H.R. 5541 (109th): Fairness in Immigration Litigation Act of 2006

109th Congress, 2005–2006. Text as of Jun 07, 2006 (Introduced).

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I

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5541

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 7, 2006

(for himself, Mr. Smith of Texas, Mr. Burgess, Mr. Carter, Mr. Conaway, Mr. Gohmert, Ms. Granger, Mr. Hensarling, Mr. Sam Johnson of Texas, Mr. Marchant, Mr. McCaul of Texas, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Thornberry, Mr. Neugebauer, Mr. Culberson, Mr. Poe, Mr. Barton of Texas, Mr. Hall, Mr. Brady of Texas, Mr. Paul, and Mr. Doolittle) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To reform immigration litigation procedures.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Fairness in Immigration Litigation Act of 2006.

2.

Appropriate remedies for immigration litigation

(a)

Limitation on civil actions

No court may certify an action as a class action under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in any civil action filed after the date of the enactment of this Act pertaining to the administration or enforcement of the immigration laws of the United States.

(b)

Requirements for relief

(1)

Prospective relief

(A)

In general

In the case that a court determines that prospective relief should be ordered against the Government in a civil action with respect to the administration or enforcement of the immigration laws of the United States, the court may order such relief only if the following requirements are met:

(i)

The court limits the relief to the minimum necessary to correct the violation.

(ii)

The relief is the least intrusive means necessary to correct the violation.

(iii)

The court minimizes, to the greatest practical extent, any adverse impact on national security, border security, immigration administration and enforcement, and public safety caused by the relief.

(iv)

The court provides for the expiration of the relief on a specific date which allows for the minimum practical time needed to remedy the violation.

(B)

Written explanation required with court order

Each court order granting prospective relief shall include in writing an explanation of how the relief meets each requirement under subparagraph (A). Such explanation must be sufficiently detailed to allow review by another court.

(2)

Duration of preliminary injunctive relief

In the case of prospective relief that is preliminary injunctive relief, such preliminary injunctive relief shall automatically expire on the date that is 90 days after its entry, unless the court determines that the relief meets all legal requirements, including those under paragraph (1)(A), for the entry of prospective relief and makes the order for the prospective relief involved final before expiration of the 90-day period.

(c)

Procedure for motions affecting prospective relief against the Government

(1)

In general

A court shall promptly rule on any motion by the Government to vacate, modify, dissolve, or otherwise terminate an order granting prospective relief in a civil action with respect to the administration or enforcement of the immigration laws of the United States.

(2)

Automatic stays

(A)

In general

A motion described in paragraph (1), with respect to an order granting prospective relief in a civil action described in such paragraph shall automatically, and without further order of the court, stay the order granting prospective relief during the period beginning on the date that is 15 days after the date on which such motion is filed and ending on the date on which the court enters a final order granting or denying the motion.

(B)

Rule of construction

A motion described in paragraph (1) shall not operate as a stay under subparagraph (A) if the court involved enters a final order ruling on the motion before the first day of the period described in subparagraph (A).

(C)

Treatment of motions pending for not more than 45 days on date of enactment

For purposes of this subsection, a motion described in paragraph (1) that was filed during the 45-day period before the date of the enactment of this Act and for which the court has not, as of such date of enactment, entered a final order ruling on the motion shall be treated as if the motion had been filed on such date of enactment.

(D)

Treatment of motions pending for more than 45 days on date of enactment

For purposes of this subsection, a motion described in paragraph (1) that was filed more than 45 days before the date of the enactment of this Act and for which, as of the date that is 10 days after such date of enactment, the court involved has not entered a final order granting or denying the motion, shall operate as an automatic stay of the prospective relief, without further order of the court. An automatic stay under this subparagraph shall be effective beginning on such date that is 10 days after the date of enactment and ending on the date on which the court involved enters a final order granting or denying the motion. The effective date of an automatic stay under this subparagraph may not be postponed under paragraph (3).

