Round-Up of Immigration Related Legislation (August-October 2011)

The following immigration-related bills were introduced into the House of Representatives and the Senate in August 2011-October 2011 and summarized below by AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association):

Senate Bills

S. 1506
Introduced by Sen. Rubio (R-FL) on 8/2/11 Prevents the Secretary of the Treasury from expanding United States bank reporting requirements with respect to interest on deposits paid to nonresident aliens.

S. 1545
Introduced by Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) on 9/13/11 Designates Taiwan as a visa waiver program country under INA Section 217(c).

S. 1576
Introduced by Sen. Landrieu (D-LA) on 9/19/11 Measures the progress of relief, recovery, reconstruction and development efforts in Haiti following the earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010, and for other purposes.

House Bills

Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Human Trafficking Act of 2011 (HR 2730)
Introduced by Rep. Bass (D-CA) on 8/1/11 Better enables State child welfare agencies to prevent human trafficking of children and serve the needs of children who are victims of human trafficking.

H.R. 2763
Introduced by Rep. McDermott (D-WA); Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) on 8/1/11 Extends by two years the special rule relating to eligibility for benefits under the supplemental security income program for certain aliens and victims of trafficking. Amends section 402(a)(2)(M) of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.

H.R. 2771
Introduced by Rep. Rivera (R-FL) on 8/1/11 Amends Public Law 89-732 to increase to 5 years the period during which a Cuban national must be physically present in the United States in order to qualify for adjustment of status to that of a permanent resident
Doctors for Underserved Areas in America Act (H.R. 2805)
Introduced by Rep. Lofgren (D-CA) on 8/5/11 Amends Section 220 of the Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994 to make the section permanent.

Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2011 (H.R. 2830)
Introduced by Rep. Smith (R-NJ) on 8/30/11 Authorizes appropriations for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 for the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.

H.R. 2831
Introduced by Rep. Rivera (R-FL)on 8/30/11 Amends Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act to make ineligible for adjustment of status under Section 1 individuals who return to Cuba after admission or parole into the U.S.

American Specialty Agriculture Act (H.R. 2847)
Introduced by Rep. Smith (R-TX) on 9/7/11 Establishes a H-2C nonimmigrant visa for an alien having residence in a foreign country which he or she has no intention of abandoning and who is coming temporarily (10-month maximum per contract period) to the United States to perform agricultural services, including the pressing of apples for cider on a farm. Requires an employer or employer association to file an H-2C petition.

Compassionate Visa for Medical Treatment Act (H.R. 2878)
Introduced by Rep. Cohen (D-TN) on 9/9/11 Amends INA with respect to temporary admission of nonimmigrant aliens for the purpose of receiving medical treatment.

Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2885)
Introduced by Rep. Smith (R-TX) on 9/12/11 Makes mandatory and permanent requirements for use of E-Verify for employment verification.

Legal Agricultural Workforce Act(H.R. 2895)
Introduced by Rep. Lungren (R-CA) on 9/12/11 Amends INA to provide for a temporary agricultural worker program.

Chinese Media Reciprocity Act of 2011(H.R. 2899)
Introduced by Rep. Rohrabacher (R-CA) on 9/12/11 Establishes a reciprocal relationship between the number of visas issued to state-controlled media workers in China and in the U.S.

Immigration Backlog Reduction Act of 2011(H.R. 2952)
Introduced by Rep. Hunter (R-CA) on 9/15/11 Provides for expedited removal of certain aliens.

Senior Citizenship Act of 2011 (H.R. 2957)
Introduced by Rep. Nadler (D-NY) on 9/15/11 Amends INA to exempt certain elderly persons (75+ years; 5 years as LPR) from demonstrating an understanding of the English language and the history/government of the United States as a requirement for naturalization. The bill also permits other elderly persons (65+ years; 5 years LPR) to take the history and government examination in a language of their choice.

Restoring Protection to Victims of Persecution Act (HR 2981)
Introduced by Rep. Stark (D-CA) on 9/21/11 Amends the INA to eliminate the 1-year deadline for application for asylum in the United States.

Illegal Immigration Sentencing Uniformity Act of 2011 (HR 2991)
Introduced by Rep. Culberson (R-TX) on 9/21/11 Disapproves of a certain sentencing guideline amendment submitted by the United States Sentencing Commission, and for other purposes.

Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (HR 3012)
Introduced by Rep. Chaffetz (R-UT) on 9/22/11 Eliminates the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants, and increases the per-country numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigrants.

SSI Extension for Elderly and Disabled Refugees Act of 2011(H.R. 3083)
Introduced by Rep. McDermott (D-WA) on 10/3/11 Extends eligibility period for supplemental security income benefits for refugees, asylees, and certain other humanitarian immigrants.

Protecting American Families and Businesses Act of 2011(H.R. 3119)
Introduced by Rep. Lofgren (D-CA) on 10/6/11 Amends the INA to remove the per-country limitation on employment-based immigrant visas and adjusts the per-country limitation on family-sponsored immigrant visas.

Student Visa Reform Act (H.R. 3120)
Introduced by Rep. Lofgren (D-CA) on 10/6/11 Amends the INA to require accreditation of certain educational institutions for purposes of a nonimmigrant student visa.

H.R. 3162
Introduced by Rep. Alexander (R-LA) on 10/12/11 Prohibits the Secretary of Labor from implementing certain rules relating to employment of aliens described in section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Illegal Alien Crime Reporting Act of 2011 (H.R. 3168)
Introduced by Rep. Jones (R-NC) on 10/12/11 Prohibits the payment of funds to a state under any program by DHS unless the state 1. compiles statistics on persons arrested, charged, convicted or incarcerated, including immigration status and country of origin; 2. reports such statistics monthly to the FBI; and 3. certifies compliance with requirements of this Act.

Source: “AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 11110234 (posted Nov. 2, 2011)”