Text: H.R.2363 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (05/12/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2363


To require the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide for ceremonies on or near Independence Day for administering oaths of allegiance to legal immigrants whose applications for naturalization have been approved.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 12, 2009

Mr. Farr (for himself, Ms. Schakowsky, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Ackerman, Mr. Sires, Ms. Hirono, Mr. Grijalva, Mrs. Capps, Mr. Gene Green of Texas, Mr. Bilbray, Ms. McCollum, Mr. Wexler, Mr. Stark, Ms. Loretta Sanchez of California, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Delahunt, Mr. Honda, Mr. Sensenbrenner, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Israel, Ms. Eshoo, and Mr. Filner) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To require the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide for ceremonies on or near Independence Day for administering oaths of allegiance to legal immigrants whose applications for naturalization have been approved.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Proud to Be an American Citizen Act”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

The Congress finds as follows:

(1) The United States is a nation of immigrants.

(2) Immigrants strengthen the economic and political ties of the United States with other nations.

(3) Immigrants enhance the Nation’s ability to compete in the global market.

(4) Immigrants contribute to the Nation’s scientific, literary, artistic, and other cultural resources.

(5) A properly regulated system of legal immigration is in the Nation’s interest.

(6) The Naturalization Oath of Allegiance impresses on new United States citizens—

(A) the shared American values of liberty, democracy, and equal opportunity; and

(B) the obligation to respect and abide by the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights.

(7) Naturalization rewards legal immigrants who have abided by all United States laws and regulations.

(8) Naturalization bestows all the legal rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a United States citizen.

SEC. 3. Independence Day ceremonies for oaths of allegiance.

(a) In general.—The Secretary of Homeland Security shall make available funds each fiscal year to the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or to public or private nonprofit entities to support public ceremonies for administering oaths of allegiance under section 337(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1448(a)) to legal immigrants whose applications for naturalization have been approved.

(b) Ceremonies.—A ceremony conducted with funds under this section—

(1) shall be held on a date that is on or near Independence Day; and

(2) shall include appropriate outreach, ceremonial, and celebratory activities.

(c) Selection of sites.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Homeland Security shall select the site for each ceremony conducted with funds under this section.

(2) SELECTION PROCESS.—In selecting a site under paragraph (1), the Secretary of Homeland Security should consider—

(A) the number of naturalization applicants living in proximity to the site; and

(B) the degree of participation in and support for the ceremony by the local community at the site.

(d) Amounts available; use of funds.—

(1) AMOUNTS AVAILABLE.—Amounts made available under this section for each ceremony shall not exceed $5,000.

(2) FUNDS.—Funds made available under this section may be used only for the following:

(A) Costs of personnel of the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal judiciary (including travel and overtime expenses).

(B) Site rental, including audio equipment rental.

(C) Logistical requirements, including sanitation.

(D) Costs for printing brochures about the naturalization participants and the naturalization process.

(3) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS.—Funds that are otherwise available to the Secretary of Homeland Security to carry out naturalization activities shall be available to carry out this section.

(e) Application.—No amount may be made available under this section to an entity that is not part of the Department of Homeland Security, for supporting a ceremony described in subsection (b), unless—

(1) the entity submits an application to the Secretary of Homeland Security, in a form and manner specified by the Secretary of Homeland Security; and

(2) the Secretary of Homeland Security approves the application.