Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House with amendment(s) (11/14/2002)

Family Reunification Act of 2002 - (Sec. 2) Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to set forth the conditions under which the Attorney General may cancel the removal of a permanent resident alien who is inadmissible to, or deportable from, the United States, if the alien: (1) has not been convicted of any aggravated felony; (2) has been convicted of a nonviolent aggravated felony; (3) has been convicted of an aggravated violent felony; (4) was admitted to the United States before age ten; and (5) was admitted to the United States before the age of 16. Prohibits cancellation of removal for conviction of an act of murder, rape, or sexual abuse of a minor.

Authorizes: (1) the Attorney General to notify the agency that prosecuted an alien that such alien is seeking cancellation of removal; and (2) the agency to seek to block such action based upon the alien's failure to provide the agency with all relevant criminal information.

(Sec. 3) Terminates the period of continuous residence or physical presence for cancellation of removal purposes when an alien receives a notice to appear for removal proceedings. (Currently such period is deemed to end upon such notice or upon commission of the removable offense.)

(Sec. 4) Permits an alien who has committed a criminal offense to reenter the United States without seeking admission (and thus be subject to removal) if the offense was committed: (1) outside of the United States and the alien received a waiver or cancellation of removal prior to seeking reentry; and (2) within the United States and the alien was absent from the United States for not more than 30 days since the offense, or for more than 60 days if he or she was unable to return within 30 days for reasons beyond his or her control. States that an alien who has committed a criminal offense within the United States and who receives a waiver or cancellation of removal prior to seeking reentry would not be deemed to be an arriving alien.

(Sec. 5) Authorizes the Attorney General to release a criminal alien who proves that he or she: (1) is prima facie eligible for cancellation of removal; and (2) would not pose a danger to the national security or the safety of persons or property, or be a flight risk.

(Sec. 6) States that a criminal conviction remains a conviction for immigration purposes even if vacated, unless the conviction is vacated: (1) on the merits; or (2) on grounds relating to the violation of a statutory or constitutional right in the underlying proceedings.

(Sec. 7) Sets forth effective date and applicability provisions.

(Sec. 8) Permits an alien made eligible for cancellation of removal as a result of the amendments made by this Act to file a motion to reopen to apply for cancellation within one year of the Attorney General's issuance of implementing regulations. Prohibits: (1) an alien from being admitted to enter the United States to file a motion to reopen or to apply for cancellation of removal, except at the Attorney General's discretion; and (2) judicial review of such determinations.

(Sec. 9) Requires the Attorney General to: (1) issue an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking implementing this Act within 60 days of enactment; and (2) issue final implementing regulations within 90 days of enactment, which shall take effect within 15 days of such issuance.

(Sec. 10) Sunsets this Act on the later of December 31, 2005, or three years after issuance of final regulations.

(Sec. 11) Sets forth annual reporting requirements.