Immigrant Policy Project
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006
(Hagel/Martinez Substitute to S.2454)
April 25, 2006
This 614 page bill is a compromise substitute to the Judiciary Committee bill and the bill proposed by Senator Frist. S.2611 has been introduced in Judiciary Committee and the identical S.2612 is awaiting floor action, which may occur in May. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated a cost of $27 billion over 10 years for immigrant use of entitlement programs.
Title I – Border Enforcement. Increases border patrol officers; port of entry inspectors; customs officers and. investigators for human trafficking. Adds technologies to control borders; addresses fingerprint database and biometric immigration documents. Prevents the criminalization of humanitarian assistance. Authorizes statistics and report on deaths at U.S.-Mexico border. Authorizes competitive grants to eligible law enforcement agency within 100 miles of the border. Nothing in this subtitle shall be construed to authorize state or local law enforcement agencies to exercise federal immigration law enforcement authority.
Title II – Interior Enforcement SCAAP and new fund. (1) New fund: DHS shall reimburse states and localities for processing undocumented criminal aliens, including indigent defense; criminal prosecution; autopsies; translators and interpreters; and court costs. Authorizes $400 million FY2007-2012. (2) SCAAP: DHS shall enter into a contract to compensate states or localities, based on the average incarceration cost in the state, or take the alien into federal custody. Authorization: such sums as necessary FY2007; $750 million FY2008, $850 million FY2009; and $950 million FY2010-2012. (Sec. 218, p. 151.) Sec. 219 requires DHS to provide state and local law enforcement authorities with transportation and officers to take illegal aliens into custody for processing at a detention center. Sec. 226 permanently authorizes the J-1 visa waiver program for medical professionals.
Title III – Unlawful Employment of Aliens: Makes it unlawful to employ an unauthorized alien and adds civil and criminal penalties. Adds verification requirements for employment and identity through a new Electronic Employment Verification System. Increases worksite enforcement agents. Preemption of any state or local law: a) imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ, or recruit or refer for a fee for employment, unauthorized aliens; b) requiring that a business entity provide, build, fund or maintain a structure or an area for day laborers or facilitate employment of day laborers by others.
Title IV – Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Visa Reform. Creates a new nonimmigrant H-2C visa for up to 6 years for nonimmigrant temporary workers outside the U.S. Creates a new F-4 student visa for math, engineering, technology or physical sciences. Increases H-1B visas to 115,000. Requires participating countries to enter bilateral agreements to accept those deported; cooperate in reducing trafficking; provide the U.S. with passport information and criminal records of aliens entering or present in the U.S. Creates State Impact Assistance Account with fees from family supplemental visas and extensions collected for H-2C nonimmigrants. (Sec. 403, p. 264)
Title V – Backlog Reduction. Removes immediate relatives from the 480,000 visa cap for permanent family based immigrants. Increases permanent employment visa cap from 140,000 to 450,000/year FY2007-2016. Reserves visas for immigrants who were physically present before January 7, 2004, for each of the years from 2007-2017. Exempts those in labor shortage occupations (nurses and physical therapists) from employment-based green card numerical caps until September 30, 2017.
Title VI – Work Authorization and Legalization of Undocumented Individuals
Subtitle A - Earned Legalization and Mandatory Departure and Reentry
Legalization (5 years residence) Creates earned legalization for unauthorized immigrants physically present in the United States on or before April 5, 2001; with 5 years continuous residence and 3 years employment before April 5 2006 and 6 years after enactment. Applicants must pay all federal and state income taxes owed for employment; must submit fingerprints and undergo security and law enforcement; demonstrate English and civics requirement. Immigrants are ineligible for federal means-tested public benefits. Employers shall not be subject to civil and criminal tax liability relating to the employment of these applicants. Fines. Applicants shall pay a fine commensurate to other applications for adjustment of status; and a $2,000 fine for those over 18. Use of Funds: DHS shall
Use these funds for border security and processing applications at DHS and State.
