Summary: H.R.1320 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.1320. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (03/15/2005)

Secure Borders Act - Establishes the Land Border Infrastructure Improvement Fund.

Requires the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) to conduct a vulnerability assessment of land ports of entry (POEs).

Directs the Secretary to: (1) make permanent specified pre-enrollment programs that allow expedited inspections at POEs for participants; (2) develop a comprehensive plan to deploy technological surveillance systems along U.S. borders; (3) increase the number of K-9 units working within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); (4) ensure that radiation portal monitors are installed at all southern border POEs no later than September 30, 2005; (5) contract with an independent entity to study the necessary allocation of personnel at POEs and Border Patrol sectors; and (6) provide ongoing training for inspectors.

Requires the Commissioner of Customs to submit a report to Congress on the One Face at the Border Initiative (a Department of Homeland Security [DHS] initiative that unifies customs, immigration, and agricultural inspection functions by cross-training CBP personnel).

Requires the Secretary to: (1) submit unclassified and classified versions of a comprehensive border security strategy; (2) integrate the IDENT and IAFIS databases; and (3) make interoperable those databases used by inspectors in secondary inspections.

Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to create the positions of Northern Border Coordinator and Southern Border Coordinator within the DHS's Directorate of Border and Transportation Security.

Requires the President to submit information regarding progress toward implementation of the Smart Border Accords.

Expresses the sense of Congress that Mexicans and Canadians should be treated with parity in establishing periods of lawful admission.

States that, once the entry-exit data system required by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 is fully implemented, the period of admission for aliens holding border crossing cards shall be six months.

Requires the Secretary to create an Office of US-VISIT Outreach to inform local border officials, residents, and businesses about developments in the US-VISIT program.

Amends the Immigration and Naturalization Service Data Management Improvement Act of 2000 to reconstitute the integrated entry-exit system task force.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) ensure implementation of electronic arrival/departure records no later than December 1, 2005; (2) report on the development and distribution of a transportation worker identification card; and (3) establish standards and verification procedures for the security of intermodal cargo containers.

Establishes the Office of Tribal Security within DHS. Requires the Secretary to transfer the CBP Customs Patrol Officers unit operating on the Tohono O'odham Indian reservation (known as the Shadow Wolves) to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) immigration cases involving incarcerated criminal aliens should be processed while the alien is in prison; and (2) appropriations should be authorized for staff increases for judicial and prosecutorial offices to better enforce immigration laws.

Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to create a new subclass in the S (witness or informant) nonimmigrant visa category for certain aliens in possession of critical reliable information regarding commercial alien smuggling organizations or enterprises. Provides for adjustment of status for such nonimmigrants.

Imposes increased penalties for, and establishes a rewards program to combat, aggravated alien smuggling. Requires enhanced sentences and fines for alien smuggling.

Amends the Federal criminal code to enhance penalties for smuggling merchandise into the United States. Requires sentencing enhancements for merchandise smuggling that results in a death.

Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to create an Office of Overseas Service within DHS's Office of International Affairs.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) report on implementation of prior recommendations regarding visa security; (2) establish an electronic advance passenger screening system for visa waiver program (VWP) participants as part of an integrated entry-exit system; (3) create a VWP Office; and (4) provide fraud detection and foreign language training for inspectors inspecting VWP aliens.

Requires the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Ombudsman to launch a public information campaign and to establish an advisory group.

Directs the Comptroller General to assess CIS and report findings to the Secretary, the Secretary of State, and appropriate congressional committees.

Requires: (1) the Secretary to study biometric identifiers that might be used for immigration benefit applications and petitions; and (2) all fingerprints taken for adjudicating such applications or petitions to be digitized, and all such applications or petitions to be registered using a biometric identifier, by January 1, 2005.