Another Immigration Debate?
In a move that might be termed as “Flogging the dead horse”, Sheila Jackson-Lee, a Democrat from Texas, has pushed for the America Comprehensive Immigration Act 2007 to be debated on the house floors again. This is perhaps the third time an Immigration related legislation is being debated on the house floor. And going by the fate of the other, it’s likely this one will fall through too.
The Bill was introduced in Jan 31, 2007, and is in its first stage in the legislative process i.e. the deliberation committees. The “Save America Comprehensive Immigration Act of 2007” will amend the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to provide increased protections and eligibility for family-sponsored immigrants. The Act if passed will-
• Directs the Secretary of State to establish a Board of Family-based Visa Appeals within the Department of State.
• Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) to deny a family-based immigration petition by a U.S. petitioner for an alien spouse or child if: (1) the petitioner is on the national sex offender registry for a conviction that resulted in more than one year’s imprisonment; (2) the petitioner has failed to rebut such information within 90 days; and (3) granting the petition would put a spouse or child beneficiary in danger of sexual abuse.
• Directs the Secretary to establish the Task Force to Rescue Immigrant Victims of American Sex Offenders.
• Authorizes the Secretary to adjust the status of aliens who would otherwise be inadmissible (due to unlawful presence, document fraud, or other specified grounds of inadmissibility) if such aliens have been in the United States for at least five years and meet other requirements.
• Authorizes the emergency deployment of Border Patrol agents to a requesting border state.
• Sets forth provisions for Border Patrol acquisition and use of specified equipment.
• Directs the Secretary to:
(1) provide for additional detention space for illegal aliens;
(2) increase Border Patrol agents, airport and land border immigration inspectors, immigration enforcement officers, and fraud and document fraud investigators;
(3) enhance Border Patrol training and operational facilities;
(4) establish immigration, customs, and agriculture inspector occupations within the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection;
(5) reestablish the Border Patrol anti-smuggling unit;
(6) establish criminal investigator occupations within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS);
(7) increase Border Patrol agent and investigator pay;
(8) require foreign language training for appropriate DHS employees; and (9) establish the Fraudulent Documents Task Force.
• Redefines the term “law enforcement officer” under provisions of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) to include:
(1) federal employees not otherwise covered by such term whose duties include the investigation or apprehension of suspected or convicted individuals and who are authorized to carry a firearm; and
(2) Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees whose duties are primarily the collection of delinquent taxes and the securing of delinquent returns.
• Authorizes S (witness or informant) nonimmigrant status for aliens in possession of critical reliable information concerning commercial alien smuggling or trafficking in immigration documents.
• Establishes a reward program to assist in eliminating immigration-related commercial document fraud operations.
• Sets forth unfair immigration-related employment practices.
• Requires petitioners for nonimmigrant labor to describe their efforts to recruit lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens.
• Makes permanent an INA provision allowing adjustment of status of certain aliens for whom family-sponsored or employment-based applications or petitions were filed by a specified date.
• Lessens immigration consequences for minor criminal offenses. Eliminates retroactive changes in grounds of inadmissibility and removal.
• Amends criminal offense removal-related provisions.
• Increases the worldwide level of diversity immigrants.
• Authorizes adjustment of status for certain nationals or citizens of Haiti.
• Eliminates mandatory detention in expedited removal proceedings.
• Amends the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 1998 to:
(1) waive document fraud as a ground of inadmissibility; and
(2) address determinations with respect to children.
• Eliminates the one-year filing requirement for asylum applicants. Includes gender persecution within the particular social group category of persecution.
• Provides for the permanent resident status adjustment of certain temporary protected status persons.
• Amends the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to eliminate a provision prohibiting restrictions on the communication of immigration status information by a government entity.
• Replaces the existing fashion model H-1B visa classification with an O-visa classification.
(Source : http://www.govtrack.us/ )