Bills upcoming for a vote in the legislature.
Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019
This bill increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7% of the total number of such visas available that year to 15%, and eliminates the 7% cap for employment-based immigrant visas. It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China.
The bill also establishes transition rules for employment-based visas from FY2020-FY2022, by reserving a percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability), EB-3 (skilled and other workers), and EB-5 (investors) visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas. Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85% shall be allotted to immigrants from any single country.
Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, 2019
This bill provides $4.59 billion in FY2019 emergency supplemental appropriations to federal departments and agencies for humanitarian assistance and security to respond to migrants attempting to enter the United States at the southern border.
The funding provided by this bill is designated as emergency spending, which is exempt from discretionary spending limits.
The bill provides appropriations to
Within the Department of Homeland Security, the bill provides appropriations for
The bill also sets forth requirements and restrictions for using funds provided by this bill.
American Dream and Promise Act of 2019
This bill cancels and prohibits removal proceedings against certain aliens and provides such aliens with a path toward permanent resident status.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the Department of Justice (DOJ) shall cancel removal proceedings against certain aliens who entered the United States as minors and grant such aliens conditional permanent residence status for 10 years. The bill imposes various qualification requirements, such as the alien being continuously physically present in the United States and being enrolled in or having completed certain educational programs. Aliens who were eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status and not disqualified for renewal also qualify.
DHS shall remove the conditional permanent resident status granted to such aliens, if the alien applies and meets certain requirements, such as completing certain programs at an educational institution or serving at least two years in the Uniformed Services and being discharged honorably.
This bill also repeals a restriction that bars states from providing higher education benefits to undocumented aliens unless those benefits are available to all U.S. citizens.
DHS or DOJ shall cancel removal proceedings against certain aliens who qualified for temporary protected status or Deferred Enforced Departure status on certain past dates (both statuses temporarily protect covered aliens from removal). For such aliens who apply, DHS shall grant permanent residence status.
When DHS eliminates temporary protected status for nationals of a foreign country, it shall report to Congress its reasons for doing so.
This bill amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to extend posthumous citizenship to an otherwise qualified noncitizen who enlisted, reenlisted, extended enlistment, or was inducted into the U.S. Armed Forces in the Philippines and died as a result of such active duty service during the period September 1, 1939-December 31, 1946.
The executive department under which a person served shall determine whether the person satisfied the requirements for posthumous citizenship.
Specified naturalization and other posthumous benefit provisions shall not apply to the surviving spouse, child, or parent of such a person.
Secure Border Communications Act
(Sec. 2) This bill directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ensure that each U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer or agent is equipped with a secure radio or other two-way communication device, supported by system interoperability, that permits communication: (1) between ports of entry and inspection stations; and (2) with other federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement entities.
DHS shall: (1) ensure that U.S. Border Patrol agents in remote mission critical locations and at border checkpoints have multi- or dual-band encrypted portable radios, and (2) acquire radios or other devices with the option to connect to commercial mobile broadband networks for deployment in areas where such networks enhance operations and are cost effective.
DHS may evaluate new or emerging communications technologies to determine their suitability for border security operations.
Kerrie Orozco First Responders Family Support Act
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to waive the naturalization requirements of residence and physical presence for an alien who is the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen who dies from an injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by employment as a first responder. (A surviving spouse must have been living in marital union with the citizen spouse at the time of death.)
The bill defines "first responder" to mean federal, state, and local government fire, law enforcement, and emergency response personnel.
Immigration Advisory Program Authorization Act of 2018 or the IAP Authorization Act of 2018
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to authorize within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) an immigration advisory program for CBP officers, pursuant to an agreement with a host country, to assist air carriers and security employees at foreign airports review traveler information during the processing of U.S.-bound flights.
CBP shall provide Congress with:
Joint Task Force to Combat Opioid Trafficking Act of 2018
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish a joint task force to enhance DHS border security operations to detect, interdict, disrupt, and prevent narcotics, such as fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, from entering the United States. The task force may coordinate with: (1) the private sector, which may include a two-year assignment of a private sector employee to a task force; and (2) other federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, or international task forces and entities.
(Sec. 3) DHS shall determine whether to establish the task force and notify Congress of its determination within 90 days.