Mandatory Departure and Reentry (2-5 years residence). DHS shall grant Deferred Mandatory Departure for unauthorized immigrants resident in the U.S. and employed before January 7, 2004. These applicants have up to 3 years to depart the U.S. and seek admission:
Subtitle B – AgJOBS. Provides “blue card” temporary visa status for agricultural workers who have already been working at least 150 days in the twenty-four month period ending December 31, 2005.
Subtitle C – DREAM Act. Restores state option to determine residency for purposes of higher education benefits. Provides a path to citizenship for unauthorized minors with five years continuous residence and who entered the U.S. before age 16; who have demonstrated good moral character; have been admitted to a U.S. college or has earned a high school diploma or GED in the United States. For permanent residence, applicants must complete at least 2 years of college or military service.
Subtitle D – Grant Programs to Assist Nonimmigrant Workers. 1) Public Education and Community Training. Creates a DOJ grant program to qualified nonprofit community organizations for education, training. 2) Funding for the DHS Office of Citizenship. Authorizes DHS to establish a foundation to accept and make gifts. 3) DHS competitive Civics Integration Grant Program to nonprofits, including faith-based organizations, to support civics and ESL. The Secretary may accept and use gifts from the Foundation for grants under this section. 4) DHS Office of Citizenship shall establish a grant program of $500 to assist legal residents meet the requirements of citizenship.
Title VII – Miscellaneous. Includes citizenship assistance for military and for families of 9/11 victims. Authorizes DHS State Court Interpreter Grant Program to assist LEP individuals with court proceedings. Establishes the Initial Entry, Adjustment and Citizenship Assistance competitive grant to support community based organizations in assisting individuals in adjustment of status and citizenship applications.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006
Hagel/Martinez Substitute to S.2454
April 22, 2006
Border Enforcement (Title I)
Interior Enforcement (Title II)
Unlawful Employment of Aliens (Title III)
Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Visa Reform (Title IV)
Backlog Reduction (Title V)
Work Authorization and Legalization of Undocumented Individuals (Title VI)
Subtitle A – Earned Adjustment and Mandatory Departure and Reentry
Subtitle B – AgJOBS
Subtitle C – DREAM Act
Subtitle D – Grant Programs to Assist Nonimmigrant Workers
Miscellaneous - Title VII
Subtitle A – Immigration Litigation Reduction
Subtitle B – Citizenship Assistance for Members of the Armed Forces
Subtitle C – State Court Interpreter Grant Program
Subtitle D – Border Infrastructure and Technology Modernization
Subtitle E – Family Humanitarian Relief
Subtitle F – Other Matters
Title I – Border Enforcement
Increases border patrol officers by 14,000 over 6 years and 2500 port of entry inspectors over 5 years; adds customs officers and. investigators for human trafficking; authorizes funds. Adds technologies to control borders. Requires enhanced connectivity between two fingerprint databases (IDENT and IAFIS); requires immigration documents issued by DHS to be machine-readable, tamper-resistant with biometrics by 10/26/07. Authorizes DHS to collect biometric data from any immigrant seeking to enter, exit, transit through or parole into the U.S. Prevents the criminalization of humanitarian assistance. Authorizes statistics and report on deaths at U.S.-Mexico border.
Sec. 153. Border relief grant program. Authorizes competitive grants to eligible law enforcement agency within 100 miles of the border to address criminal activity FY2007 through 2011.
Sec. 154. Enforcement of Federal Immigration Law. Nothing in this subtitle shall be construed to authorize state or local law enforcement agencies to exercise federal immigration law enforcement authority.
Title II – Interior Enforcement
Addresses deportation and denial of asylum to terrorist aliens. Increases criminal penalties related to removal, alien smuggling and gang violence; provides penalties for passport, visa and marriage fraud; protects refugees and asylum applicants.
Sec. 210 authorizes DHS to extend the Institutional Removal Program to all states.
Sec. 216 directs DHS to allocate at least 40 ICE agents and 15 CBP agents to each state.
