security coordinators at each such port of entry.
Directs the Commissioner to develop a plan to expand the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism programs along the borders, including:
Directs the Commissioner to: (1) implement at least one demonstration Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program which has been successfully implemented along the northern border on the southern border; and (2) establish a demonstration program to develop a cooperative trade security system to improve supply chain security (maquiladora demonstration program).
Directs the Secretary to carry out a technology demonstration program to: (1) test and evaluate new port of entry technologies and operational concepts; (2) train personnel under realistic conditions; and (3) report annually to Congress.
Authorizes additional FY2007-FY2011 appropriations for:
States that amounts authorized under this subtitle may be used for projects described in the Declaration on Embracing Technology and Cooperation to Promote the Secure and Efficient Flow of People and Commerce across our Shared Border between the United States and Mexico (the Border Partnership Action Plan) or the Smart Border Declaration between the United States and Canada.
Subtitle E: Family Humanitarian Relief - September 11 Family Humanitarian Relief and Patriotism Act -
Provides permanent resident status adjustment for a requesting alien who was on September 10, 2001, the wife, child, or dependent son or daughter of a lawful nonimmigrant alien who died as a result of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States. (Requires filing not later than two years after promulgation of final implementing regulations.) Authorizes: (1) an alien who has been ordered excluded, deported, removed, or ordered to depart voluntarily from the United States to apply for such status adjustment; and (2) employment during the application's pendency
Provides for cancellation of removal and permanent resident status adjustment for a requesting alien who was: (1) on September 10, 2001, the wife, child, or dependent son or daughter of an alien who died as a result of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States; and (2) deemed to be a beneficiary of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001.
Authorizes: (1) an alien who has been ordered excluded, deported, removed, or ordered to depart voluntarily from the United States to apply for such status adjustment; (2) employment during the application's pendency; and (3) one motion to reopen removal proceedings in order to apply for such relief.
Makes the provisions of this Act inapplicable to an alien who is: (1) inadmissible or deportable under criminal or security grounds, including September 11, 2001, terrorist activity; or (2) a family member of such an alien.
Directs the Secretary to use specified standards under the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001 in determining whether death occurred as a direct result of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Subtitle F: Other Matters -
Amends INA to state that, except for provisions relating to revocation of citizenship for separation from service under other than honorable conditions, noncitizens: (1) shall not be denied the opportunity to apply for Armed Forces membership; and (2) who become active duty Armed Forces members shall, consistent with active duty naturalization provisions and with the approval of their chain of command, be granted U.S. citizenship after performing at least two years of honorable active duty service. Requires citizenship to be granted within 90 days of application. Waives certain naturalization requirements, but requires that the applicant participate in the oath ceremony and demonstrate to his or her military chain of command English proficiency, good moral character, and knowledge of U.S. government and history.
Enlarges the scope of P-1 (athletes and entertainers) nonimmigrant visas to include: (1) a professional athlete; (2) a person who performs as an athlete, coach, or part of a team that is located in the United States and is a member of certain amateur foreign leagues or associations from which a significant number of individuals are drafted by major sports leagues or their minor league affiliates; and (3) a professional or amateur athlete who performs individually or as part of a group in a theatrical ice skating production coming to the United States in a specific ice skating production or tour. (Currently, such provision is limited to athletes performing at an "internationally recognized level of performance.")
Requires the Secretary to permit: (1) a petition to seek P-1 classification for multiple alien athletes (such petition fee not to be higher than the fee for a single athlete petition); and (2) athletes or their employers to seek admission for such athletes under other than P-1 provisions of INA.
Amends the Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2005 to extend for three years the annual cap exemption for returning H-2B aliens (temporary nonagricultural worker).
Directs the Secretary to: (1) implement a program to fully integrate and utilize aerial surveillance technologies, including UAVs, to enhance border security; and (2) report to Congress. Authorizes appropriations.
Directs the Secretary: (1) subject to appropriations, to establish a program to procure additional UAVs, cameras, poles, sensors, satellites, radar coverage, and other technologies necessary to achieve operational border control, and a "virtual fence" security perimeter along the borders to provide a barrier to illegal immigration (Integrated and Automated Surveillance Program); (2) to report to Congress; and (3) to develop standards to evaluate Program contractors. Authorizes appropriations.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) conduct a comprehensive review of immigration procedures; and (2) report to Congress.
Directs the Attorney General, through the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance of the Office of Justice Programs, to carry out the Northern Border Prosecution Initiative to provide funds to reimburse eligible northern border states (Alaska, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin or local governments in such states) for costs incurred for handling dispositions of criminal cases that are federally initiated but federally declined-referred.
