< Back to H.R. 2624 (113th Congress, 2013–2015)

Text of the Child Trafficking Victims Protection Act

This bill was introduced on July 8, 2013, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jul 8, 2013 (Introduced).

I

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2624

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 8, 2013

(for herself and Ms. Ros-Lehtinen) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committees on Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs, and Appropriations, 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

A BILL

To provide for enhanced protections for vulnerable unaccompanied alien children and female detainees.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Child Trafficking Victims Protection Act .

2.

Protecting child trafficking victims

(a)

Short title

This section may be cited as the Child Trafficking Victims Protection Act .

(b)

Defined term

In this section, the term unaccompanied alien children has the meaning given such term in section 462 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 ( 6 U.S.C. 279 ).

(c)

Mandatory training

The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and independent child welfare experts, shall mandate appropriate training of all personnel who come into contact with unaccompanied alien children in the relevant legal authorities, policies, practices, and procedures pertaining to this vulnerable population.

(d)

Care and transportation

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall ensure that all unaccompanied alien children who will undergo any immigration proceedings before the Department or the Executive Office for Immigration Review are duly transported and placed in the care and legal and physical custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement not later than 72 hours after their apprehension absent exceptional circumstances, including a natural disaster or comparable emergency beyond the control of the Secretary or the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The Secretary, to the extent practicable, shall ensure that female officers are continuously present during the transfer and transport of female detainees who are in the custody of the Department.

(e)

Qualified resources

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall provide adequately trained and qualified staff and resources, including the accommodation of child welfare officials, in accordance with subsection (e), at U.S. Customs and Border Protection ports of entry and stations.

(2)

Child welfare professionals

The Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary, shall hire, on a full- or part-time basis, child welfare professionals who will provide assistance, either in person or by other appropriate methods of communication, in not fewer than 7 of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices or stations with the largest number of unaccompanied alien child apprehensions in the previous fiscal year.

(f)

Child welfare professionals

(1)

In general

The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall ensure that qualified child welfare professionals with expertise in culturally competent, trauma-centered, and developmentally appropriate interviewing skills are available at ports of entry and stations as described in subsection (d).

(2)

Duties

Child welfare professionals described in paragraph (1) shall—

(A)

develop guidelines for treatment of unaccompanied alien children in the custody of the Department;

(B)

conduct screening of all unaccompanied alien children in accordance with section 235(a)(4) of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 ( 8 U.S.C. 1232(a)(4) );

(C)

notify the Department and the Office of Refugee Resettlement of children that potentially meet the notification and transfer requirements set forth in subsections (a) and (b) of section 235 of such Act ( 8 U.S.C. 1232 );

(D)

interview adult relatives accompanying unaccompanied alien children;

(E)

provide an initial family relationship and trafficking assessment and recommendations regarding unaccompanied alien children's initial placements to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which shall be conducted in accordance with the timeframe set forth in subsections (a)(4) and (b)(3) of section 235 of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1232); and

(F)

ensure that each unaccompanied alien child in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

(i)

receives emergency medical care when necessary;

(ii)

receives emergency medical and mental health care that complies with the standards adopted pursuant to section 8(c) of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (42 U.S.C. 15607(c)) whenever necessary, including in cases in which a child is at risk to harm himself, herself, or others;

(iii)

is provided with climate appropriate clothing, shoes, basic personal hygiene and sanitary products, a pillow, linens, and sufficient blankets to rest at a comfortable temperature;

(iv)

receives adequate nutrition;

(v)

enjoys a safe and sanitary living environment;

(vi)

has access to daily recreational programs and activities if held for a period longer than 24 hours;

(vii)

has access to legal services and consular officials; and

(viii)

is permitted to make supervised phone calls to family members.

(3)

Final determinations

The Office of Refugee Resettlement in accordance with applicable policies and procedures for sponsors, shall submit final determinations on family relationships to the Secretary, who shall consider such adult relatives for community-based support alternatives to detention.