Sec. 218. SCAAP and new fund. (1) DHS shall reimburse states and localities for costs of detaining and processing undocumented criminal aliens, including indigent defense; criminal prosecution; autopsies; translators and interpreters; and court costs. Authorizes $400 million FY2007-2012. (2) DHS shall enter into a contract to compensate states or localities, based on the average incarceration cost in the state, or take the alien into federal custody. Authorization: such sums as necessary FY2007; $750 million FY2008, $850 million FY2009; and $950 million FY2010-2012.
Sec. 219 requires DHS to provide state and local law enforcement authorities with sufficient transportation and officers to take illegal aliens into custody for processing at a detention center.
Sec. 224 requires DHS to reimburse States for the costs of training under MOUs (Sec. 287(g)). Reimburses States for the cost of any equipment required to facilitate training; authorizes such sums as may be necessary. P. 162.
Sec. 226 permanently authorizes the J-1 visa waiver program for medical professionals. The program was scheduled to sunset on June 1, 2006.
Sec. 229 affirms that law enforcement personnel of the State have the inherent authority to assist in the enforcement of criminal immigration laws. DHS, upon request from a state, shall take into custody unlawfully present immigrants. DHS shall designate a central detention facility in each state. DHS shall reimburse states for detention and transportation costs.
Sec. 231 lists immigrant violators in the National Crime Information Center database.
Sec. 232 requires that DHS enter into a cooperative enforcement agreement (known as the Memorandum of Understanding) with at least one law enforcement agency in each state to train law enforcement officers in the detection and apprehension of individuals engaged in transporting, harboring, sheltering, or encouraging aliens to remain unlawfully in the United States. P. 177
Title III – Unlawful Employment of Aliens
Sec. 301: Makes it unlawful for employers to hire, recruit, or refer for a fee an unauthorized alien. Makes it unlawful for employers to continue to employ an alien while knowing or having reason to know that the alien is or has become unauthorized for employment. Employers using contract labor will be considered to have hired the alien for employment. If an employer is found to have hired more than 10 unauthorized aliens it is presumed that the employer knew or had reason to know that the aliens were unauthorized.
Sec. 301 (c): An employer hiring, recruiting or referring for a fee an individual for employment must take all reasonable steps to verify that the individual is eligible for employment. These steps include verification of documents to establish both employment eligibility and identification and verification through the Electronic Employment Verification System.
Verification of Documents:
- To establish eligibility and identity: U.S. Passport; permanent resident card; or other documents designated by DHS
- To establish employment eligibility: Social Security card; or other documents designated by DHS
- To establish identity: a driver’s license or identity card that is REAL ID compliant; a driver’s license or identity card that is not REAL ID compliant, if it is not required by DHS to comply, contains photograph or other information including the name, date of birth, gender and address; IDs issued by a federal agency including the military, an agency or entity of a State, or a Native American tribal document, provided it includes photo or name/DOB/gender/ eye color and address, and contains security features to make the card resistant to tampering, counterfeiting, and fraudulent use.
Electronic Employment Verification System (EEVS):
DHS and Social Security will implement a system for employers to verify identity and work authorization.
180 days after enactment, DHS shall require the participation in EEVS by employers that are part of the critical infrastructure of the US or directly related to national security or homeland security for current and new employees. Within 2 years of enactment, large employers (more than 5000 employees) shall participate in EEVS for new hires. Mid-sized employers (1000-5000 employees) must participate in 3 years; small employers (250-1000) within 4 years; and all remaining employers within 5 years.
Civil penalties for hiring or continuing to employ unauthorized aliens: $500 - $4,000 per unauthorized alien; up to $20,000 for repeat violations. Penalties for violating recordkeeping or verification: $200-$2000 for each violation up to $6,000 for repeat violations.
Criminal penalties for pattern or practice: up to $20,000 for each unauthorized alien and up to 6 months imprisonment. Repeat violators can be barred from federal contracts or grants for 2 years.