Border Security Technology Accountability Act of 2017
This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to: (1) ensure that each border security technology acquisition program that is a major acquisition program has an acquisition program baseline approved by the relevant acquisition decision authority; (2) document program program cost, schedule, and performance compliance; and (3) have a plan for each program to meet implementation objectives by managing contractor performance.
DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection shall ensure that border security technology acquisition program managers adhere to internal control standards identified by the Government Accountability Office.
DHS shall submit a plan for testing border security technology so that new border security technologies are evaluated to ensure: (1) compliance with relevant departmental acquisition policies and the Federal Acquisition Regulation, and (2) the effectiveness of taxpayer dollars.
"Major acquisition program" means a DHS acquisition program that is estimated by DHS to require an eventual total expenditure of at least $300 million over its life cycle cost.
Border Security for America Act of 2017
This bill directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to: (1) achieve situational awareness and operational control of the southern border and develop infrastructure and technology to deter illegal border activity in high traffic areas, (2) deploy additional capabilities to specified border sectors, (3) submit a plan for using independent verification resources for border security technology, (4) establish a National Border Security Advisory Committee, (5) implement the Border Security Deployment Program, (6) establish a biometric exit data system, (7) submit a southern border threat analysis, and (8) begin eradicating the carrizo cane plant and any salt cedar along the Rio Grande River.
The bill provides for: (1) U.S. Border Patrol personnel increases and infrastructure improvements, (2) National Guard and Department of Defense border assistance, (3) Tunnel Task Forces to stop border tunnel breaches, and (4) a demonstration to deploy a rapid non-intrusive passenger vehicle inspection system at not fewer than three high-entry land ports along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The bill: (1) prohibits federal agency restrictions on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) activities on federal land within 100 miles of the southern border; and (2) requires increases in immigration and law enforcement personnel and agricultural specialists, CBP training and continuing education, and electronic passport screening and biometric matching at airports of entry.
The Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010 is amended to provide for hiring flexibility.
Operation Stonegarden is established as a DHS program to provide border security grants.
This bill authorizes DHS to construct new ports of entry along the northern and southern borders.
Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to make an alien: (1) inadmissible if a consular officer, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or the Department of Justice (DOJ) knows or has reason to believe that such person is or has been a member of a criminal gang or has participated in criminal gang activities; and (2) deportable if such person is or has been a member of a criminal gang, or has participated in criminal gang activities knowing that such activities will promote illegal activity.
A "criminal gang" is defined as an ongoing group, club, organization, or association of five or more persons: (1) one of the primary purposes of which is the commission of specified criminal offenses and the members of which engage, or have engaged within the past five years, in a continuing series of such offenses; or (2) that has been designated as a criminal gang by DHS. Such offenses include: (1) felony drug offenses, (2) bringing in and harboring certain aliens, (3) assisting certain aliens to enter the United States, (4) importing aliens for immoral purposes, (5) crimes of violence, (6) obstruction of justice or witness tampering, (7) identification document fraud, (8) slavery and trafficking in persons, (9) money laundering, and (10) interstate or foreign travel in connection with a racketeering enterprise.
DHS: (1) may designate a group of five or more persons as a criminal gang based upon its conduct, and (2) shall publish a designation in the Federal Register seven days after providing congressional notification as provided for in this bill. A designation shall be effective until: (1) it is revoked or blocked by Congress; (2) DHS determines that the group no longer fits such designation or that national security or law enforcement interests warrant a revocation; or (3) it is judicially set aside. A group may file a petition for revocation with DHS. The bill prescribes DHS review provisions. A revocation of a designation shall not affect any proceeding based on conduct committed prior to the effective date of the revocation.
Within 30 days after publication of a designation, an amended designation, or a determination in response to a petition for revocation, a designated group may seek judicial review with the U.S. Court of Appeals, DC Circuit.
The bill: (1) provides for mandatory detention of alien gang members; and (2) makes alien gang members ineligible for asylum, temporary protected status, special immigrant juvenile status, and parole (unless such an alien is assisting the United States in a law enforcement matter).