(3)

Postponement of automatic stays

The court may, for good cause, enter an order to postpone the effective date of an automatic stay under paragraph (2). No effective date of an automatic stay under paragraph (2) may be postponed for more than 15 days.

(4)

Automatic stays during remands from higher courts

Whenever a higher court orders that a decision on a motion subject to this section shall be remanded to a lower court, the order granting prospective relief that is the subject of the motion shall be automatically stayed until the district court enters an order granting or denying the motion. The effective date of an automatic stay under this subparagraph may not be postponed under paragraph (3).

(5)

Orders blocking automatic stays

Any order staying, suspending, delaying, or otherwise barring the effective date of an automatic stay under this subsection, other than an order to postpone the effective date under paragraph (3), shall be treated as an order refusing to vacate, modify, dissolve, or otherwise terminate an injunction and immediately shall be appealable pursuant to section 1292(a)(1) of title 28, United States Code.

(6)

Requirements for order denying motion

Subsection (b) shall apply to an order entered by a court to deny a motion described in paragraph (1) in the same manner that such subsection applies to a grant of prospective relief under such subsection.

(d)

Rules for prospective relief affecting expedited removal

(1)

In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), including section 2241 of Title 28, United States Code, or any other habeas provision, and sections 1361 and 1651 of such title, no court has jurisdiction to grant or continue an order or part of an order granting prospective relief if the order or part of the order interferes with, affects, or impacts any determination pursuant to, or the implementation of, section 235(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(1)).

(2)

Determination of continuing jurisdiction

Upon the Government’s filing of a motion to vacate, modify, dissolve, or otherwise terminate an order granting prospective relief in a civil action described in subsection (b)(1)(A), the court involved shall promptly determine whether it continues to have jurisdiction and shall promptly vacate any order or part of an order granting prospective relief that is not within the jurisdiction of the court.

(3)

Safe harbor for continuing prospective relief to remedy violation of Constitutional rights

Paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not apply to an order granting prospective relief in a civil action described in subsection (b)(1)(A) to the extent that the order was entered before the date of the enactment of this Act and the prospective relief is necessary to remedy the violation of a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

(e)

Settlements

(1)

Consent decrees

In any civil action with respect to the administration or enforcement of the immigration laws of the United States, the court involved shall not enter, approve, or continue a consent decree unless the decree complies with the requirements under clauses (i) through (iv) of subparagraph (A) of subsection (b)(1) and includes the written explanation required under subparagraph (B) of such subsection.

(2)

Private settlement agreements

Nothing in this subsection shall preclude parties from entering into a private settlement agreement that does not comply with the requirements under clauses (i) through (iv) of subparagraph (A) of subsection (b)(1) or that does not include the written explanation required under subparagraph (B) of such subsection.

(f)

Expedited proceedings

Each court shall take measures to advance on the docket and to expedite the disposition of any civil action described in subsection (b)(1)(A) or motion described in subsection (c) or (d).

(g)

Definitions

For purposes of this section:

(1)

Consent decree

The term consent decree means any relief entered by a court that is based in whole or in part on the consent or acquiescence of the parties involved but does not include private settlements.

(2)

Good cause

The term good cause does not include any cause related to discovery or congestion of the court’s calendar.

(3)

Government

The term Government means the United States, any Federal department or agency, or any Federal agent or official acting within the scope of official duties.

(4)

Permanent relief

The term permanent relief means relief issued in connection with a final decision of a court.

(5)

Private settlement agreement

The term private settlement agreement means an agreement entered into among the parties involved that is not subject to judicial enforcement other than the reinstatement of the civil proceedings that the agreement settled.

(6)

Prospective relief

The term prospective relief means temporary, preliminary, or permanent relief other than compensatory monetary damages.

3.

Severability

If any provision of this Act or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance is found to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act and the application of the provisions of such remainder of this Act to any person or circumstance shall not be affected by such finding.

4.

Effective date

Except as otherwise provided under section 2(a), the provisions of this Act shall apply to all orders granting prospective relief entered by a court before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act.