Text: H.R.1842 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (05/11/2011)


112th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 1842

To authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain alien students who are long-term United States residents and who entered the United States as children, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 11, 2011

Mr. Berman (for himself, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, and Ms. Roybal-Allard) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committees on Education and the Workforce and Homeland Security, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain alien students who are long-term United States residents and who entered the United States as children, and for other purposes.

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 “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2011” or the “DREAM Act of 2011”.

SEC. 2. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as otherwise specifically provided, a term used in this Act that is used in the immigration laws shall have the meaning given such term in the immigration laws.

(2) IMMIGRATION LAWS.—The term “immigration laws” has the meaning given such term in section 101(a)(17) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(17)).

(3) INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION.—The term “institution of higher education” has the meaning given that term in section 102 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002).

(4) SECRETARY.—Except as otherwise specifically provided, the term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Homeland Security.

(5) UNIFORMED SERVICES.—The term “uniformed services” has the meaning given that term in section 101(a) of title 10, United States Code.

SEC. 3. Conditional permanent resident for certain long-term residents who entered the United States as children.

(a) Special rule for certain long-Term residents who entered the United States as children.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as otherwise provided in this Act, the Secretary may cancel removal of, and adjust to the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence on a conditional basis, an alien who is inadmissible or deportable from the United States if the alien demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that—

(A) the alien has been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of not less than 5 years before the date of the enactment of this Act, and was 15 years of age or younger on the date the alien initially entered the United States;

(B) the alien has been a person of good moral character since the date the alien initially entered the United States;

(C) subject to paragraph (2), the alien is not inadmissible under paragraph (2), (3), (4), (6)(E), (6)(G), (8), or subparagraph (A), (C), or (D) of paragraph (10), of section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a));

(D) the alien has been admitted to an institution of higher education in the United States, or has earned a high school diploma or obtained a general education development certificate in the United States; and

(E) the alien was 32 years of age or younger on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2) WAIVER.—With respect to any benefit under this Act, the Secretary may waive the grounds of ineligibility under section 212(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, for humanitarian purposes, for purposes of family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest.

(3) SUBMISSION OF BIOMETRIC AND BIOGRAPHIC DATA.—The Secretary may not grant permanent resident status on a conditional basis to an alien under this section unless the alien submits biometric and biographic data, in accordance with procedures established by the Secretary. The Secretary shall provide an alternative procedure for applicants who are unable to provide such biometric or biographic data because of a physical impairment.

(4) BACKGROUND CHECKS.—

(A) REQUIREMENT FOR BACKGROUND CHECKS.—The Secretary shall utilize biometric, biographic, and other data that the Secretary determines is appropriate—

(i) to conduct security and law enforcement background checks of an alien seeking permanent resident status on a conditional basis under this section; and

(ii) to determine whether there is any criminal, national security, or other factor that would render the alien ineligible for such status.

(B) COMPLETION OF BACKGROUND CHECKS.—The security and law enforcement background checks required by subparagraph (A) for an alien shall be completed, to the satisfaction of the Secretary, prior to the date the Secretary grants permanent resident status on a conditional basis to the alien.

(5) MEDICAL EXAMINATION.—An alien applying for permanent resident status on a conditional basis under this section shall undergo a medical examination. The Secretary, with the concurrence of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall prescribe policies and procedures for the nature and timing of such examination.

(6) MILITARY SELECTIVE SERVICE.—An alien applying for permanent resident status on a conditional basis under this section shall establish that the alien has registered under the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 451 et seq.), if the alien is subject to such registration under that Act.

(b) Termination of continuous period.—Any period of continuous residence or continuous physical presence in the United States of an alien who applies for permanent resident status on a conditional basis under this section shall not terminate when the alien is served a notice to appear under section 239(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1229(a)).

(c) Treatment of certain breaks in presence.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—An alien shall not be considered to have failed to maintain continuous physical presence in the United States for purposes of subsection (a)(1)(A) by virtue of brief, casual, and innocent absences from the United States.

(2) WAIVER.—The Secretary of Homeland Security may waive breaks in presence beyond brief, casual, or innocent absences for humanitarian purposes, family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest.

(d) Exemption from numerical limitations.—Nothing in this section may be construed to apply a numerical limitation on the number of aliens who may be eligible for cancellation of removal or adjustment of status under this section.

(e) Application.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—An alien seeking lawful permanent resident status on a conditional basis shall file an application for such status in such manner as the Secretary may require.

(2) DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION.—An alien shall submit an application for relief under this section not later than the date that is 1 year after the later of—

(A) the date the alien earned a high school diploma or obtained a general education development certificate in the United States; or

(B) the effective date of the final regulations issued pursuant to section 7.

(f) Limitation on removal of certain aliens.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary or the Attorney General may not remove an alien who—

(A) has a pending application for relief under this section; and

(B) establishes prima facie eligibility for relief under this section.

(2) CERTAIN ALIENS ENROLLED IN PRIMARY OR SECONDARY SCHOOL.—

(A) STAY OF REMOVAL.—The Attorney General shall stay the removal proceedings of an alien who—

(i) meets all the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (E) of subsection (a)(1);

(ii) is at least 12 years of age; and

(iii) is enrolled full-time in a primary or secondary school.

