< Back to H.R. 5639 (107th Congress, 2001–2002)

Text of the Texas Band of Kickapoo Act Amendments

This bill was introduced on October 10, 2002, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Oct 10, 2002 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 5639 IH

107th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5639

To clarify the rights of United States citizenship and eligibility for Federal benefits for all enrolled members of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

OCTOBER 10, 2002

Mr. WATKINS of Oklahoma introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To clarify the rights of United States citizenship and eligibility for Federal benefits for all enrolled members of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Texas Band of Kickapoo Act Amendments’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:

      (1) The Texas Band of Kickapoo is a subgroup of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma whose ancestors were forced to migrate from their ancestral lands in the Midwestern United States to lands now within the boundaries of Mexico and the States of Oklahoma and Texas.

      (2) The migratory nature of the Kickapoos, which required their frequent travel between Oklahoma, Texas, and Mexico, resulted in lack of clarity in their rights of citizenship and their eligibility for Federal services which could be provided only to Kickapoos when they were on or near the reservation of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma in McLoud, Oklahoma.

      (3) Although members of the Texas Band of Kickapoo lived primarily in Texas under conditions posing serious threats to their health, they owned no land in Texas and, therefore, were unable to obtain Federal services which the United States provides to other Indians who are members of federally recognized Indian tribes because of their status as Indians.

      (4) In 1983, the Texas Band of Kickapoo Act (25 U.S.C. 1300b-11 et seq.) was enacted to confirm the United States citizenship of Kickapoos residing in Texas and their eligibility for Federal services.

      (5) Although many Kickapoos meet the requirements for United States citizenship, some lack written records to prove that they do and have not been made aware that their right to apply for collective citizenship under the Texas Band of Kickapoo Act has expired. Amendment of the Immigration and Nationality Act is necessary to establish modified naturalization procedures to address the Kickapoos’ eligibility for citizenship.

      (6) The Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma acquired land in Maverick County, Texas, in order to provide for the delivery of Federal services to its tribal members in Texas, known as the Texas Band or subgroup of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, and in turn, in 1986 such land was acquired in trust by the United States by trust deed ‘for the benefit of the Texas Band of Kickapoo, a subgroup of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma’.

      (7) In 1989, some members of the Texas Band chose to form a separate governmental entity now known as the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, while the remaining Texas Kickapoos continue to be a subgroup of and have membership in the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma.

      (8) Since the early 1990s, disputes have arisen over whether beneficial ownership of the trust land in Maverick County, Texas, resides with the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma or with the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas. For some tribal members, lack of clarity regarding ownership of the trust property has resulted in eviction from their homes and inability to receive services, contrary to the intent and goals of the Texas Band of Kickapoo Act.

      (9) Both tribes require a land base in Texas to be able to provide services and housing for their respective tribal members. Only the Congress can clarify the beneficial ownership of Kickapoo reservation lands to ensure that both tribes have an appropriate land base in Maverick County, Texas.

      (10) The respective members of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas deserve to have their United States citizenship confirmed and their ability to cross the borders of the United States clarified, and to receive all of the Federal services which the United States provides to Indians because of their status as Indians.

      (11) Beneficial title to land already held in trust by the United States pursuant to authority granted in the Texas Band of Kickapoo Act should be transferred from the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma to the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, and replacement land in the State of Texas should be accepted into trust by the United States to provide a home for those Texas Kickapoos who continue to be members of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    Section 3 of the Texas Band of Kickapoo Act (25 U.S.C. 1300b-12) is amended to read as follow:

‘SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    ‘For the purposes of this Act, the following definitions apply:

      ‘(1) TEXAS BAND- The term ‘Texas Band’ means the Texas Band of Kickapoo Indians, all members of which were part of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma as it existed prior to 1989 when a portion of the Band obtained Federal recognition as a governmental tribal entity separate from the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma.

      ‘(2) KICKAPOO TRIBE OF OKLAHOMA- The term ‘Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma’ means the Kickapoo Tribe recognized by the United States pursuant to the Treaty with the Kickapoo on December 9, 1809 (7 Stat. 117), and reorganized in 1938 as the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma pursuant to the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act.

      ‘(3) KICKAPOO TRADITIONAL TRIBE OF TEXAS- The term ‘Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas’ means the Kickapoo Tribe administratively recognized in 1989 pursuant to Federal authorities granted in the Texas Band of Kickapoo Act.

      ‘(4) KICKAPOO TRIBES- The term ‘Kickapoo Tribes’ means the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas.

      ‘(5) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of the Interior.’.

SEC. 4. MEMBERSHIP ROLLS; CITIZENSHIP ELIGIBILITY.

    (a) UPDATING MEMBERSHIP ROLLS; COMPILATION OF CITIZENSHIP ELIGIBILITY LISTS- Section 4 of the Texas Band of Kickapoo Act (25 U.S.C. 1300b-13) is amended to read as follows:

‘SEC. 4. MEMBERSHIP ROLLS; CITIZENSHIP ELIGIBILITY.

    ‘(a) UPDATING MEMBERSHIP ROLLS; COMPILATION OF CITIZENSHIP ELIGIBILITY LISTS- In consultation with the Secretary, the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas each shall update the membership roll of such tribe’s tribal members and shall compile a list of its tribal members who reside permanently in the United States but were not born in the United States and are not otherwise a citizen or national of the United States. When such membership roll is updated, and such citizenship eligibility list is compiled, the Secretary shall promptly publish notice in the Federal Register announcing the completion of the citizenship eligibility list and shall provide a copy of such list to the Attorney General for use in approving applications for certificates of citizenship pursuant to section 341(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1452(c)).

    ‘(b) BORDER CROSSING RIGHTS- Notwithstanding the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) or any other law, any individual who was entitled to enter the United States under this section, as in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of the Texas Band of Kickapoo Act Amendments, shall continue to have such right until the earlier of--

      ‘(1) the date on which a final determination is made on an application timely filed by the individual pursuant to section 341(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1452(c)); or

      ‘(2) the end of the final 2-year application period described in paragraph (3) of such section 341(c).’.

    (b) CITIZENSHIP- Section 341 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1452) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    ‘(c)(1) An individual who is described in paragraph (2) and satisfies the requirements of paragraphs (3) and (4) may be issued a certificate of citizenship. Upon proof to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that the individual is so eligible, and upon taking and subscribing before a member of the Service within the United States to the oath of allegiance required by this Act of an applicant for naturalization, such individual shall be furnished by the Attorney General with a certificate of citizenship.

    ‘(2) An individual is described in this paragraph if the name of the individual appears on a citizenship eligibility list provided to the Attorney General pursuant to section 4 of the Texas Band of Kickapoo Act (25 U.S.C. 1300b-13) because such individual--

      ‘(A) is of Kickapoo descent;

      ‘(B) is a member of--

        ‘(i) the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma (as defined in section 3 of the Texas Band of Kickapoo Act (25 U.S.C. 1300b-12)); or

        ‘(ii) the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas (as so defined);

      ‘(C) was born outside the United States and its outlying possessions;

      ‘(D) resides permanently in the United States; and

      ‘(E) is not otherwise a citizen or national of the United States.

    ‘(3) An individual described in paragraph (2) may apply to the Attorney General for a certificate of citizenship under this subsection only during a 2-year period commencing on the date following publication, pursuant to section 4 of the Texas Band of Kickapoo Act (25 U.S.C. 1300b-13), of the notice of completion of a citizenship eligibility list on which the name of the applicant appears.

    ‘(4) The Attorney General may not grant an application for a certificate of citizenship under this subsection unless the applicant is, and has been during the 5-year period immediately preceding the filing of the application, a person of good moral character.’.

SEC. 5. LAND ACQUISITION.

    Section 5 of the Texas Band of Kickapoo Act (25 U.S.C. 1300b-14) is amended to read as follows:

‘SEC. 5. LAND ACQUISITION.