(4)

Report

Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall submit a report to Congress that—

(A)

describes the screening procedures used by the child welfare professionals to screen unaccompanied alien children;

(B)

assesses the effectiveness of such screenings; and

(C)

includes data on all unaccompanied alien children who were screened by child welfare professionals.

(g)

Immediate notification

The Secretary shall notify the Office of Refugee Resettlement of an unaccompanied alien child in the custody of the Department as soon as practicable, but generally not later than 48 hours after the Department encounters the child, to effectively and efficiently coordinate the child’s transfer to and placement with the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

(h)

Notice of rights and right to access to counsel

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall ensure that all unaccompanied alien children, upon apprehension, are provided—

(A)

an interview and screening with a child welfare professional described in subsection (e)(1); and

(B)

an orientation and oral and written notice of their rights under the Immigration and Nationality Act, including—

(i)

their right to relief from removal;

(ii)

their right to confer with counsel (as guaranteed under section 292 of such Act ( 8 U.S.C. 1362 )), family, or friends while in the temporary custody of the Department; and

(iii)

relevant complaint mechanisms to report any abuse or misconduct they may have experienced.

(2)

Languages

The Secretary shall ensure that—

(A)

the video orientation and written notice of rights described in paragraph (1) is available in English and in the 5 most common native languages spoken by the unaccompanied children held in custody at that location during the preceding fiscal year; and

(B)

the oral notice of rights is available in English and in the most common native language spoken by the unaccompanied children held in custody at that location during the preceding fiscal year.

(i)

Confidentiality

The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall maintain the privacy and confidentiality of all information gathered in the course of providing care, custody, placement, and follow-up services to unaccompanied alien children, consistent with the best interest of the unaccompanied alien child, by not disclosing such information to other government agencies or nonparental third parties unless such disclosure is—

(1)

recorded in writing and placed in the child’s file;

(2)

in the child's best interest; and

(3)
(A)

authorized by the child or by an approved sponsor in accordance with section 235 of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 ( 8 U.S.C. 1232 ) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ( Public Law 104–191 ); or

(B)

provided to a duly recognized law enforcement entity to prevent imminent and serious harm to another individual.

(j)

Other policies and procedures

The Secretary shall adopt fundamental child protection policies and procedures—

(1)

for reliable age determinations of children, developed in consultation with medical and child welfare experts, which exclude the use of fallible forensic testing of children’s bone and teeth;

(2)

to utilize all legal authorities to defer the child’s removal if the child faces a risk of life-threatening harm upon return including due to the child’s mental health or medical condition; and

(3)

to ensure, in accordance with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 ( 42 U.S.C. 5601 et seq. ), that unaccompanied alien children, while in detention, are—

(A)

physically separated from any adult who is not an immediate family member; and

(B)

separated from—

(i)

immigration detainees and inmates with criminal convictions;

(ii)

pretrial inmates facing criminal prosecution; and

(iii)

inmates exhibiting violent behavior.

(k)

Repatriation and reintegration program

(1)

In general

The Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, in conjunction with the Secretary, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Attorney General, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations in the United States with expertise in repatriation and reintegration, shall ensure that programs in the United States and within the country of return support the safe and sustainable repatriation and reintegration of unaccompanied alien children into their country of nationality or of last habitual residence, including placement with their families, legal guardians, or other sponsoring agencies.

(2)

Report on repatriation and reintegration of unaccompanied alien children

Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Administrator of the Agency for International Development shall submit a substantive report to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives on efforts to improve repatriation and reintegration programs for unaccompanied alien children.

(l)

Transfer of funds

(1)

Authorization

The Secretary, in accordance with a written agreement between the Secretary and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall transfer such amounts as may be necessary to carry out the duties described in subsection (f)(2) from amounts appropriated for U.S. Customs and Border Protection to the Department of Health and Human Services.

(2)

Report

Not later than 15 days before any proposed transfer under paragraph (1), the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary, shall submit a detailed expenditure plan that describes the actions proposed to be taken with amounts transferred under such paragraph to—

(A)

the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate ; and

(B)

the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives .