Text: H.R.379 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (01/09/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 379 Introduced in House (IH)]

<DOC>






115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 379

 To assist members of the Yazidi and Christian communities residing in 
                Iraq and Syria, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            January 9, 2017

 Mr. Hastings introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
   Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committees on 
Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, and Appropriations, 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 assist members of the Yazidi and Christian communities residing in 
                Iraq and Syria, 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 ``Justice for Yazidis Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) Preventing genocide and mass atrocities is a national 
        priority of the United States.
            (2) Atrocities committed by the Islamic State (IS) against 
        Yazidis and other minorities have included mass murder, 
        crucifixions, beheadings, rape, torture, enslavement, 
        trafficking, and the kidnapping of children.
            (3) IS engages in, and publicly argues in favor of, the 
        sexual enslavement of Yazidi women and girls.
            (4) The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and 
        Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, signed and ratified by the 
        United States, defines genocide as follows: ``any of the 
        following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole 
        or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as 
        such:
            ``(a) killing members of the group;
            ``(b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of 
        the group;
            ``(c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of 
        life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in 
        whole or in part;
            ``(d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within 
        the group; and
            ``(e) forcibly transferring children of the group to 
        another group.''.
            (5) In December 2015, the United States Holocaust Memorial 
        Museum's Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide 
        issued a report titled ``Our Generation Is Gone--the Islamic 
        State's Targeting of Iraqi Minorities in Ninewa'', which 
        concluded that ``IS committed crimes against humanity, war 
        crimes, and ethnic cleansing . . . [and] perpetrated genocide 
        against the Yezidi people''.
            (6) On December 7, 2015, the United States Commission on 
        International Religious Freedom called on the United States 
        Government ``to designate the Christian, Yezidi, Shi'a, 
        Turkmen, and Shabak communities of Iraq and Syria as victims of 
        genocide by ISIL''.
            (7) On February 3, 2016, the European Parliament 
        unanimously passed a resolution declaring that IS ``is 
        committing genocide against Christians and Yezidis, and other 
        religious and ethnic minorities''.
            (8) On March 14, 2016, the United States House of 
        Representatives passed H. Con. Res. 75, expressing the sense of 
        Congress that the atrocities perpetrated by IS against 
        religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria include war 
        crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, by a unanimous 
        vote of 393-0.
            (9) On March 17, 2016, United States Secretary of State 
        John Kerry declared that IS is ``responsible for genocide 
        against groups under its control including Yazidis, Christians, 
        and Shiite Muslims''.
            (10) On June 15, 2016, the United Nations Human Rights 
        Council issued the report ``They Came to Destroy: ISIS Crimes 
        Against the Yazidis'' which stated that IS ``has committed the 
        crime of genocide as well as multiple crimes against humanity 
        and war crimes against the Yazidis, thousands of whom are held 
        captive in the Syrian Arab Republic where they are subjected to 
        almost unimaginable horrors''.
            (11) President Barack Obama established the Atrocities 
        Prevention Board in 2011, and stated that ``preventing 
        atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest 
        and a core moral responsibility of the United States''.
            (12) Over 3,200 Yazidi women and children are still being 
        held by IS.
            (13) The atrocities committed by IS should be investigated 
        through the establishment of a United Nations Ad-hoc Tribunal 
        for the purpose of documenting mass graves and prosecuting 
        cases of mass atrocities.
            (14) It is in the interest of the United States that the 
        United States Armed Forces cooperate with friendly forces in 
        Syria and Iraq for the purpose of securing members of the 
        Yazidi and Christian communities being held captive by IS.

SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW CATEGORY OF REFUGEE OF SPECIAL 
              HUMANITARIAN CONCERN.

    (a) Classification of Syrian and Iraqi Religious Minorities.--
Syrian and Iraqi nationals who are members of a religious minority in 
their country of origin--
            (1) shall be classified as refugees of special humanitarian 
        concern;
            (2) shall be eligible for Priority 2 processing under the 
        refugee resettlement priority system; and
            (3) may apply directly to the United States Refugee 
        Admissions Program for admission to the United States.
    (b) Eligibility for Admission as a Refugee.--No alien shall be 
denied the opportunity to apply for admission under this section solely 
because such alien--
            (1) qualifies as an immediate relative;
            (2) is eligible for any other immigrant classification; or
            (3) was referred to apply for admission to the United 
        States as a refugee by a United States nonprofit organization 
        that is exempt from Federal income taxes under section 
        501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
    (c) Permitting Certain Aliens Within Categories To Reapply for 
Refugee Status.--Each alien described in subsection (a) who after, June 
1, 2014, and before the date of the enactment of this Act was denied 
refugee status shall be permitted to reapply for such status. Such an 
application shall be determined taking into account the application of 
this Act.
    (d) Protection of Aliens.--In a case in which that the Secretary of 
State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, 
determines that an alien who is described in subsection (a) and who has 
applied for admission to the United States as a refugee under section 
207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1157) using the 
processes established under this section is in imminent danger, the 
Secretary shall make a reasonable effort to provide such alien with 
protection or the immediate removal from that country.

SEC. 4. EXPEDITED SYSTEM FOR PRIORITY 2 REFUGEE PROCESSING.

    (a) Report.--Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary 
of Homeland Security, shall submit to the Committee on the Judiciary of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate, 
and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report 
containing a plan to expedite the processing of applications for 
admission to the United States as a refugee under section 207 of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1157) of aliens described in 
section 3 of this Act, which shall include information relating to--
            (1) expediting the processing of such refugees for 
        resettlement, including through temporary expansion of the 
        Refugee Corps of United States Citizenship and Immigration 
        Services;
            (2) streamlining existing systems for conducting background 
        and security checks of such aliens; and
            (3) establishing or expanding facilities to process such 
        applications at appropriate locations in Dahouk, Iraq, and or 
        near Erbil or Basrah, Iraq, and the processing of such 
        applications in such facilities.
    (b) Expedited Process.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with 
the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall implement the plan contained 
in the report under subsection (a).

SEC. 5. REPORTS.

    (a) Annual Report.--Not later than 120 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter through 2020, the 
Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland 
Security, shall submit to the Congress an unclassified report, with a 
classified annex if necessary, which includes--
            (1) an assessment of the financial, security, and personnel 
        considerations and resources necessary to carry out the 
        provisions of this Act;
            (2) the number of aliens described in section 3(a); and
            (3) the number of such aliens who have applied for 
        admission to the United States as a refugee under section 207 
        of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1157) using 
        the processes established under section 3 of this Act.
    (b) Report on Video-Conference Refugee Interviews.--Not later than 
120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of 
Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall 
submit to the Congress an unclassified report, with a classified annex 
if necessary, which includes--
            (1) the number of aliens who applied for admission as a 
        refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality 
        Act (8 U.S.C. 1157) in 2014 who are awaiting interviews in 
        locations inaccessible to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration 
        Services officers;
            (2) the number of locations worldwide to which Refugee 
        Corps Officer circuit rides were suspended in 2014 due to 
        security considerations; and
            (3) a proposal for how to implement interviews via video-
        conference for aliens who applied for admission the United 
        States as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and 
        Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1157), who currently reside in 
        locations where Refugee Corps circuit rides have been 
        suspended.

SEC. 6. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE REPORT ON STEPS AND PROTOCOL RELATED TO 
              THE RESCUE, CARE, AND TREATMENT OF YAZIDI, CHRISTIAN, 
              SHABAK, AND TURKMEN CAPTIVES OF THE ISLAMIC STATE.

    (a) Report Required.--Not later than 60 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the 
Congress a report containing each of the following:
            (1) A description of any steps the Department of Defense is 
        taking to ensure coordination between the Armed Forces of the 
        United States and local forces in conducting military 
        operations in regions controlled by the Islamic State where 
        religious or minority groups are known or thought to be held 
        captive, in order to incorporate the rescue of such captives as 
        a secondary objective.
            (2) A description of any protocols that will be put in 
        place by the Department of Defense, including protocols 
        developed in coordination with the Government of Iraq, for the 
        care and treatment of religious or minority groups rescued from 
        captivity under the Islamic State, including any protocol for 
        relocating such groups of captives to safe locations.
    (b) Form of Report.--The report required by subsection (a) shall be 
submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.

SEC. 7. PROGRAMS FOR RELIGIOUS MINORITIES AND CRISIS PREVENTION.

    (a) Health Care and Psychosocial Support Program.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary of State, in consultation 
        with the Administrator of the United States Agency for 
        International Development, shall establish a program to provide 
        health care and psychosocial support for members of the Yazidi, 
        Christian, Shabak, and Turkmen communities displaced by the 
        Islamic State. Such program shall provide mental health and 
        psychosocial support for children from such communities, with a 
        particular focus on providing services to survivors of sexual 
        slavery under the Islamic State.
            (2) Implementation.--The program established under 
        paragraph (1) shall provide care in accordance with the 
        Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in 
        Emergency Settings promulgated by the Inter-Agency Standing 
        Committee of the World Health Organization.
    (b) Psychologist, Social Worker, and Physical Therapist Training 
Program.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary, in consultation with the 
        Administrator, shall establish a program to provide training 
        with respect to trauma-informed care to psychologists, social 
        workers, and physical therapists based in an eligible country. 
        The program shall prioritize providing such training to a 
        psychologist, social worker, or physical therapist who speaks 
        Kurmanji or the Shengali dialect of Kurmanji.
            (2) Eligible country.--For purposes of the program 
        established under paragraph (1), the term ``eligible country'' 
        means Iraq, Syria, or any country the Secretary determines to 
        be a host country of Yazidi, Christian, Shabak, or Turkmen 
        refugees who would benefit from the training provided under 
        such program.
    (c) Report.--Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Foreign 
Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign 
Relations of the Senate a report describing the progress made toward 
establishing the programs required under subsections (a) and (b) and 
the steps planned to complete such establishment.
    (d) Transfer of Funding.--Of the unobligated amounts available on 
the date of the enactment of this Act for the Economic Support Fund 
established under chapter 4 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 
1961 (22 U.S.C. 2346 et seq.), $15,000,000, to be derived from amounts 
made available for assistance to Egypt, shall be made available to the 
Secretary until expended for the programs established under subsections 
(a) and (b).
                                 <all>

Share This