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H.R. 3919 (ih) To provide assistance for the conservation of coral reefs, to coordinate Federal coral reef conservation activities, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 3918

   To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to reunify families, 
 permit earned access to permanent resident status, provide protection 
  against unfair immigration-related employment practices, reform the 
 diversity visa program, provide adjustment of status for Haitians and 
              Liberian nationals, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             March 9, 2004

 Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas (for herself and Mr. Conyers) introduced the 
  following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to reunify families, 
 permit earned access to permanent resident status, provide protection 
  against unfair immigration-related employment practices, reform the 
 diversity visa program, provide adjustment of status for Haitians and 
              Liberian nationals, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Comprehensive Immigration Fairness 
Reform Act of 2004''.

                     TITLE I--FAMILY REUNIFICATION

SEC. 101. PERMANENT APPLICATION OF SECTION 245(I).

    Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
1255(i)) is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``and'' at the end of paragraph (1)(A);
            (2) by amending paragraph (1)(B) to read as follows:
                    ``(B) who is the beneficiary (including a spouse or 
                child of the principal alien) of--
                            ``(i) a petition for classification under 
                        section 204; or
                            ``(ii) an application for a labor 
                        certification under section 212(a)(5)(A);'';
            (3) by striking paragraph (1)(C); and
            (4) by striking ``Attorney General'' each place such term 
        appears and inserting ``Secretary of Homeland Security''.

SEC. 102. DISCRETIONARY WAIVER OF INADMISSIBILITY BASED ON UNLAWFUL 
              PRESENCE, FAILURE TO ATTEND REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS, AND 
              MISREPRESENTATIONS.

    (a) In General.--Section 212(i) of the Immigration and Nationality 
Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(i)) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(i) The Secretary of Homeland Security may waive the application 
of subparagraph (A)(i) or (B), or clause (i) or (ii) of subparagraph 
(C), of subsection (a)(6) in the case of an immigrant who is the 
parent, spouse, son, or daughter of a United States citizen or of an 
alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, 
if it is established to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the 
refusal of admission to the United States of such immigrant would 
result in hardship to the immigrant or to such citizen or lawful 
permanent resident parent, spouse, son, or daughter.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendments.--Section 212(a)(6) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 
1182(a)(6)) is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (A), by adding at the end the 
        following:
                            ``(iii) Waiver authorized.--For a provision 
                        authorizing the waiver of clause (i), see 
                        subsection (i).'';
            (2) in subparagraph (B)--
                    (A) by inserting ``(i)'' after the subparagraph 
                heading; and
                    (B) by adding at the end the following:
                            ``(ii) Waiver authorized.--For a provision 
                        authorizing the waiver of clause (i), see 
                        subsection (i).''; and
            (3) in subparagraph (C)(iii), by inserting ``or (ii)'' 
        after ``(i)''.

SEC. 103. GENERAL WAIVER FOR ALIENS PREVIOUSLY REMOVED AND FOR THE 
              UNLAWFUL PRESENCE BARS.

    (a) In General.--Section 212(d) of the Immigration and Nationality 
Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(14) The Secretary of Homeland Security may, in the discretion of 
the Secretary, for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or 
when it is otherwise in the public interest, waive the application of 
subparagraph (A) or (B)(i) of subsection (a)(9).''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 212(a)(9)(B) of such Act (8 
U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)) is amended by striking clause (v).

SEC. 104. ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM OF VISA NUMBER BACKLOGS FOR THE FAMILY 
              MEMBERS OF CITIZENS AND LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENTS.