Preemption: The provisions of this section preempt any state or local law: a) imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ, or recruit or refer for a fee for employment, unauthorized aliens; b) requiring that a business entity provide, build, fund or maintain a shelter, structure or designated area for use by day laborers or take steps that facilitate the employment of day laborers by others.
Sec. 303: Subject to available appropriations DHS shall annually increase for 5 years the number of worksite enforcement and fraud agents.
Title IV – Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Visa Reform
Sec. 401 requires the Bureau of the Census, in conjunction with 12 federal agencies, to conduct a study that will assess the impact of the proposed immigration legislation “on the infrastructure and quality of life in the United States.”
Creates new H-2C visa for nonimmigrant temporary workers outside the U.S. (for agricultural and nonagricultural work). The visa is valid for 3 years with one renewal of up to 3 years; no adjustment of status is permitted. The spouse and children may accompany the temporary worker. The worker must have a job offer; pay a $500 visa fee; undergo a medical examination; submit to background checks on criminal history and connections to terrorism.
Employers must comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and attest that the temporary worker will not displace a U.S. worker; must be paid prevailing wages; that if the worker is not covered by state workers compensation, the employer shall provide insurance covering injury or disease. Secretary of Labor shall implement an electronic job registry and nationwide system of public labor exchange services for U.S. workers.
Creates State Impact Assistance Account with fees from family supplemental visas and extensions collected for H-2C nonimmigrants. under Sections 218A and 218B. (Sec. 403, p. 264)
Creates a new F-4 student visa for advanced degree candidates in math, engineering, technology or physical sciences. Increases application fee from $1,000 to $2,000. Students may remain to work in the U.S. for one year and may adjust to legal status.
Exempts individuals with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math with 3 years related work in the U.S. from the numerical cap on permanent employment based visas and from the H-1B visa cap. Increases H-1B visas to 115,000.
Requires participating countries to enter bilateral agreements to accept those deported; cooperate in reducing trafficking; provide the U.S. with passport information and criminal records of aliens entering or present in the U.S.; provide education to avoid worker exploitation; and evaluate housing incentives for returning workers.
The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM) is amended to Title VI of this act. This provision in Title IV grants recipients conditional permanent residence status U.S. for a period of six years. An applicant is considered to be in conditional status while the application is pending.
Sec. 410 expands the S visa category, making it available to those providing information on a criminal enterprise undertaken by a foreign government, its agents, representatives or officials as well as to individuals with information on the development of weapons of mass destruction of foreign governments. The limit on S visas is raised from 200 to 1,000.
Sec. 411 states that L visa (Intracompany Transferees) recipients who are coming to the U.S. to “open, or be employed in, a new facility” may be approved for a visa, not to exceed a period of 12 months. Visa will be granted only if the employer of such facility has evidence of a sufficient business plan, and the physical and financial capacity to continue to conduct business. If proven, extensions may be granted. During the first nine months of visa period, spouses or dependents of said employee will not be allowed to work until in the U.S.; Requires the Department of Homeland Security and the state to work together to verify information presented on L visa application.
Title V – Backlog Reduction
Removes immediate relatives from the 480,000 visa cap for permanent family based immigrants. Spouses and children would not be counted against the numerical cap.
Increases permanent employment visa cap from 140,000 to 450,000/year FY2007-2016 and down to 290,000 after FY2016; allows carryover of visas to next fiscal year. Changes preference allocations for worker visas to allow additional visas for unskilled workers. Changes per country limit from 7 percent to 10 percent. Changes allocation of family based visas. Reserves visas for immigrants who were physically present before January 7, 2004, for each of the years from 2007-2017.
Sec. 505 exempts those in labor shortage occupations (nurses and physical therapists) from employment-based green card numerical caps until September 30, 2017. Spouses and children are included in the cap exemption. Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to work with the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine to address nursing shortage no later than seven years from when a report discussing the source of newly licensed nurses is published.
