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H.R. 2055 (109th): Family Reunification Act of 2005


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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 3, 2005.


Family Reunification Act of 2005 - Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to cancel the removal of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence for not less than five years who is inadmissible to, or deportable from, the United States, if such alien: (1) has resided continuously in the United States for seven years and has not been convicted of any aggravated felony; (2) has resided continuously in the United States for seven or ten years and has been convicted of a nonviolent aggravated felony (with the period of continuous residence calculated by reference to the date of commission of an aggravated felony or incarceration for such a felony) for which the term of imprisonment was four years or less; (3) has resided continuously in the United States for seven or ten years (using the above calculation) and has been convicted of an aggravated felony classified as a crime of violence for which the term of imprisonment was two years or less; (4) has resided continuously in the United States for seven years after being admitted before age ten; or (5) has resided continuously in the United States for seven years after being admitted before the age of 16 and prior to the commission of any aggravated felony. Excludes from such cancellation of removal those aliens who have previously been convicted of murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit such an offense.

Sets forth special residency requirements for aliens who committed aggravated felonies before or after enactment of this Act.

Terminates the period of continuous residence or physical presence for cancellation of removal purposes when an alien receives a notice to appear for removal proceedings (currently, the period ends upon the earlier of receipt of such notice or upon commission of the removable offense). Permits a lawful permanent resident who has committed a criminal offense constituting a ground of inadmissibility to reenter the United States without seeking admission if the offense was committed within the United States and the alien was absent from the United States for not more than 30 days thereafter. Authorizes the Secretary to release criminal aliens in specified circumstances. States that a criminal conviction remains a conviction for immigration purposes even if vacated, unless vacated on the merits or on grounds relating to the violation of a statutory or constitutional right in the underlying proceedings. Permits an alien made eligible for cancellation of removal as a result of this Act to file an unreviewable motion to reopen to apply for cancellation.