    (a) Classes of Nonimmigrant Aliens.--Section 101(a)(15)(K) of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(K)) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``or'' at the end of clause (ii);
            (2) by adding ``or'' at the end of clause (iii); and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
                            ``(iv)(I) has concluded a valid marriage 
                        with an alien lawfully admitted for permanent 
                        residence, is the parent of a citizen of the 
                        United States, or is the son or daughter of an 
                        alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence 
                        or a citizen of the United States; (II) is the 
                        beneficiary of a petition to accord immigrant 
                        status on the basis of such family relationship 
                        that was filed under section 204 by such family 
                        member; (III) has waited more than 6 months for 
                        the approval of such petition or the 
                        availability to the alien of an immigrant visa; 
                        and (IV) seeks to enter the United States to 
                        await the approval of such petition and the 
                        availability to the alien of an immigrant 
                        visa;''.
    (b) Admission of Nonimmigrants.--Section 214(d) of such Act (8 
U.S.C. 1184(d)) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``(d)'' and inserting ``(d)(1)''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(2) A visa shall not be issued under the provisions of section 
101(a)(15)(K)(iv) until the consular officer has received a petition 
filed in the United States by the lawful permanent resident or citizen 
relative of the applying alien and approved by the Secretary of 
Homeland Security. The petition shall be in such form and contain such 
information as the Secretary shall, by regulation, prescribe.''.

SEC. 105. WAIVER OF AGGRAVATED FELONY CONSEQUENCES.

    Section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101) 
is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(j) For purposes of this Act, and notwithstanding subsection 
(a)(43), the Secretary of Homeland Security may treat any conviction 
that did not result in incarceration for more than 1 year as if such 
conviction were not a conviction for an aggravated felony. This 
discretion may be exercised for humanitarian purposes, to assure family 
unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest.''.

SEC. 106. AGE-OUT PROTECTION FOR CHILDREN.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 1 of title IV of the Immigration and 
Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 note) is amended by adding at the end 
the following:

                   ``age-out protection for children

    ``Sec. 408.  (a) In General.--In the case of an application 
initially to grant a benefit under this Act (other than an application 
for naturalization) that otherwise would be granted only after a 
determination that the beneficiary of the application is a child (such 
as classification as an immediate relative under section 
201(b)(2)(A)(i)), if the application is neither approved nor denied (on 
procedural or substantive grounds) during the 90-day period beginning 
on the date of the filing of the application, the beneficiary shall be 
considered to be a child for all purposes related to the receipt of the 
benefit if the beneficiary was a child on the last day of such 90-day 
period, and the beneficiary shall not otherwise be prejudiced with 
respect to such determination by such delay, and shall be considered to 
be a child under this Act for all purposes related to such application.
    ``(b) Termination of Benefit.--Subsection (a) shall remain in 
effect until the termination of the 1-year period beginning on the date 
on which the application described in such paragraph is approved.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents for the Immigration 
and Nationality Act is amended by inserting after the item relating to 
section 407 the following:

``408. Age-out protection for children.''.

                TITLE II--EARNED ACCESS TO LEGALIZATION

SEC. 201. ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS ON THE BASIS OF EARNED ACCESS TO 
              LEGALIZATION.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 5 of title II of the Immigration and 
Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1255 et seq.) is amended by inserting after 
section 245A the following:

  ``adjustment of status on the basis of earned access to legalization

    ``Sec. 245B.  (a) In General.--The Secretary of Homeland Security 
may adjust the status of an alien to that of an alien lawfully admitted 
for permanent residence if the alien--
            ``(1) was physically present in the United States for a 
        continuous period of not less than 5 years immediately 
        preceding the date on which this provision was enacted and has 
        maintained continuous physical presence since then;
            ``(2) has at all times been a person of good moral 
        character;
            ``(3) has never been convicted of a criminal offense in the 
        United States;
            ``(4) in the case of an alien who is 18 years of age or 
        older, but who is not over the age of 65, has successfully 
        completed a course on reading, writing, and speaking words in 
        ordinary usage in the English language, unless unable to do so 
        on account of physical or developmental disability or mental 
        impairment;
            ``(5) in the case of an alien 18 years of age or older, has 
        accepted the values and cultural life of the United States; and
            ``(6) in the case of an alien 18 years of age or older, has 
        performed at least 40 hours of community service.
    ``(b) Treatment of Brief, Casual, and Innocent Absences.--An alien 
shall not be considered to have failed to maintain a continuous 
presence in the United States for purposes of subsection (a)(1) by 
virtue of brief, casual, and innocent absences from the United States.
    ``(c) Admissible as Immigrant.--
            ``(1) In general.--The alien shall establish that the alien 
        is admissible to the United States as immigrant, except as 
        otherwise provided in paragraph (2).
            ``(2) Exceptions.--The provisions of paragraphs (5), 
        (6)(A), (6)(B), (6)(C), (6)(F), (6)(G), (7)(A), (9)(B), and 
        (9)(C)(i)(I) of section 212(a) shall not apply in the 
        determination of an alien's admissibility under this section.
    ``(d) Security and Law Enforcement Clearances.--The alien, if over 
15 years of age, shall submit fingerprints in accordance with 
procedures established by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Such 
fingerprints shall be submitted to relevant Federal agencies to be 
checked against existing databases for information relating to 
criminal, national security, or other law enforcement actions that 
would render the alien ineligible for adjustment of status under this 
section. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a process for 
challenging the accuracy of matches that result in a finding of 
ineligibility for adjustment of status.
    ``(e) Inapplicability of Numerical Limitations.--When an alien is 
granted lawful permanent resident status under this subsection, the 
number of immigrant visas authorized to be issued under any provision 
of this Act shall not be reduced. The numerical limitations of sections 
201 and 202 shall not apply to adjustment of status under this section.
    ``(f) Termination of Proceedings.--The Secretary of Homeland 
Security may terminate removal proceedings without prejudice pending 
the outcome of an alien's application for adjustment of status under 
this section on the basis of a prima facie showing of eligibility for 
relief under this section.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents for the Immigration 
and Nationality Act is amended by inserting after the item relating to 
section 245A the following:

``245B. Adjustment of status on the basis of earned access to 
                            legalization.''.

                    TITLE III--EMPLOYEE PROTECTIONS

SEC. 301. UNFAIR IMMIGRATION-RELATED EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES.

    Section 274B of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
1324b) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)(5)--
                    (A) by amending the paragraph heading to read 
                ``Prohibition of intimidation, retaliation, or unlawful 
                discrimination in employment'';
                    (B) by moving the text down and to the right 2 ems;
                    (C) by inserting before such text the following: 
                ``(A) In general.--''; and
                    (D) by adding at the end the following:
                    ``(B) Federal labor or employment laws.--It is an 
                unfair employment practice for any employer to directly 
                or indirectly threaten any individual with removal or 
                any other adverse consequences pertaining to that 
                individual's immigration status or employment benefits 
                for the purpose of intimidating, pressuring, or 
                coercing any such individual not to exercise any right 
                protected by state or federal labor or employment law 
                (including section 7 of the National Labor Relations 
                Act (29 U.S.C. 157)), or for the purpose of retaliating 
                against any such individual for having exercised or 
                having stated an intention to exercise any such right.
                    ``(C) Discrimination based on immigration status.--
                It is an unfair employment practice for any employer, 
                except to the extent specifically authorized or 
                required by law, to discriminate in any term or 
                condition of employment against any individual employed 
                by such employer on the basis of such individual's 
                immigration status.''; and
            (2) in subsection (c)(2), by adding at the end the 
        following: ``The Special Counsel shall not disclose to the 
        Secretary of Homeland Security or any other government agency 
        or employee, and shall not cause to be published in a manner 
        that discloses to the Secretary of Homeland Security or any 
        other government agency or employee, any information obtained 
        by the Special Counsel in any manner concerning the immigration 
        status of any individual who has filed a charge under this 
        section, or the identity of any individual or entity that is a 
        party or witness to a proceeding brought pursuant to such 
        charge. The Secretary of Homeland Security may not rely, in 

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