Summary: H.R.3161 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.3161. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (02/04/1998)

Torture Victims Relief Act - Prohibits the United States from expelling, removing, extraditing, or otherwise involuntarily returning an individual to a country if there is substantial evidence that a reasonable person in the circumstances of that individual would fear subjection to torture in that country.

(Sec. 5) Covers within this Act any alien presenting a claim of having been tortured, or whom there is reason to believe has been tortured.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) consideration by appropriate officials of the effects of torture; (2) expedited processing of refugee admissions and for asylum and withholding of removal; (3) granting parole in lieu of detention for such an individual under the Immigration and Nationality Act; and (4) exemption of such an individual from expedited removal pursuant to such Act.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Attorney General should allocate sufficient resources to maintain in the Immigration and Naturalization Service's Resource Information Center current information relating to the use of torture in foreign countries.

(Sec. 6) Directs the Attorney General to provide training for immigration inspectors and examiners, immigration officers, asylum officers, immigration judges, and other relevant Department of Justice officials, and directs the Secretary of State to provide training for consular officers, regarding the identification of torture, the surrounding circumstances most often practiced, the long-term effects upon a victim, the identification of the physical, cognitive, and emotional effects of torture, and the appropriate manner of interviewing torture victims.

(Sec. 7) Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to provide grants to programs in the United States to cover the cost of specified services for torture victims. Authorizes the appropriation of funds for assistance for domestic centers and programs for the treatment of torture victims.

(Sec. 8) Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to authorize the President to provide grants to treatment centers and programs in foreign countries which are specifically carrying out projects or activities to treat victims of torture. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 9) Authorizes appropriations to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture for FY 1999 and 2000.