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards Act of 2017
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to authorize U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to issue an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Card (ABT Card) to an individual who: (1) is a U.S. citizen who has been approved and is in good standing in an existing Department of Homeland Security (DHS) international trusted traveler program, and (2) is engaged in business in the Asia-Pacific region or is a U.S. government official engaged in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation business.
The bill: (1) transfers card program authority from the the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards Act of 2011 (APECBTC Act) to the Homeland Security Act of 2002; and (2) makes the program, which is scheduled to end on September 30, 2018, permanent.
The CBP shall: (1) integrate application procedures for, and issuance, renewal, and revocation of, ABT cards with existing DHS international trusted traveler programs; (2) prescribe and collect a fee for card issuance and renewal, and (3) notify Congress if card program expenditures exceed collected amounts.
The bill establishes in the Treasury an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Card Account (Account).
(Sec. 3) Amounts in the travel card account under the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards Act of 2011 are transferred to the Account and shall be available for expenses incurred with any card.
(Sec. 4) The APECBTC Act is repealed. A card issued pursuant to such Act before the date of enactment of this bill shall remain valid until it expires.
Strong Visa Integrity Secures America Act
This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require the Department of State to assign, in a risk-based manner, State Department employees to at least 50 visa-issuing diplomatic and consular posts based upon the following criteria:
Such employees shall, in addition to other duties, screen admissions applications against federal criminal, national security, and terrorism databases.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shall:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall:
Electronic passport screening shall apply to U.S. citizens, nationals of a visa waiver program country, and nationals of any other foreign country that issues electronic passports.
Facial recognition or other biometric technology shall apply to nationals of a visa waiver program country.
The CBP shall, in a risk-based manner, continuously screen individuals issued any visa and individuals who are visa waiver program nationals against criminal, national security, and terrorism databases.
The annual visa overstay report is revised.
DHS shall: (1) ensure that certain foreign student information is available at each U.S. port of entry to CBP officers, (2) review the social media accounts of certain visa applicants who are citizens or residents of high-risk countries, and (3) review open source information of visa applicants.
(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to revise provisions relating to the reentry of removed aliens.
The bill provides that an alien who has been excluded, deported, removed, or denied admission, or who has departed the United States while under an outstanding order of exclusion, deportation, or removal, and who subsequently crosses or attempts to cross the border into the United States, shall be fined, imprisoned not more than two years, or both. ("Crosses the border" refers to the physical act of crossing the border, regardless of whether the alien is free from official restraint.)
The bill revises reentry of criminal offender provisions to provide that an alien who was convicted before such removal or departure of:
An alien who has been excluded, deported, removed, or denied admission three or more times and thereafter enters, attempts to enter, or crosses or attempts to cross the border to, or is at any time found in, the United States shall be fined, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
The bill states that it shall be an affirmative defense to a reentry violation (thus placing the burden of proof on the defendant) that: (1) prior to the alleged violation, the alien had received Department of Homeland Security (DHS) consent to reapply for U.S. admission; or (2) with respect to an alien previously denied admission and removed, the alien was not required to obtain such advance consent and had complied with all other applicable admissions laws and regulations.
In a criminal proceeding under this section, an alien may not challenge the validity of any prior removal order. (Currently, the validity of a prior deportation order may be challenged under certain grounds.)
A removed alien who enters, attempts to enter, or crosses or attempts to cross the border to, or is at any time found in, the United States shall be incarcerated for the remainder of the sentence that was pending at the time of deportation without any reduction for parole or supervised release unless the alien affirmatively demonstrates that DHS has consented to the alien's reentry.
No Sanctuary for Criminals Act
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit any federal, state, or local government or any individual from prohibiting any government entity, official, or employee from complying with the immigration laws or cooperating with federal law enforcement of such laws.
The bill expands the scope of law enforcement activities relating to immigration-related information that a federal, state, or local government may not restrict or prohibit to include: (1) making inquiries to an individual in order to obtain immigration-related information regarding any individual, (2) notifying the federal government regarding the presence of individuals who are encountered by law enforcement officials or other state or local personnel, or (3) complying with federal law enforcement requests for such information.
