H. R. 6292
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
August 2, 2012
Mr. Smith of New Jersey (for himself, Ms. Buerkle, Mr. Turner of New York, Mr. Wolf, and Mr. Engel) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, 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
To deny entry into the United States of officials of any foreign government, including their immediate family members, who commit or who fail to rectify fundamental due process and human rights violations of imprisoned United States citizens, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Justice for Imprisoned Americans
Overseas Act of 2012 or the
Jacob’s Law of 2012.
Findings; Sense of Congress
Congress finds the following:
The President is required under section 2001 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (22 U.S.C. 1732) to demand the release of any citizen who has been unjustly deprived of his liberty by or under the authority of any foreign government, and to undertake appropriate means to obtain the release of such citizen.
In a statement submitted to the Committee
on the Judiciary of the Senate on July 27, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton stated that
[t]he State Department has no greater responsibility
than the protection of U.S. citizens overseas—particularly when Americans find
themselves in the custody of a foreign government, facing an unfamiliar, and at
times unfair, legal system..
Some United States citizens imprisoned in foreign countries have been and continue to be denied fundamental due process and human rights under both local and international law by foreign government officials.
Mr. Jacob Ostreicher, who has been detained in the notorious Palmasola prison in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, since June 4, 2011, is one of the United States citizens who currently is enduring multiple, egregious, and continuous violations of his fundamental due process and human rights under both local and international law.
Sense of Congress
It is the sense of Congress that foreign government officials responsible for violations of fundamental due process and human rights of imprisoned United States citizens, as well as their immediate family members, should not have the privilege of traveling to the United States while United States citizens unjustly languish in their prisons.
Denial of entry into the United States of certain foreign government officials
Denial of entry
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of State may not issue any visa to, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall deny entry to the United States of, any foreign government official identified pursuant to subsection (c)(1)(C) or any immediate family members of such official.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if any United States citizen identified pursuant to subparagraph (c)(1)(A) dies from any cause while in the custody of a foreign government, the government officials identified pursuant to subparagraph (c)(1)(C) in relation to such citizen and the immediate family members of such officials may not be issued any visa by the Secretary of State, and may not be admitted by the Secretary of Homeland Security, to the United States at any time on or after the date of the death of such citizen.
Designation of inadmissible foreign officials
Report to Congress
Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and every 180 days thereafter for five years, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that contains the following:
An identification of United States citizens imprisoned in foreign countries whose fundamental due process and human rights pursuant to international standards are being violated.
An identification of the fundamental due process and human rights violations that are being committed against the citizens identified in subparagraph (A).
An identification of the government officials who, based on a reasonable possibility, are responsible for the violations of, or are failing to fulfill their official responsibility to protect, the rights identified in subparagraph (B) of any citizen identified in subparagraph (A).
Additional reporting requirement
In the case of each semi-annual report required under paragraph (1), the Secretary of State shall include a list of the names and titles of those government officials identified in subparagraph (1)(C) and the names and relationships of the immediate family members of such officials who were denied a visa or entry to the United States pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) during the immediately preceding 180-day period.
In this Act:
Appropriate congressional committees
The term appropriate congressional committees means the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate.
Immediate family members
The term immediate family members means a spouse, daughter or son regardless of age, parent, brother, sister, and fiancé or fiancée.