    ‘(a) APPLICABILITY OF THE INDIAN REORGANIZATION ACT- The Secretary is authorized to exercise authority under section 5 of the Act of June 18, 1934 (25

U.S.C. 465; popularly known as the Indian Reorganization Act), for the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas with respect to lands in Maverick County, Texas, only.

    ‘(b) RELINQUISHMENT OF TRUST TITLE-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary is hereby directed to allow the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, upon its request, to relinquish its claim to beneficial title to the land described in paragraph (2) of this subsection in exchange for the replacement land described in subsection (c).

      ‘(2) LAND DESCRIPTION- Lands referred to in paragraph (1) are those lands known as the Kickapoo Reservation, legal title to which is held in trust by the United States, and described as being all that certain lot, tract, or parcel of land lying and being situated in the County of Maverick, State of Texas. Such lands are more particularly described as follows: Being 125.43 acres lying and situated in said Maverick County, Texas, and being 42.07 acres out of survey 20, Abstract 723 and 83.36 acres out of Survey 21, Abstract 811; said acreage being the same land conveyed from the Veteran’s Land Board of Texas to Arthur Meixner as said conveyance is recorded in volume 51, page 288 of the Maverick County Deed Records, as more particularly described in that certain deed recorded in Book 238, pages 324-326 of the Maverick County Deed Records.

    ‘(c) TRUST STATUS FOR REPLACEMENT LANDS-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- No later than 60 days after the relinquishment of trust title as provided in subsection (b), the Secretary shall accept all right, title, and interest of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma in and to the land described in paragraph (2) as replacement land and take that land into trust for the benefit of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma if--

        ‘(A) the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma so requests;

        ‘(B) there are no adverse legal claims on such property, including outstanding liens, mortgages, or taxes owed; and

        ‘(C) the land described in subsection (b)(2) is no longer held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma.

      ‘(2) LAND DESCRIPTION- Lands referred to in paragraph (1) are described as follows:

        ‘(A) The Surface estate only in and to the following described property to wit: being all that certain tract or parcel of land together with all improvements thereon, and being 173.0 acre tract of land, out of survey 56, abstract 778 and survey 57, abstract 782, in Maverick County, Texas, and being a part of 2,460.6607 acre tract recorded in vol. 425, page 393, official public records of Maverick County, Texas, as more particularly described in that certain deed recorded in said Maverick County, Texas, as Document Number 108772 in Book 663, page 243-244.

        ‘(B) The Surface estate only in and to the following described property to wit: being all that certain tract or parcel of land together with all improvements thereon, and being 200.0 acre tract of land, out of survey 57, survey 58 and survey 13, in Maverick County, Texas, and being a part of 2,460.6607 acre tract recorded in vol. 425, page 393, official public records of Maverick County, Texas, as more particularly described in that certain deed recorded in said Maverick County, Texas, as Document Number 108910 in Book 664, page 335-339.’.

SEC. 6. JURISDICTION.

    Section 6 of the Texas Band of Kickapoo Act (25 U.S.C. 1300b-15) is amended by striking ‘Band’s trust lands’ and inserting ‘lands held in trust in Maverick County for the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and for the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas,’.

SEC. 7. PROVISION OF FEDERAL INDIAN SERVICES.

    Section 7 of the Texas Band of Kickapoo Act (25 U.S.C. 1300b-16) is amended--

      (1) by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

    ‘(a) ELIGIBILITY FOR FEDERAL INDIAN SERVICES- Notwithstanding any other provision of law authorizing the provision of special programs and services by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians, the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, and their respective members who reside in Maverick County, Texas, shall be eligible for such programs and services without regard to the existence of a reservation, residence on or near a reservation, or the compilation of the Membership Rolls pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 1300b-13(a).’; and

      (2) in subsection (b)--

        (A) by inserting after ‘(b)’ the following: ‘CONSULTATION WITH MEXICAN GOVERNMENT- ’; and

        (B) by striking ‘the Band and its members’ and inserting ‘the Kickapoo Tribes and their respective tribal members’.