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H.R. 5430 (113th): Nineveh Plain Refugee Act of 2014

The text of the bill below is as of Sep 9, 2014 (Introduced).


I

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5430

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 9, 2014

(for himself and Mr. Rooney) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To direct the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, to establish processes for certain aliens located in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Turkey, or Syria to apply for admission to the United States as refugees, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Nineveh Plain Refugee Act of 2014 .

2.

In-country processes for certain aliens applying for refugee status

(a)

In-Country processes

The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall establish or use existing processes in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Turkey, and Syria through which an alien who is located in such a country and described in section 3(b) may apply and interview for admission to the United States as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act ( 8 U.S.C. 1157 ). Such an alien shall be considered a refugee of special humanitarian concern eligible for Priority 2 processing under the refugee resettlement priority system.

(b)

Suspension of in-Country processes

(1)

In general

The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may suspend the processes under subsection (a) in a foreign country listed in subsection (a) for a period not to exceed 90 days, if the Secretary determines that such a suspension is appropriate.

(2)

Extension

The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may extend a suspension under paragraph (1) upon notification to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate, and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.

(3)

Report

The Secretary of State shall submit to the committees listed in paragraph (2) a report that describes the reason for each suspension and extension under this subsection.

3.

Aliens eligible to apply for admission to the United States as a refugee using in-country processes

(a)

In general

In the case of an alien who is within a category of aliens established under subsection (b), the alien may establish, for purposes of admission as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act ( 8 U.S.C. 1157 ), that the alien has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion by asserting such a fear and asserting a credible basis for concern about the possibility of such persecution.

(b)

Establishment of categories

For purposes of subsection (a), the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall establish one or more categories of aliens who are or were nationals or residents of a territory controlled by the group commonly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (or any successor name) in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Turkey, or Syria and who share common characteristics that identify them as targets of persecution in that country on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

(c)

Exclusion from numerical limitations

Aliens provided Priority 2 processing under the refugee resettlement priority system under this section shall not be counted against any numerical limitation under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act ( 8 U.S.C. 1157 ) for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

(d)

Eligibility for admission as refugee

No alien shall be denied the opportunity to apply for admission under this section solely because such alien qualifies as an immediate relative or is eligible for any other immigrant classification.

(e)

Written reasons for denials of refugee status

Each decision to deny an application for refugee status of an alien under this section shall be in writing and shall state, to the maximum extent feasible, the reason for the denial.

(f)

Permitting certain aliens within categories To reapply for refugee status

Each alien described in subsection (b) who after, June 1, 2014, and before the date of the enactment of this Act was denied refugee status shall be permitted to reapply for such status. Such an application shall be determined taking into account the application of this Act.

(g)

Protection of aliens

In the case that the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, determines that an alien who is located in a foreign country listed in section 2(a) and described in subsection (b) who has applied for admission to the United States as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act ( 8 U.S.C. 1157 ) using the processes under this Act is in imminent danger, the Secretary shall make a reasonable effort to provide such alien with protection or the immediate removal from that country.

4.

Reports

(a)

Initial report

Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall submit to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate, and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report containing plans to expedite the processing of applications for admission to the United States as refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act ( 8 U.S.C. 1157 ) of aliens described in section 3(b) who apply for admission using the processes under the Act, including information relating to—

(1)

expediting the processing of such refugees for resettlement, including through temporary expansion of the Refugee Corps of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services;

(2)

increasing the number of personnel of the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security devoted to the processing of such applications;

(3)

enhancing existing systems for conducting background and security checks of such aliens; and

(4)

the projections of the Secretary for the number of refugee interviews that will be conducted in each foreign country listed in section 2(a) in each month of fiscal years 2015 and 2016.

(b)

Annual report

Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter through 2016, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall submit to Congress an unclassified report, with a classified annex if necessary, which includes—

(1)

an assessment of the financial, security, and personnel considerations and resources necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act;

(2)

the number of aliens described in section 3(b);

(3)

the number of such aliens who have applied for admission to the United States as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act ( 8 U.S.C. 1157 ) using the processes under this Act; and

(4)

in the case of such applications pending for longer than 180 days, the reason that refugee status has not been granted in each such case.