H. R. 285
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 12, 2011
Mr. Al Green of Texas introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To designate Pakistan under section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to permit nationals of Pakistan to be eligible for temporary protected status under such section.
This Act may be cited as the
Pakistani Temporary Protected Status
Act of 2011.
The Congress finds the following:
The summer of 2010 produced Pakistan’s worst flooding in 80 years.
The 2010 Pakistani floods began in July 2010 following heavy monsoon rains in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab, and Balochistan regions of Pakistan and affected the Indus River basin. Flooding began on July 22, 2010, in the province of Baluchistan.
According to the United Nations, 20,000,000 people, one-eighth of the population, and nearly 62,000 square miles, one-fifth of the country, have been significantly affected by destruction of property, livelihood, and infrastructure.
The Pakistani Government reports that the floods have affected 82 of Pakistan’s 122 districts. As a result, more than 12 million people require humanitarian assistance, with nearly 6 million victims lacking access to food, shelter, and water.
The Pakistani Government estimates that approximately 1.9 million houses were either damaged or destroyed and nearly 2,000 people have lost their lives.
Over 60,000 troops are involved in Pakistan’s flood relief operations.
The floods severely devastated Pakistan’s infrastructure including roads, bridges, schools, health clinics, electricity, and communications. More than 5,000 miles of roads and railways were washed away, along with some 7,000 schools and more than 400 health facilities.
In addition, about 17 million acres of Pakistan’s most fertile croplands have been submerged by the floods, in a nation where farming is an economic mainstay. The waters have also killed more than 200,000 head of livestock, and washed away large quantities of stored commodities that feed millions throughout the year.
On August 14, 2010, the first documented case of cholera emerged in the town of Mingora.
On September 7, 2010, the International Labour Organization reported that more than 5.3 million jobs have been lost due to the floods.
Concerns are growing about the enduring toll of the disaster on Pakistan’s overall economy, food supply, and political stability.
Temporary protected status allows aliens who do not legally qualify as refugees but are nonetheless fleeing or reluctant to return to potentially dangerous situations to temporarily remain in the United States.
Granting temporary protected status to nationals of Pakistan is consistent with the interests of the United States and promotes the values and morals that have made the United States strong.
Sense of Congress
It is the sense of the Congress that the extraordinary and temporary conditions caused by flooding in Pakistan qualifies Pakistan for designation under subparagraph (B) or (C) of section 244(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)), pursuant to which nationals of Pakistan would be eligible for temporary protected status in the United States.
Designation for purposes of granting temporary protected status
For purposes of section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1254a), Pakistan shall be treated as if it had been designated under subsection (b) of such section, subject to the provisions of this section.
Period of designation
The initial period of such designation shall begin on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall remain in effect for 12 months.
In applying section 244 of such Act pursuant to the designation made under this section, subject to section 244(c)(3) of such Act, an alien who is a national of Pakistan is deemed to satisfy the requirements of section 244(c)(1) of such Act only if the alien—
has been continuously physically present in the United States since July 22, 2010;
is admissible as an immigrant, except as otherwise provided under section 244(c)(2)(A) of such Act, and is not ineligible for temporary protected status under section 244(c)(2)(B) of such Act; and
registers for temporary protected status in a manner that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish.
Consent To travel abroad
The Secretary of Homeland Security shall give the prior consent to travel abroad described in section 244(f)(3) of such Act to an alien who is granted temporary protected status pursuant to the designation made under this section, if the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Homeland Security that emergency and extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the alien require the alien to depart for a brief, temporary trip abroad. An alien returning to the United States in accordance with such an authorization shall be treated the same as any other returning alien provided temporary protected status under section 244 of such Act.