Text: H.R.2217 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (04/10/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 2217 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2217

 To reduce the ability of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to 
engage in inappropriate civil immigration enforcement actions that harm 
 unaccompanied alien children and to ensure the safety and welfare of 
                     unaccompanied alien children.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             April 10, 2019

     Ms. Wasserman Schultz (for herself, Ms. Omar, Ms. Norton, Ms. 
  Schakowsky, Ms. Jackson Lee, Mr. Blumenauer, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Ms. 
 Jayapal, Ms. Barragan, Mr. Aguilar, Mr. Carson of Indiana, Ms. Clarke 
  of New York, Mr. Cohen, Ms. DeLauro, Mr. Hastings, Mr. Nadler, Mr. 
    Price of North Carolina, Mr. Deutch, Mr. Serrano, Mr. Smith of 
Washington, Ms. Wilson of Florida, Ms. Frankel, Ms. Bass, Mr. Ruiz, Mr. 
 DeSaulnier, Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, Ms. Lofgren, and Mr. 
 Perlmutter) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
    Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on 
   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 reduce the ability of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to 
engage in inappropriate civil immigration enforcement actions that harm 
 unaccompanied alien children and to ensure the safety and welfare of 
                     unaccompanied alien children.

    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 ``Families, Not Facilities Act of 
2019''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) On May 13, 2018, a Memorandum of Agreement between U.S. 
        Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border 
        Patrol of the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office 
        of Refugee Resettlement of the Department of Health and Human 
        Services went into effect to allow for intergovernmental 
        sharing of personal information about unaccompanied alien 
        children, their prospective sponsors, and adult members of 
        sponsor households.
            (2) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is using 
        information obtained under the Memorandum of Agreement to 
        conduct civil immigration enforcement actions against 
        individuals residing in the homes of prospective sponsors of 
        unaccompanied alien children.
            (3) These civil immigration enforcement actions have 
        discouraged prospective sponsors of unaccompanied alien 
        children, including family members, from coming forward to 
        resettle children in the community as they pursue lawful claims 
        for humanitarian protection.
            (4) Onerous requirements for sponsors and raids carried out 
        by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of sponsor 
        households have discouraged qualified sponsors from coming 
        forward, leading to unprecedented numbers of unaccompanied 
        alien children (approximately 11,705 in March 2019) being held 
        in shelters overseen by the Office of Refugee Resettlement as 
        of the date of enactment of this Act.
            (5) The Office of Refugee Resettlement is struggling to 
        accommodate the growing number of unaccompanied alien children 
        in its shelter network, resorting to placing children in 
        temporary ``emergency influx'' shelters. The Office contracted 
        with BCFS to care for more than 6,200 children between June 
        2018 and January 2019 in a temporary shelter at the Tornillo-
        Guadalupe Land Port of Entry in Texas, a facility that the New 
        York Times and other media sources described as a ``tent 
        city'', and announced plans in January 2019 to nearly double 
        the number of children held in a previously closed temporary 
        shelter in Homestead, Florida.
            (6) Temporary shelters are inappropriate locations to hold 
        unaccompanied alien children because such shelters--
                    (A) have reduced standards of care, including 
                insufficient educational services;
                    (B) offer limited access to clinical and legal 
                services; and
                    (C) are not cost-effective, resulting in the 
                expenditure of more than $750 per day in taxpayer funds 
                for each child housed in Tornillo shelter, for example.
            (7) Facilities operated under a contract with the Office of 
        Refugee Resettlement have faced unacceptable allegations of 
        abuse and neglect of unaccompanied alien children that merit 
        additional investigation and oversight.
            (8) The Office of Refugee Resettlement is legally required 
        to place children in the least restrictive setting that is in 
        the best interest of the child.
            (9) Services offered at facilities funded by the Office of 
        Refugee Resettlement are required to include classroom 
        education, mental and medical health services, case management, 
        socialization and recreation activities, and family 
        reunification services that facilitate the safe and timely 
        release of unaccompanied alien children to family members or 
        other sponsors that can care for them.
            (10) Providing legal and case management services to all 
        children while they are housed in a facility funded by the 
        Office of Refugee Resettlement and after their release from 
        such a facility is a cost-effective and humane way of ensuring 
        that the Office of Refugee Resettlement meets its statutory 
        obligation to place children in least restrictive settings.

SEC. 3. USE OF SPONSORSHIP INFORMATION.

    (a) In General.--Section 235(c)(3) of the William Wilberforce 
Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (8 U.S.C. 
1232(c)(3)) is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (A), by inserting ``In making such a 
        determination, the Secretary may not consider the immigration 
        status of the proposed custodian.'' after ``well-being.''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following:
                    ``(D) Prohibiting use of certain information.--The 
                Secretary of Homeland Security may not use information 
                provided by an unaccompanied alien child or information 
                initially obtained by the Secretary of Health and Human 
                Services to make a suitability determination under 
                subparagraph (A), a home study determination under 
                subparagraph (B), or a secure facility determination 
                under paragraph (2)(A) for the purpose of apprehending, 
                detaining, or removing from the United States--
                            ``(i) the unaccompanied alien child;
                            ``(ii) the proposed custodian or current 
                        custodian;
                            ``(iii) a resident of the home in which the 
                        proposed custodian or current custodian 
                        resides;
                            ``(iv) the proposed sponsor or current 
                        sponsor; or
                            ``(v) a resident of the home in which the 
                        proposed sponsor or current sponsor resides.''.
    (b) Rules of Construction.--
            (1) Flores settlement agreement.--The amendments made by 
        subsection (a) may not be construed to supersede the terms of 
        the stipulated settlement agreement filed on January 17, 1997, 
        in the United States District Court for the Central District of 
        California in Flores v. Reno, CV 85-4544-RJK, (commonly known 
        as the ``Flores settlement agreement'').
            (2) Child welfare.--The amendments made by subsection (a) 
        may not be construed to prevent the Secretary of Homeland 
        Security from using information obtained by the Secretary of 
        Health and Human Services to investigate or report to the 
        appropriate law enforcement agency or child welfare agency 
        instances of trafficking, abuse, or neglect.

SEC. 4. LIMITATION ON USE OF FUNDS FOR ENFORCEMENT, DETENTION, AND 
              REMOVAL OPERATIONS.

    No Federal funds may be used by U.S. Immigration and Customs 
Enforcement for any enforcement, detention, or removal activity that 
violates section 235(c)(3) of the William Wilberforce Trafficking 
Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, as amended by section 
3(a).

SEC. 5. TRANSFER OF U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT FUNDING.

    Of the amount appropriated for fiscal year 2019 to U.S. Immigration 
and Customs Enforcement for enforcement and removal operations--
            (1) $30,000,000 shall be transferred to the Office of 
        Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security to 
        investigate child separation and inspect detention facilities 
        overseen by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
            (2) $180,000,000 shall be transferred to the Office of 
        Refugee Resettlement to provide the post-release legal, case 
        management, and child advocate services described in section 6; 
        and
            (3) $10,000,000 shall be transferred to the Administration 
        for Children and Families to bolster the efforts of the Task 
        Force to Prevent and End Human Trafficking.

SEC. 6. ENSURING THE SAFETY OF UNACCOMPANIED ALIEN CHILDREN.

