Text: H.R.5695 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/08/2016)

 
[Congressional Bills 114th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 5695 Introduced in House (IH)]

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114th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 5695

 To require the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish a veterans 
 visa program to permit veterans who have been removed from the United 
        States to return as immigrants, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              July 8, 2016

   Mr. Grijalva (for himself, Mr. Vela, Mr. Gene Green of Texas, Mr. 
  Vargas, Mr. Hinojosa, Mr. Honda, Mr. McGovern, Mrs. Watson Coleman, 
 Mrs. Napolitano, Mr. Conyers, Ms. Judy Chu of California, Mr. Takano, 
 Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Mr. Cardenas, Mr. Moulton, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. 
Gallego, and Mr. Ted Lieu of California) introduced the following bill; 
 which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition 
   to the Committees on Armed Services, and Veterans' Affairs, 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 require the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish a veterans 
 visa program to permit veterans who have been removed from the United 
        States to return as immigrants, 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 Veterans Visa and Protection Act of 
2016''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) The term ``crime of violence'' means an offense defined 
        in section 16 of title 18, United States Code, excluding a 
        purely political offense, for which the noncitizen has served a 
        term of imprisonment of at least 5 years.
            (2) The term ``deported veteran'' means a veteran who is a 
        noncitizen and who--
                    (A) was removed from the United States; or
                    (B) is abroad and is inadmissible under section 
                212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
                1182(a)).
            (3) The term ``noncitizen'' means an individual who is not 
        a national of the United States (as defined in section 
        101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
        1101(a)(22))).
            (4) The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Homeland 
        Security.
            (5) The term ``service member'' means an individual who is 
        serving as a member of a regular or reserve component of the 
        Armed Forces of the United States on active duty or as a member 
        of a reserve component of the Armed Forces in an active status.
            (6) The term ``veteran'' has the meaning given such term 
        under section 101(2) of title 38, United States Code.

SEC. 3. RETURN OF NONCITIZEN VETERANS REMOVED FROM THE UNITED STATES; 
              STATUS FOR NONCITIZEN VETERANS IN THE UNITED STATES.

    (a) In General.--
            (1) Duties of secretary.--Not later than 180 days after the 
        date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall--
                    (A) establish a program and application procedure 
                to permit--
                            (i) deported veterans who meet the 
                        requirements of subsection (b) to enter the 
                        United States as a noncitizen lawfully admitted 
                        for permanent residence; and
                            (ii) noncitizen veterans in the United 
                        States who meet the requirements of subsection 
                        (b) to adjust status to that of a noncitizen 
                        lawfully admitted for permanent residence; and
                    (B) cancel the removal of noncitizen veterans 
                ordered removed who meet the requirements of subsection 
                (b) and allow them to adjust status to that of a 
                noncitizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
            (2) No numerical limitations.--Nothing in this section or 
        in any other law shall be construed to apply a numerical 
        limitation on the number of veterans who may be eligible to 
        receive benefits under paragraph (1).
    (b) Eligibility.--
            (1) In general.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
        law, including sections 212 and 237 of the Immigration and 
        Nationality Act (8 U.S.C.1182; 1227), a veteran shall be 
        eligible for the program established under subsection 
        (a)(1)(A), or cancellation of removal under subsection 
        (a)(1)(B), if the Secretary determines that the veteran--
                    (A) was not ordered removed, or removed, from the 
                United States due to a criminal conviction for--
                            (i) a crime of violence; or
                            (ii) a crime that endangers the national 
                        security of the United States for which the 
                        noncitizen has served a term of imprisonment of 
                        at least 5 years; and
                    (B) is not inadmissible to, or deportable from, the 
                United States due to such a conviction.
            (2) Waiver.--The Secretary may waive paragraph (1) for 
        humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, due to 
        exceptional service in the United States Armed Forces, or if 
        such waiver otherwise is in the public interest.

SEC. 4. PROTECTING VETERANS AND SERVICE MEMBERS FROM REMOVAL.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including section 237 
of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1227), a noncitizen 
who is a veteran or service member shall not be removed from the United 
States unless the noncitizen has a criminal conviction for a crime of 
violence.

SEC. 5. NATURALIZATION THROUGH SERVICE IN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE 
              UNITED STATES.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a noncitizen who has 
obtained the status of a noncitizen lawfully admitted for permanent 
residence pursuant to section 2 shall be eligible for naturalization 
through service in the Armed Forces of the United States under sections 
328 and 329 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1439; 
1440), except that--
            (1) the ground or grounds on which the noncitizen was 
        ordered removed, or removed, from the United States, or was 
        rendered inadmissible to, or deportable from, the United 
        States, shall be disregarded when determining whether the 
        noncitizen is a person of good moral character; and
            (2) any period of absence from the United States due to the 
        noncitizen having been removed, or being inadmissible, shall be 
        disregarded when determining if the noncitizen satisfies any 
        requirement relating to continuous residence or physical 
        presence.

SEC. 6. ACCESS TO MILITARY BENEFITS.

    A noncitizen who has obtained the status of a noncitizen lawfully 
admitted for permanent residence pursuant to section 2 shall be 
eligible for all military and veterans benefits for which the 
noncitizen would have been eligible if the noncitizen had never been 
ordered removed, been removed, or voluntarily departed, from the United 
States.

SEC. 7. IMPLEMENTATION.

    (a) Identification.--The Secretary of Homeland Security shall 
identify cases involving service members and veterans at risk of 
removal from the United States by--
            (1) inquiring of every noncitizen processed prior to 
        initiating removal proceedings whether the noncitizen is 
        serving, or has served, as a member of a regular or reserve 
        component of the Armed Forces of the United States on active 
        duty or as a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces 
        in an active status;
            (2) requiring personnel to seek supervisory approval prior 
        to initiating removal proceedings against a service member or 
        veteran; and
            (3) keeping records of service members and veterans who 
        have had removal proceedings against them initiated, been 
        detained, or been removed.
    (b) Record Annotation.--When the Secretary has identified a case 
under subsection (a), the Secretary shall annotate all immigration and 
naturalization records of the Department of Homeland Security relating 
to the noncitizen involved so as to reflect that identification and 
afford an opportunity to track the outcomes for the noncitizen. Such 
annotation shall include--
            (1) the individual's branch of military service;
            (2) whether or not the individual is serving, or has 
        served, during a period of military hostilities described in 
        section 329 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
        1440);
            (3) the individual's immigration status at the time of 
        enlistment;
            (4) whether the individual is serving honorably or was 
        separated under honorable conditions; and
            (5) the basis for which removal was sought; and, if the 
        basis for removal was a criminal conviction, the crime or 
        crimes for which conviction was obtained.

SEC. 8. REGULATIONS.

    Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Secretary shall promulgate regulations to implement this Act.
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