Requires that such program be modeled after the Southwestern Border Prosecution Initiative and serve as a partner program to that Initiative to reimburse local jurisdictions for processing federal cases. Defines "federally declined-referred" to: (1) mean that a decision has been made by a U.S. Attorney or a federal law enforcement agency during a federal investigation to no longer pursue federal criminal charges against a defendant and to refer such investigation to a state or local jurisdiction for possible prosecution; and (2) include a decision made on an individualized case-by-case basis as well as a decision made pursuant to a general policy or practice or pursuant to prosecutorial discretion. Authorizes appropriations beginning in FY2006.
Directs the Attorney General, subject to appropriations, to reimburse southern border state and county prosecutors for prosecuting federally initiated and referred drug cases. Authorizes FY2007-FY2012 appropriations.
Initial Entry, Adjustment, and Citizenship Assistance Grant Act of 2006 - Authorizes the Secretary, through BCIS, to award initial entry, status adjustment, and citizenship assistance grants to qualifying community-based organizations (including legal service and faith-based organizations). Makes grants available for up to three years, with one-year renewals. Provides for geographic and ethnic diversity grant distribution. (Reserves 50% of funds for programs in the ten states with the highest percentage of foreign-born residents.) Requires a report to Congress. Funds such grants through: (1) specified application fees and fines; and (2) FY2007- FY2011 authorization of appropriations.
Requires the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to report to Congress on: (1) whether the methodologies and technologies used by CBP to screen for and detect chemical, nuclear, biological, and radiological weapons in municipal solid waste are as effective as the methodologies and technologies used by CBP to screen for such materials in other items of commerce entering the United States by commercial motor vehicle transport; and (2) if such methodologies and technologies are less effective, actions CBP will take to achieve comparability. Requires the Secretary, if CBP fails to fully implement actions to achieve comparability within a specified time frame, to deny entry to commercial motor vehicles carrying municipal solid waste into the United States until the Secretary certifies to Congress that screening of such waste comparable to that used to screen for such materials in other items of commerce has been achieved.
Directs the Secretary to permit a Customs and Border Protection or Immigration and Customs Enforcement employee who carries out Customs and Border Protection or Immigration and Customs Enforcement functions in a geographic area that is not accessible by road to carry out any function that was performed by an Immigration and Naturalization Service employee in such area prior to enactment of the Homeland Security Act of 2002.
Directs the Secretary, in order to gain operational land border control and to prevent the entry of terrorists, unlawful aliens, narcotics, and other contraband into the United States, to provide:
Defines "protected land" as land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior. Directs the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to submit to the Secretary an inventory of costs relating to illegal border activity.
Directs the Secretary, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of Agriculture to jointly develop a border protection strategy that supports border security needs in a manner that best protects:
Directs the Secretary to acquire MQ-9 UAVs and related equipment for border use. Authorizes FY2007-FY2008 appropriations.
Extends the time for a widow and orphan of a deceased U.S. citizen to petition for permanent resident status as an immediate family member until two years after enactment of this Act. Authorizes such an alien who was excluded, deported, removed, or departed voluntarily based solely upon the lack of classification as an immediate relative due to the citizen's death to seek parole and status adjustment.
Provides that the following aliens who apply for permanent resident status adjustment and related visa processing prior to the death of a qualifying relative may have such applications adjudicated as if the death had not occurred:
Revises the definition of "terrorist activities" with respect to excludable aliens.
Authorizes the Secretary to waive unlawful presence and illegal reentry bars for an alien who had a permanent residency petition on file no later than the date of enactment of this Act. Requires an alien granted such waiver to pay a $2,000 fine.
Amends the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to extend the travel document plan deadline to January 1, 2009.
States that English is the national language of the United States. Requires the government to preserve and enhance the role of English as the national language of the United States. Provides that: (1) unless otherwise provided for, no person has a right, entitlement, or claim to have the government act, communicate, perform, or provide services or materials in any language other than English; and (2) the English language version of any federal form is the sole authority for all legal purposes.
Requires DHS to establish as goals of the naturalization testing process that prospective citizens demonstrate:
States that English is the common and unifying language of the United States that helps provide unity for the American people.
States that: (1) the U.S. government shall preserve and enhance the role of English as the common and unifying language of America; and (2) nothing shall diminish or expand any existing rights under U.S. law relative to services or materials provided by the government in any language other than English.
Excludes illegal aliens from congressional apportionment tabulations.
Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish: (1) the Office of Internal Corruption Investigation, which shall receive, process, administer, and investigate criminal and noncriminal allegations of misconduct, corruption, and fraud involving any employee or contract worker of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that are not subject to investigation by the Inspector General for the Department; and (2) the Office of Immigration Benefits Fraud Investigation, which shall conduct administrative investigations, including site visits, to address immigration benefits fraud.
Directs the Secretary to adjust to permanent resident status specified asylee applicants who are members of a persecuted religious minority.
Amends the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 to make alien forestry workers (H-2B visa) eligible for legal assistance under the Legal Services Corporation Act relating to employment rights.