(B) ALIENS NOT IN REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS.—If an alien is not in removal proceedings, the Secretary shall not commence such proceedings with respect to the alien if the alien is described in clauses (i) through (iii) of subparagraph (A).

(C) EMPLOYMENT.—An alien whose removal is stayed pursuant to subparagraph (A) or who may not be placed in removal proceedings pursuant to subparagraph (B) shall, upon application to the Secretary, be granted an employment authorization document.

(D) LIFT OF STAY.—The Secretary or Attorney General may lift the stay granted to an alien under subparagraph (A) if the alien—

(i) is no longer enrolled in a primary or secondary school; or

(ii) ceases to meet the requirements of such paragraph.

SEC. 4. Terms of conditional permanent resident status.

(a) In general.—

(1) CONDITIONAL BASIS FOR STATUS.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien whose status has been adjusted under section 3 to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence shall be considered to have obtained such status on a conditional basis subject to the provisions of this section. Such conditional permanent resident status shall be valid for a period of 6 years, subject to termination under subsection (b).

(2) NOTICE OF REQUIREMENTS.—

(A) AT TIME OF OBTAINING PERMANENT RESIDENCE.—At the time an alien obtains permanent resident status on a conditional basis under this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide for notice to the alien regarding the provisions of this section and the requirements to have the conditional basis of such status removed.

(B) EFFECT OF FAILURE TO PROVIDE NOTICE.—The failure of the Secretary to provide a notice under this paragraph—

(i) shall not affect the enforcement of the provisions of this Act with respect to the alien; and

(ii) shall not give rise to any private right of action by the alien.

(b) Termination of status.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Homeland Security shall terminate the conditional permanent resident status of any alien who obtained such status under this Act, if the Secretary determines that the alien—

(A) ceases to meet the requirements of subparagraph (B) or (C) of section 3(a)(1); or

(B) has received a dishonorable or other than honorable discharge from the uniformed services.

(2) RETURN TO PREVIOUS IMMIGRATION STATUS.—Any alien whose conditional permanent resident status is terminated under paragraph (1) shall return to the immigration status the alien had immediately prior to receiving conditional permanent resident status under this Act.

(c) Information systems.—The Secretary shall use the information systems of the Department of Homeland Security to maintain current information on the identity, address, and immigration status of aliens granted permanent resident status on a conditional basis under this Act.

SEC. 5. Removal of conditional basis of permanent resident status.

(a) Eligibility for removal of conditional basis.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may remove the conditional basis of an alien’s permanent resident status granted under this Act if the alien demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that—

(A) the alien has been a person of good moral character during the entire period of conditional permanent resident status;

(B) the alien is described in section 3(a)(1)(C);

(C) the alien has not abandoned the alien’s residence in the United States;

(D) the alien—

(i) has acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States or has completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor’s degree or higher degree in the United States; or

(ii) has served in the Uniformed Services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, received an honorable discharge; and

(E) the alien has provided a list of each secondary school (as that term is defined in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801)) that the alien attended in the United States.

(2) HARDSHIP EXCEPTION.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary may, in the Secretary’s discretion, remove the conditional basis of an alien’s permanent resident status if the alien—

(i) satisfies the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (E) of paragraph (1);

(ii) demonstrates compelling circumstances for the inability to satisfy the requirements of subparagraph (D) of such paragraph; and

(iii) demonstrates that the alien’s removal from the United States would result in extreme hardship to the alien or the alien’s spouse, parent, or child who is a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

(B) EXTENSION.—Upon a showing of good cause, the Secretary may extend the period of permanent resident status on a conditional basis for an alien so that the alien may complete the requirements of subparagraph (D) of paragraph (1).

(3) TREATMENT OF ABANDONMENT OR RESIDENCE.—For purposes of paragraph (1)(C), an alien—

(A) shall be presumed to have abandoned the alien's residence in the United States if the alien is absent from the United States for more than 365 days, in the aggregate, during the alien's period of conditional permanent resident status, unless the alien demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the alien has not abandoned such residence; and

(B) who is absent from the United States due to active service in the Uniformed Services has not abandoned the alien’s residence in the United States during the period of such service.

(4) CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENT.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the conditional basis of an alien's permanent resident status may not be removed unless the alien demonstrates that the alien satisfies the requirements of section 312(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1423(a)).

(B) EXCEPTION.—Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to an alien who is unable because of a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment to meet the requirements of such subparagraph.

(5) SUBMISSION OF BIOMETRIC AND BIOGRAPHIC DATA.—The Secretary may not remove the conditional basis of an alien's permanent resident status unless the alien submits biometric and biographic data, in accordance with procedures established by the Secretary. The Secretary shall provide an alternative procedure for applicants who are unable to provide such biometric data because of a physical impairment.

