Summary: H.R.3259 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (11/20/1989)

Immigration Nursing Relief Act of 1989 - Provides for adjustment to immigrant status without regard to specified numerical limitations under the Immigration and Nationality Act for an alien (and accompanying spouse and children): (1) who as of September 1, 1989, had H-1 nonimmigrant registered nurse status; (2) who has been employed in that capacity for at least three years prior to applying for status adjustment; and (3) whose continued nursing employment meets certain labor certification requirements. Requires the Attorney General to issue implementing regulations within 90 days of enactment of this Act.

Provides that H-1 nurses whose visas expire December 31, 1989, shall be considered to be in legal status for 120 days after the promulgation of related Immigration and Naturalization Service regulations.

Amends the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 to authorize additional uses of State legislation impact assistance grants for: (1) amnesty program outreach; and (2) employer sanctions education.

Requires adjustment applications to be filed within five years of the date of such regulations issuance.

Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to establish a new procedure for the admission of nonimmigrant (H-1a) nurses. Requires such an alien: (1) to be licensed as a nurse in the country where he or she received nursing education, or to have received such education in the United States or Canada; and (2) to have passed an appropriate examination or to have a license and be otherwise eligible to practice immediately in the State of intended employment.

Requires the employer-facility to attest that: (1) services are necessary to avoid substantial disruption of health care services; (2) such alien's employment will not affect similarly employed nurses' wages and working conditions; (3) such alien will be paid the wage for similarly employed nurses at the facility; (4) steps are being taken to recruit and retain U.S. citizen or immigrant nurses, or that the facility is subject to an approved State plan for such purpose; (5) there is no ongoing strike or labor dispute; and (6) notice of such hiring petition has been given to the nurses' bargaining representative, or conspicuously posted if no such representative exists.

States that a facility shall not meet the "substantial disruption of services" requirement if it has laid off registered nurses within the previous year.

Enumerates facility "nurse recruitment and retention" steps, including: (1) operating or financing training or career development programs; and (2) paying wages above local wage rates or providing salary advancement opportunities.

Makes such attestations valid for one year. Permits multiple petitions to be filed on the basis of one attestation.

Requires the Secretary of Labor to compile and make available in Washington, D.C., a list of facility petitions and attestations.

Requires the Secretary to establish a process for the receipt, investigation, and disposition of complaints with respect to a facility's failure to comply with the terms of its attestation. Authorizes: (1) an aggrieved person or organization (including a bargaining representative) to file a complaint; and (2) the Secretary to initiate an investigation. Requires: (1) the Secretary to make a determination within 180 days of a complaint; and (2) a hearing on the complaint within 60 days of such determination. Authorizes civil monetary penalties (not to exceed $1,000 per violation) for violations and prohibits the approval of such facility's petitions for one year. Requires the payment of back wages where appropriate.

Directs the Secretary to provide for a process under which a State may submit a plan for the recruitment and retention of U.S. citizen and immigrant nurses.

Establishes for H-1a alien nurses an initial admission period of up to three years, with an extension period not to exceed a total admissions period of five years (six years under extraordinary circumstances).

Directs the Secretary to appoint an advisory group by January 1, 1991, with regard to: (1) the impact of the H-1a program on the nursing shortage; (2) recruitment and retention of U.S. nurses; and (3) program extension.

Amends provisions of the seasonal agricultural worker (SAW) program to permit the Attorney General to deny permanent status adjustment and terminate temporary resident status in the case of an alien: (1) who received such temporary status through fraud or willful misrepresentation; or (2) who is inadmissible as an alien or who has been convicted of a felony or three or more misdemeanors in the United States.

Directs the Attorney General: (1) before June 1, 1991, to consult with State governments about improving the security of State or local documents provided to the Government under the Immigration and Nationality Act; and (2) report to the appropriate congressional committees before September 1, 1991, and again by August 1, 1993.

Directs the Attorney General to make grants to, and enter into contracts with, California and at least two other States with large immigrant populations for initiatives to improve document security. Authorizes FY 1992 appropriations.

Amends the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 to authorize additional uses of State legalization impact assistance grants for: (1) amnesty program outreach; and (2) employer sanctions education.