Sec. 506 codifies the Widows and Orphans Act; Allows certain children and women outside the U.S. who are at risk of harm and who are referred by U.S. officials, international officials and certain non-governmental organizations to qualify as special immigrants.
Title VI – Work Authorization and Legalization of Undocumented Individuals
Subtitle A - Earned Legalization and Mandatory Departure and Reentry
Legalization (5 years residence). Creates earned legalization for unauthorized immigrants physically present in the United States on or before April 5, 2001; with 5 years continuous residence and 3 years employment before April 5 2006 and 6 years after enactment. Employment requirements will be reduced for those with physical or mental disability or as a result of pregnancy; and for those under 20 years old; and for those with postsecondary study.
Evidence of employment: records maintained by social security; employers; IRS; union or day labor centers; any other government agency. Immigrants unable to submit these documents shall submit at least 3 other types of reliable documents for each period of employment.
Applicants must pay all federal and state income taxes owed for employment; must submit fingerprints and undergo security and law enforcement clearances and be admissible under immigration law (e.g., meet requirements under the Section 212 paragraphs relating to health, criminal, security, polygamists and child abductors); register for military service; demonstrate basic citizenship skills (meet English and civics requirement or pursuing course of study recognized by DHS). Waivers for public charge if there is a history of employment; waivers for humanitarian purposes, to ensure family unity, or otherwise in the public interest.
These applicants may not “jump the line” over someone currently waiting outside the U.S. to immigrate with a family or employer sponsor; or 8 years after enactment, whichever is earlier. Spouses and children may adjust status; as well as victims of domestic violence whose marriage ended within the last 5 years. These applicants will not count against numerical limitations. Penalties are added for false statements in applications.
DHS must provide a counterfeit-resistible document that meets requirements for travel including sec. 403 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. (p. 360)
Immigrants who gain legal status are ineligible for federal means-tested public benefits unless they meet the criteria of title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. (p. 364-365)
Employer protections. Employers shall not be subject to civil and criminal tax liability relating to the employment of these applicants.
Fines. Applicants shall pay a fine commensurate with levels charged by DHS for other applications for adjustment of status; and a $2,00 fine for those over 18.
Use of Funds: DHS shall deposit these payments into the Immigration Examinations Fee Account and shall be available, without fiscal year limitation for:
- 80% shall be available to DHS for border security purposes
- 10% shall be available to DHS for implementing and processing applications
- 10% shall be available to DHS and the Department of State to cover administrative and other expenses for reviewing applications of immediate relatives.
Public education. DHS in cooperation with approved entities shall disseminate information on the adjustment program; and shall disseminate information to employers and labor unions to advise them of rights and protections, in the languages spoken by the top 15 source countries of those eligible to adjust, including television, radio and print media. P. 369
Mandatory Departure and Reentry (2-5 years residence).
DHS shall grant Deferred Mandatory Departure of up to 3 years to illegal immigrants to allow them time to depart the U.S. and seek admission: these applicants must have been present on January 7, 2004; employed before January 7, 2004 whether full time, part time, seasonally or self-employed; and continuously employed since that date.
Evidence of employment: records maintained by Social Security, IRS or other federal, state or local government agency; employer; labor union, day labor center or organization that assists workers with employment. Immigrants unable to submit these documents shall submit at least 2 other types of reliable documents for each period of employment, including bank records, business records, sworn affidavits from nonrelatives who have direct knowledge of the immigrant’s work; or remittance records.
Immigrants are ineligible for Deferred Mandatory Departure if they have been ordered excluded, deported, removed or to depart voluntarily from the United States; or fails to comply with any request for information by DHS.
Requirements: applicants must undergo a medical examination at their own expense; submit biometric data for security and law enforcement background checks; submit an acknowledgement in writing and under oath that the immigrant is unlawfully present and subject to removal or deportation; understands the terms of the Deferred Mandatory Departure; provides any social security account number or card; any false or fraudulent documents. Adds criminal penalties for false statements.