(6) BACKGROUND CHECKS.—

(A) REQUIREMENT FOR BACKGROUND CHECKS.—The Secretary shall utilize biometric, biographic, and other data that the Secretary determines appropriate—

(i) to conduct security and law enforcement background checks of an alien applying for removal of the conditional basis of the alien's permanent resident status; and

(ii) to determine whether there is any criminal, national security, or other factor that would render the alien ineligible for removal of such conditional basis.

(B) COMPLETION OF BACKGROUND CHECKS.—The security and law enforcement background checks required by subparagraph (A) for an alien shall be completed, to the satisfaction of the Secretary, prior to the date the Secretary removes the conditional basis of the alien's permanent resident status.

(b) Application To remove conditional basis.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—An alien seeking to have the conditional basis of the alien's lawful permanent resident status removed shall file an application for such removal in such manner as the Secretary may require.

(2) DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—An alien shall file an application under this subsection during the period beginning 6 months prior to and ending on the date that is later of—

(i) 6 years after the date the alien was initially granted conditional permanent resident status; or

(ii) any other expiration date of the alien's conditional permanent resident status, as extended by the Secretary in accordance with this Act.

(B) STATUS DURING PENDENCY.—An alien shall be deemed to have permanent resident status on a conditional basis during the period that the alien’s application submitted under this subsection is pending.

(3) ADJUDICATION OF APPLICATION.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall make a determination on each application filed by an alien under this subsection as to whether the alien meets the requirements for removal of the conditional basis of the alien's permanent resident status.

(B) ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS IF FAVORABLE DETERMINATION.—If the Secretary determines that the alien meets such requirements, the Secretary shall notify the alien of such determination and remove the conditional basis of the alien’s permanent resident status, effective as of the date of such determination.

(C) TERMINATION IF ADVERSE DETERMINATION.—If the Secretary determines that the alien does not meet such requirements, the Secretary shall notify the alien of such determination and, if the alien no longer meets the requirements for permanent resident status on a conditional basis under this Act, terminate the conditional permanent resident status granted the alien under this Act as of the date of such determination.

(c) Treatment for purposes of naturalization.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of title III of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.), an alien granted permanent resident status on a conditional basis under this Act shall be considered to have been admitted as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence and to be in the United States as an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence.

(2) LIMITATION ON APPLICATION FOR NATURALIZATION.—An alien may not apply for naturalization during the period that the alien is in permanent resident status on a conditional basis under this Act.

SEC. 6. Confidentiality of information.

(a) Prohibition.—Except as provided in subsection (b), no officer or employee of the United States may—

(1) use the information furnished by the applicant pursuant to an application filed under this Act to initiate removal proceedings against any persons identified in the application;

(2) make any publication whereby the information furnished by any particular individual pursuant to an application under this Act can be identified; or

(3) permit anyone other than an officer or employee of the United States Government or, in the case of applications filed under this Act with a designated entity, that designated entity, to examine applications filed under this Act.

(b) Required disclosure.—The Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide the information furnished under this section, and any other information derived from such furnished information, to—

(1) a Federal, State, tribal, or local law enforcement agency, intelligence agency, national security agency, component of the Department of Homeland Security, court, or grand jury in connection with a criminal investigation or prosecution, a background check conducted pursuant to section 103 of the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act (Public Law 103–159; 18 U.S.C. 922 note), or national security purposes, if such information is requested by such entity or consistent with an information sharing agreement or mechanism; or

(2) an official coroner for purposes of affirmatively identifying a deceased individual (whether or not such individual is deceased as a result of a crime).

(c) Fraud in application process or criminal conduct.—Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, information concerning whether an alien seeking relief under this Act has engaged in fraud in an application for such relief or at any time committed a crime may be used or released for immigration enforcement, law enforcement, or national security purposes.

(d) Penalty.—Whoever knowingly uses, publishes, or permits information to be examined in violation of this section shall be fined not more than $10,000.

SEC. 7. Regulations.

(a) Initial publication.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall publish regulations implementing this Act. Such regulations shall allow eligible individuals to apply affirmatively for the relief available under section 3 without being placed in removal proceedings.

(b) Interim regulations.—Notwithstanding section 553 of title 5, United States Code, the regulations required by subsection (a) shall be effective, on an interim basis, immediately upon publication but may be subject to change and revision after public notice and opportunity for a period of public comment.

(c) Final regulations.—Within a reasonable time after publication of the interim regulations in accordance with subsection (b), the Secretary shall publish final regulations implementing this Act.

(d) Paperwork Reduction Act.—The requirements of chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code (commonly known as the “Paperwork Reduction Act”) shall not apply to any action to implement this Act.

SEC. 8. Higher education assistance.

(a) In general.—Notwithstanding any provision of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.) or any provision of title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), with respect to Federal financial education assistance, an alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence under this Act and has not had the conditional basis removed shall not be eligible for—

(1) Federal Pell grants under part A of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a et seq.); and

(2) Federal supplemental educational opportunity grants under part A of title IV of that Act (20 U.S.C. 1070b et seq.).

(b) Restoration of State right To determine residency for purposes of higher education benefits.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 505 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1623) is repealed.

(2) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The repeal under paragraph (1) shall take effect as if included in the enactment of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.