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S. 644 (109th): Widows and Orphans Act of 2005


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 16, 2005 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

109th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 644

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 16, 2005

(for himself, Mr. Bingaman, Ms. Cantwell, and Mr. Dodd) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To establish new special immigrant categories, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Widows and Orphans Act of 2005.

2.

New special immigrant category

(a)

Certain children and women at risk of harm

Section 101(a)(27) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (L), by inserting a semicolon at the end;

(2)

in subparagraph (M), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; or; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(N)

subject to subsection (j), an immigrant who is not present in the United States—

(i)

who is—

(I)

referred to a consular, immigration, or other designated official by a United States Government agency, an international organization, or recognized nongovernmental entity designated by the Secretary of State for purposes of such referrals; and

(II)

determined by such official to be a minor under 18 years of age (as determined under subsection (j)(5))—

(aa)

for whom no parent or legal guardian is able to provide adequate care;

(bb)

who faces a credible fear of harm related to his or her age;

(cc)

who lacks adequate protection from such harm; and

(dd)

for whom it has been determined to be in his or her best interests to be admitted to the United States; or

(ii)

who is—

(I)

referred to a consular or immigration official by a United States Government agency, an international organization or recognized nongovernmental entity designated by the Secretary of State for purposes of such referrals; and

(II)

determined by such official to be a female who has—

(aa)

a credible fear of harm related to her sex; and

(bb)

a lack of adequate protection from such harm.

.

(b)

Statutory construction

Section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(j)
(1)

No natural parent or prior adoptive parent of any alien provided special immigrant status under subsection (a)(27)(N)(i) shall thereafter, by virtue of such parentage, be accorded any right, privilege, or status under this Act.

(2)
(A)

No alien who qualifies for a special immigrant visa under subsection (a)(27)(N)(ii) may apply for derivative status or petition for any spouse who is represented by the alien as missing, deceased, or the source of harm at the time of the alien’s application and admission. The Secretary of Homeland Security may waive this requirement for an alien who demonstrates that the alien’s representations regarding the spouse were bona fide.

(B)

An alien who qualifies for a special immigrant visa under subsection (a)(27)(N) may apply for derivative status or petition for any sibling under the age of 18 years or children under the age of 18 years of any such alien, if accompanying or following to join the alien. For purposes of this subparagraph, a determination of age shall be made using the age of the alien on the date the petition is filed with the Department of Homeland Security.

(3)

An alien who qualifies for a special immigrant visa under subsection (a)(27)(N) shall be treated in the same manner as a refugee solely for purposes of section 412.

(4)

The provisions of paragraphs (4), (5), and (7)(A) of section 212(a) shall not be applicable to any alien seeking admission to the United States under subsection (a)(27)(N), and the Secretary of Homeland Security may waive any other provision of such section (other than paragraph 2(C) or subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (E) of paragraph (3) with respect to such an alien for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest. Any such waiver by the Secretary of Homeland Security shall be in writing and shall be granted only on an individual basis following an investigation. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide for the annual reporting to Congress of the number of waivers granted under this paragraph in the previous fiscal year and a summary of the reasons for granting such waivers.

(5)

For purposes of subsection (a)(27)(N)(i)(II), a determination of age shall be made using the age of the alien on the date on which the alien was referred to the consular, immigration, or other designated official.

(6)

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall waive any application fee for a special immigrant visa for an alien described in section 101(a)(27)(N).

.

(c)

Allocation of special immigrant visas

Section 203(b)(4) of the Immigration Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(b)(4)) is amended by striking (A) or (B) thereof and inserting (A), (B), or (N) thereof.

(d)

Expedited process

Not later than 45 days from the date of referral to a consular, immigration, or other designated official as described in section 101(a)(27)(N) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as added by subsection (a), special immigrant status shall be adjudicated and, if granted, the alien shall be paroled to the United States pursuant to section 212(d)(5) of that Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)) and allowed to apply for adjustment of status to permanent residence under section 245 of that Act (8 U.S.C. 1255) within 1 year of the alien’s arrival in the United States.

(e)

Report to congress

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall report to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives on the progress of the implementation of this Act and the amendments made by this Act, including—

(1)

data related to the implementation of this Act and the amendments made by this Act;

(2)

data regarding the number of placements of females and children who faces a credible fear of harm as referred to in section 101(a)(27)(N) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as added by subsection (a); and

(3)

any other information that the Secretary of Homeland Security determines to be appropriate.

(f)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section and the amendments made by this section.

3.

Requirements for aliens

(a)

Requirement prior to entry into the Untied States

(1)

Database search

An alien may not be admitted to the United States until the Secretary of Homeland Security has ensured that a search of each database maintained by an agency or department of the United States has been conducted to determine whether such alien is ineligible to be admitted to the Untied States on criminal, security, or related grounds.

(2)

Cooperation and schedule

The Secretary of Homeland Security and the head of each appropriate agency or department of the United States shall work cooperatively to ensure that each database search required by paragraph (1) is completed not later than 45 days after the date on which an alien files a petition seeking a special immigration visa under section 101(a)(27)(N) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as added by section 2(a).

(b)

Requirement after entry into the United States

(1)

Requirement to submit fingerprints

(A)

In general

Not later than 30 days after the date that an alien enters the United States, the alien shall be fingerprinted and submit to the Secretary of Homeland Security such fingerprints and any other personal biometric data required by the Secretary.

(B)

Other requirements

The Secretary of Homeland Security may prescribe regulations that permit fingerprints submitted by an alien under section 262 of the Immigration and National Act (8 U.S.C. 1302) or any other provision of law to satisfy the requirement to submit fingerprints of subparagraph (A).

(2)

Database search

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall ensure that a search of each database that contains fingerprints that is maintained by an agency or department of the United States be conducted to determine whether such alien is ineligible for an adjustment of status under any provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) on criminal, security, or related grounds.

(3)

Cooperation and schedule

The Secretary of Homeland Security and the head of each appropriate agency or department of the United States shall work cooperatively to ensure that each database search required by paragraph (2) is completed not later than 180 days after the date on which the alien enters the United States.

(4)

Administrative and judicial review

(A)

In general

There may be no review of a determination by the Secretary of Homeland Security, after a search required by paragraph (2), that an alien is ineligible for an adjustment of status, under any provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) on criminal, security, or related grounds except as provided in this paragraph.

(B)

Administrative review

An alien may appeal a determination described in subparagraph (A) through the Administrative Appeals Office of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall ensure that a determination on such appeal is made not later than 60 days after the date that the appeal is filed.

(C)

Judicial review

There may be no judicial review of a determination described in subparagraph (A).