Summary: H.R.4008 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4008. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (11/16/2015)

Protect Our Workers from Exploitation and Retaliation Act or the POWER Act

This bill amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to exclude from the definition of "immigrant" a nonimmigrant alien who files a petition for U visa status (set aside for victims of crimes and their immediate family members) if the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) determines that the alien:

  • has suffered abuse or harm as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity;
  • has suffered substantial abuse or harm related to specified labor or employment violations related to a workplace claim (workplace violation);
  • is a victim of specified criminal activity and would suffer extreme hardship upon removal;
  • has suffered a workplace violation and would suffer extreme hardship upon removal;
  • has been helpful in a workplace violation investigation; or
  • has filed, is a material witness in, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation of, a workplace claim and reasonably fears or has been the victim of an action involving force, physical restraint, retaliation, or abuse of the immigration or other legal process by the employer.

DHS may permit an alien to remain and work temporarily in the United States if the alien: (1) has filed for relief as a victim of crime or of violations of labor or employment laws or regulations; (2) has filed, or is a material witness to, a workplace claim; and (3) has been helpful in a federal, state, or local law enforcement action related to the claim.

The bill sets forth workplace claim procedural requirements and protections in an enforcement action leading to a removal proceeding.

The bill establishes exceptions to a stay of removal or other specified relief where DHS establishes that: (1) the alien has been convicted of a felony, or (2) a workplace claim was filed in bad faith with intent to delay or avoid the alien's removal.