    (a) Defined Term.--In this section, the term ``post-release case 
management services'' means services that--
            (1) are provided by a social worker, employed by a 
        nonprofit entity, who meets with the child individually and 
        with the family to develop an individualized service plan; and
            (2) allow children to successfully transition into their 
        communities by--
                    (A) assisting with school enrollment and 
                acculturation;
                    (B) locating medical and therapeutic services;
                    (C) making referrals to area legal services; and
                    (D) navigating new family settings and other 
                individual needs.
    (b) Required Services.--The Office of Refugee Resettlement shall--
            (1) provide post-release case management to all children 
        upon release or as the need arises for the duration of their 
        immigration proceedings; and
            (2) facilitate efforts to connect every unaccompanied 
        child, including each child with a sponsor, with legal 
        representation for his or her immigration proceedings.
    (c) The Office of Refugee Resettlement Advisory Committee on 
Shelters for Unaccompanied Alien Children.--
            (1) Establishment.--The Secretary of Health and Human 
        Services, in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act 
        (5 U.S.C. App.), shall immediately establish the Advisory 
        Committee on Shelters for Unaccompanied Alien Children 
        (referred to in this subsection as the ``Advisory Committee'') 
        to advise the Office of Refugee Resettlement on matters 
        regarding shelters and placements for unaccompanied alien 
        children relating to education, immigration law, physical and 
        mental health, trauma-informed social work services, youth 
        shelter management, and immigration detention reform.
            (2) Composition and term.--
                    (A) Appointment.--The Secretary shall appoint 14 
                individuals to serve on the Advisory Committee for 2-
                year terms.
                    (B) Prerequisites.--
                            (i) In general.--Each member of the 
                        Advisory Committee shall be employed by a 
                        nonprofit entity in the field of--
                                    (I) education;
                                    (II) immigration law;
                                    (III) physical and mental health of 
                                children and youth;
                                    (IV) trauma-informed child welfare 
                                social work services;
                                    (V) youth shelter management;
                                    (VI) cultural competency; or
                                    (VII) immigration detention reform.
                            (ii) Representation.--At least 2 members of 
                        the Advisory Committee shall represent each of 
                        the fields set forth in clause (i).
            (3) Investigative authority.--
                    (A) Inspections.--Members of the Advisory Committee 
                may conduct unannounced inspections of all shelters 
                contracted with the Office of Refugee Resettlement to 
                hold unaccompanied alien children.
                    (B) Information sharing.--The Office of Refugee 
                Resettlement shall provide the Advisory Committee with 
                access to such materials as may be necessary to 
                effectively advocate for the best interest of children 
                in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, 
                subject to applicable statutes and regulations.
            (4) Consultations.--The Advisory Committee shall consult 
        with, and receive recommendations from--
                    (A) the American Medical Association;
                    (B) the American Academy of Pediatrics;
                    (C) the National Association of Social Workers;
                    (D) the American Bar Association Center on Children 
                and the Law;
                    (E) the American Immigration Lawyers Association; 
                and
                    (F) other medical, child welfare, and legal 
                experts.
            (5) Reports.--
                    (A) Interim report.--Not later than 6 months after 
                the establishment of the Advisory Committee under 
                paragraph (1), the Advisory Committee shall release to 
                the public an interim report outlining the Advisory 
                Committee's investigations and recommendations 
                regarding Office of Refugee Resettlement shelters for 
                unaccompanied alien children and submit such report 
                to--
                            (i) the Secretary of Health and Human 
                        Services;
                            (ii) the Committee on Health, Education, 
                        Labor, and Pensions of the Senate;
                            (iii) the Committee on Homeland Security 
                        and Governmental Affairs of the Senate;
                            (iv) the Committee on the Judiciary of the 
                        Senate;
                            (v) the Committee on Energy and Commerce of 
                        the House of Representatives;
                            (vi) the Committee on Oversight and Reform 
                        of the House of Representatives; and
                            (vii) the Committee on the Judiciary of the 
                        House of Representatives.
                    (B) Final report.--Not later than 1 year after the 
                establishment of the Advisory Committee under paragraph 
                (1), the Advisory Committee shall release to the 
                public, and submit to the recipients of the interim 
                report under subparagraph (A), a final report that 
                outlines the Advisory Committee's investigations and 
                recommendations regarding Office of Refugee 
                Resettlement shelters for unaccompanied alien children.
            (6) Savings provision.--Nothing in this subsection may be 
        construed to preempt any Federal agency from investigating 
        allegations of mistreatment and abuse of unaccompanied alien 
        children in facilities overseen by the Department of Health and 
        Human Services.
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