DHS must begin accepting applications within 3 months after the application form is made available; applicants must submit an initial application within 6 months after the form is made available.
Immigrants granted Deferred Mandatory Departure shall depart the U.S. before expiration of that status; shall register with DHS at the time of departure.; and surrender evidence of the status. These immigrants may apply for admission to the U.S. while in the US or outside the US but may not be granted admission until the immigrant has departed the U.S. They may exit and immediately reenter at any land port of entry with US-VISIT exit and entry system. Numerical limitations under section 214 shall not apply. DHS may waive the departure requirement if the applicant is granted an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa and can demonstrate the departure would create a substantial hardship.
Failure to Depart. Those who fail to depart are ineligible for any immigration relief or benefit for 10 years (exempting refugees and asylees.) Fines: none if the immigrant departs within 1 year of receiving Deferred Mandatory Departure; $2,000 if the immigrant does not depart within 2 years; and $3,000 if the immigrant does not depart within 3 years.
Evidence of Deferred Mandatory Departure Status shall be machine-readable and tamper-resistant, allow for biometric authentication; and comply with IIRAIRA Section 403. The document may serve as travel, entry and work authorization and accepted by employers as evidence of employment authorization and identity.
Fees and use of Funds. Application fee is $1,000 for the immigrant and an additional $500 for the spouse or child, in addition to other fees authorized by law. Fees shall be available to DHS for activities to identify, locate or move illegal immigrants. P. 388-389
Authorizes “such sums as may be necessary” for facilities, personnel, including consular officers, training, technology, and processing.
Subtitle B – AgJOBS.
The Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act (AgJobs) provides “blue card” temporary visa status for agricultural workers who have already been working at least 150 days in the twenty-four month period ending December 31, 2005. These workers must apply within 2 years of enactment. Employers must provide an annual written record of employment to the immigrant and to the Secretary; this provision sunsets in 6 years. Failure to provide records of employment or false statements will subject the employer to a civil penalty of $1,000 per violation. Up to 1,500,000 blue cards may be issued in a five year period beginning on the date of enactment of the bill.
Blue cards must contain an encrypted, machine-readable, electronic identification strip; biometric identifiers including fingerprints and a digital photograph; and physical security features to prevent tampering, counterfeiting, or duplication of the card for fraudulent purposes.
Fines. Immigrants granted blue cards shall pay a $100 fine.
Benefit Eligibility. Blue card holders are not eligible for any assistance or benefit in PRWORA of 1996 for 5 years after status is granted.
Adjustment to Permanent Residence. Once blue card status is attained, to apply for permanent residence status (the green card), a worker must work at least 100 days per year for a five year period, or 150 days per year for a three year period; pay a $400 fine; pay any unpaid federal income tax owed for employment. Up to 1 year credit may be granted for pregnancy, injury or disease or severe weather conditions preventing work. Applicants have 7 years to apply for a green card. Spouses and minor children adjust to lawful status; and spouses may apply for work permits. Criminal penalties for false statements. Green card caps do not apply to these applicants.
Criminals and those who fail to meet the requirements of the program are subject to removal.
Blue card applications may be filed with the Secretary if the applicant is represented by an attorney or nonprofit religious, charitable, social service or similar organization; or with a qualified designated entity (e.g., qualified farm labor organizations and associations of employers; or other persons determined as qualified by the Secretary. P. 414
Application Fees. Fees shall be placed in an “Agricultural Worker Immigration Status Adjustment Account” in the general fund of the Treasury. Use of Funds: available to the Secretary until expended for processing applications. P. 422
Waivers for public charge if there is a history of employment; waivers for humanitarian purposes, to ensure family unity, or otherwise in the public interest.
Dissemination of information on adjustment program. The Secretary in cooperation with qualified designated entities shall broadly disseminate information on the benefit. P. 427
Authorizes $40 million for each of fiscal years 2007-2010.