A state or political subdivision not in compliance with such immigration enforcement provisions shall be ineligible to receive grants or assistance for: (1) incarceration of undocumented aliens; (2) the Cops on the Beat program; (3) the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice program; or (4) any Department of Justice (DOJ) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant substantially related to law enforcement, terrorism, national security, immigration, or naturalization.
DHS: (1) may decline to transfer an alien in its custody to a non-complying state or political subdivision regardless of whether the state or political subdivision has issued a writ or warrant, (2) shall not transfer an alien with a final order of removal to a non-complying state or political subdivision, and (3) shall determine and report annually regarding non-complying states or political subdivisions.
At the request of the House or Senate Judiciary Committee, DHS shall issue a compliance report about any state or political subdivision. A non-complying jurisdiction shall be ineligible for federal financial assistance for at least one year and shall become eligible only after DHS certifies that it is in compliance.
Funds that are not allocated to a noncomplying state or political subdivision shall be reallocated to a complying state or political subdivision.
(Sec. 3) In the case of an individual who is arrested by any federal, state, or local law enforcement official or other personnel for the alleged violation of a criminal or motor vehicle law, DHS may issue a detainer to any federal, state, or local law enforcement entity, official, or other personnel if DHS has probable cause to believe that such individual is an inadmissible or deportable alien. (Current law applies only to an individual arrested for a controlled substance violation and requires an enforcement officer to have reason to believe that such individual is unlawfully present in the United States.)
The bill prescribes probable cause criteria.
DHS may take custody of a properly detained individual within 48-96 hours after the date that the individual is otherwise to be released from federal, state, or local custody.
The bill provides states, political subdivisions, official personnel, and contractor entities and personnel with immunity from liability for temporarily detaining, within the scope of their duties, an alien for DHS transfer to the same extent provided for corresponding federal immunity. The United States shall be the proper defendant in any civil action arising from such detainer.
Immunity shall not apply in instances of mistreatment.
A victim (or family member of a deceased victim) of murder, rape, or certain felonies committed by an alien who has been convicted and sentenced to at least one year in prison may bring an action against a state or political subdivision that released such alien prior to the crime's commission as a consequence of the state or political subdivision's declining to honor a detainer.
Such an action may not be brought later than 10 years after the crime or the person's death because of such crime, whichever occurs later. A court shall allow a prevailing plaintiff attorney's fees and certain other costs.
(Sec. 4) DHS may detain an alien without time limitation during the pendency of removal proceedings. Bond is permitted only for an individual who is not a flight risk or a danger to another person or the community.
The bill expands the categories of offenses requiring mandatory detention during the pendency of removal proceedings to include an alien who: (1) is unlawfully present in the United States and has been convicted for driving while intoxicated, under the influence, or impaired by alcohol or drugs, without regard to whether the conviction is classified as a misdemeanor or felony under state law; and (2) is inadmissible for illegal entry or deportable by reason of visa revocation or violation of nonimmigrant status and who has been arrested or charged with a particularly serious crime or a crime resulting in the death or serious bodily injury of another person.
An alien subject to mandatory detention may not be released on bond.
The bill limits DOJ's review of DHS custody determinations for aliens who are in exclusion hearings, or who are excludable or deportable on security grounds or other specified grounds, to issues of whether such aliens may be detained or released with or without bond.
Border Security Technology Accountability Act of 2017
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to: (1) ensure that each border security technology acquisition program that is determined to be a major acquisition program has an acquisition program baseline approved by the relevant acquisition decision authority; (2) document that each such program is meeting the cost, schedule, and performance thresholds specified in such baseline in compliance with relevant departmental acquisition policies and the Federal Acquisition Regulation; and (3) have a plan for each such program to meet program implementation objectives by managing contractor performance. "Major acquisition program" means a DHS acquisition program that is estimated by DHS to require an eventual total expenditure of at least $300 million over its life cycle cost.
DHS must ensure that border security technology acquisition program managers adhere to relevant internal control standards identified by the Government Accountability Office.
DHS shall submit a plan for testing and evaluation, as well as for the use of independent verification and validation resources, for border security technology so that new border security technologies are evaluated through a series of assessments, processes, and audits to ensure compliance with relevant departmental acquisition policies and the Federal Acquisition Regulation and the effectiveness of taxpayer dollars.