Amends INA to require the Secretary to designate a country as a visa waiver country as soon as the country so qualifies.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) allow permanent resident doctors or health care workers to reside in a qualifying developing country (candidate countries) while working in such professions and be considered to be maintaining U.S. presence and residency requirements for naturalization purposes; and (2) publish a candidate country list. Authorizes appropriations.
States that an alien physician or other healthcare worker seeking to enter the United States is inadmissible unless such alien submits an attestation that no money is owed to the alien's country of origin or country of last residence. Sets forth waiver provisions based upon coercion of obligation, hardship, or satisfaction of obligation. Makes such provision effective 180 days after enactment of this Act.
Directs the Secretary of the Interior, within 60 days after enactment of this Act, to ensure that all persons who satisfy appropriate security measures shall have full access to the public areas of the Statue of Liberty, including the crown and the stairs leading thereto.
States that the President shall ensure that no provision of title IV or title VI of this Act is carried out until after the President makes a determination that the implementation of such titles will strengthen the U.S. national security.
Intercountry Adoption Reform - Intercountry Adoption Reform Act of 2006 or the ICARE Act -
Subtitle A: Administration of Intercountry Adoptions -
Establishes an Office of Intercountry Adoptions within the Department of State to be headed by the Ambassador at Large for Intercountry Adoptions. Sets forth Office functions, including: (1) approval of family to adopt (divided into U.S. regions); (2) child adjudication; (3) family services; (4) international policy development; and (5) administration and enforcement.
Amends the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 to make specified provisions respecting children immigrating to the United States and children adopted from convention countries effective as of such Act's enactment date rather than upon the entry into force of the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (1993).
Repeals the annual intercountry adoption reporting requirement.
Transfers: (1) to the Secretary of State to be carried out by the Office all functions with respect to intercountry adoptions currently performed by DHS (except for pending adoptions); and (2) related DHS resources to the Office.
Sets forth savings provisions.
Subtitle B: Reform of United States Laws Governing Intercountry Adoptions -
Amends INA to revise provisions for automatic citizenship for children born outside the United States, including adopted children. Requires that if a child is not adopted: (1) at least one parent of the child is a U.S. citizen, whether by birth or naturalization, who has been physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of 14 years; and (2) the child is under the age of 18 years.
Provides that if a child is adopted, on the date of the full and final adoption (as defined in such Act):
Revises requirements concerning the history of parents' physical presence in the United States or its possessions.
Prescribes procedural requirements for the adoption of foreign-born children by U.S. citizens.
Establishes a nonimmigrant W-visa (up to four-year validity) for an adoptable child coming to the United States for adoption by a U.S. citizen and spouse jointly or by an unmarried U.S. citizen at least 25 years of age who has been approved by the Office of International Adoption of the Department of State. Treats W-visa holders as permanent residents until full and final adoption. Exempts adopted children of 18 years of age or younger (currently, ten years of age or younger) from immunization requirements.
Defines "adoptable child."
Requires U.S. citizen adoptive parents to obtain approval of an adoption petition prior to issuance of a visa or a full and final adoption decree. Subjects such petitions to terms applicable to orphan petitions. Directs the Secretary of State to issue regulations: (1) establishing an expedited reapproval process for families whose prior approvals to adopt have expired; and (2) governing petition denial appeals.
Prescribes procedural requirements for the issuance of a visa and a full and final adoption decree for foreign-born children, including requirements for the Ambassador to: (1) determine whether a child is an adoptable child; and (2) work with authorities of the child's country of residence to establish a process for the exchange and approval of a certification that the child meets the definition of an adoptable child. Requires the Secretary to issue a final decision regarding the child's eligibility as an adoptable child within 30 days. Allows an appeal.
Directs the Secretary of State to provide the Ambassador at Large with funds for staff hiring, investigations, and travel and other expenses.
Subtitle C: Enforcement -
Subjects a person, in addition to other penalties, who violates specified adoption provisions to a civil money penalty of up to $50,000 for a first violation, and up to $100,000 for each succeeding violation. Authorizes the Attorney General to bring civil enforcement actions in U.S. district court.
Subjects a person who knowingly and willfully violates such adoption provisions to a fine of not more than $250,000, imprisonment for not more than five years, or both.
|Title : A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.
|Votes in the US Senate|
|Votes in the US House|
|Congressional Sponsors of S 2611|
|Bill Number : S 2611|
|Title : A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.
|Sponsor: Sen Specter, Arlen [PA] (introduced 4/7/2006)|
|ALPHABETICAL [followed by Cosponsors withdrawn]:     (Sort:
Sen Brownback, Sam [KS] - 4/7/2006
Sen Graham, Lindsey [SC] - 4/7/2006
Sen Hagel, Chuck [NE] - 4/7/2006
Sen Kennedy, Edward M. [MA] - 4/7/2006
Sen Martinez, Mel [FL] - 4/7/2006
Sen McCain, John [AZ] - 4/7/2006
|Bill Number : S 2611|
|Title : A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.