Reform of H-2A Worker Program
Reduces employment period to 10 months; changes the labor certification process to a filing process. Applications by employers for H-2A visas would have to be adjudicated by USCIS in 7 days. Offers housing and transportation allowance to workers.
Subtitle C – DREAM Act: The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act
Sec 623. Restores state option to determine residency for purposes of higher education benefits. This provision repeals Section 505 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. It provides a legal path to citizenship for unauthorized minors with five years continuous residence upon enactment; who entered the U.S. before age 16; who have demonstrated good moral character; are not inadmissible or deportable; have been admitted to an institution of higher education in the United States or has earned a high school diploma or GED in the United States. Waiver for humanitarian purposes or family unity or when it is otherwise in the public interest. Numerical caps do not apply. Applicants obtain conditional permanent resident status for 6 years; and can apply for lawful resident status if they maintain residence, complete at least 2 years of a higher education degree or 2 years of military service. Penalties for false statement. Higher education assistance is limited to student loans; federal work-study programs. GAO shall submit a report in 7 years on the number of immigrants affected. (p. 503-520)
Subtitle D – Grant Programs to Assist Nonimmigrant Workers.
Public Education and Community Training. The Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs may award grants to qualified nonprofit community organizations for education, training, technical assistance, government liaison and related costs to provide services related to this act; and to educate nonprofits, immigrant communities and other interested parties. Non-profits can provide education to immigrant communities regarding legal representation; requirements for obtaining nonprofit recognition and accreditation to represent immigrants. Authorizes such sums as may be necessary FY 2007-2009. Sec. 641
Funding for the Office of Citizenship. Authorizes DHS to establish a foundation to accept and make gifts to support the functions of the Office of Citizenship of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Sec. 642.
Civics Integration Grant Program. DHS shall establish a competitive grant program to provide financial assistance to nonprofits, including faith-based organizations, to support efforts by entities approved by the Office of Citizenship to provide civics and ESL and other activities approved by the Secretary to promote civics and ESL. The Secretary may accept and use gifts from the Foundation for grants under this section. Authorizes such sums as may be necessary. Sec. 643. p. 524
Strengthening American Citizenship. DHS Office of Citizenship shall establish a grant program of $500 to assist legal residents of the U.S. to meet the requirements of citizenship. Grants shall be paid directly to an accredited institution of higher education or other qualified educational institution for tuition, fees, books. Faster citizenship for English fluency: 4 years. The Secretary shall establish a competitive grant program to support efforts by entities, including veterans and patriotic organizations) certified by the Office of Citizenship to promote the patriotic integration of prospective citizens by providing civics, history and ESL with an emphasis on attachment to principles of the Constitution, heroes of American history and the meaning of the Oath of Allegiance. Grants may be made from the Foundation. Not less than 1.5% of the funds available to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services from fees shall be dedicated to the functions of the Office of Citizenship. Revises Oath of Allegiance.
Title VII – Miscellaneous
Subtitle A: Immigration Litigation Reduction
Requires increases in trial attorneys, litigation attorneys and immigration judges, subject to appropriations. Provides for reform of the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Subtitle B: Citizenship Assistance for Members of the Armed Services
Provides for certain naturalization procedures for members of the armed services.
Subtitle C: State Court Interpreter Grant Program
Authorizes the Department of Justice to issue grants of at least $100,000 to state courts to develop and implement programs to assist LEP individuals with court proceedings.
Subtitle D: Border Infrastructure and Technology Modernization
Provides for technology improvements along the northern and southern borders.
Subtitle E: Family Humanitarian Relief
Provides for certain naturalization and adjustment of status benefits for families of victims of 9/11.
Subtitle F: Other Matters
Includes a provision that establishes the Initial Entry, Adjustment and Citizenship Assistance Grant (IEACA) to enable community based organizations in assisting individuals in adjustment of status and citizenship applications. The IEACA Grant program will be administered by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and grants will be distributed on a competitive basis.
Ann Morse, Katherine Gigliotti and Shijuade Kadree
NCSL Immigrant Policy Project
April 24, 2006