Text: H.R.3451 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (06/24/2019)

[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 3451 Introduced in House (IH)]


  1st Session
                                H. R. 3451

    To protect children affected by immigration enforcement actions.



                             June 24, 2019

Ms. Roybal-Allard (for herself, Ms. Velazquez, Ms. Titus, Mr. Price of 
North Carolina, and Mr. Espaillat) introduced the following bill; which 
             was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


                                 A BILL

    To protect children affected by immigration enforcement actions.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Humane Enforcement and Legal 
Protections for Separated Children Act of 2019'' or the ``HELP 
Separated Children Act of 2019''.


    In this Act:
            (1) Apprehension.--The term ``apprehension'' means the 
        detention or arrest by officials of the Department or 
        cooperating entities.
            (2) Child.--The term ``child'' means an individual who is 
        younger than 18 years of age.
            (3) Child welfare agency.--The term ``child welfare 
        agency'' means a State or local agency responsible for child 
        welfare services under subtitles B and E of title IV of the 
        Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).
            (4) Cooperating entity.--The term ``cooperating entity'' 
        means a State or local entity acting under agreement with the 
            (5) Department.--The term ``Department'' means the 
        Department of Homeland Security.
            (6) Detention facility.--The term ``detention facility'' 
        means a Federal, State, or local government facility, or a 
        privately owned and operated facility, that is used, in whole 
        or in part, to hold individuals under the authority of the 
        Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, including 
        facilities that hold such individuals under a contract or 
        agreement with the Director.
            (7) Immigration enforcement action.--The term ``immigration 
        enforcement action'' means the apprehension of 1 or more 
        individuals whom--
                    (A) the Department has reason to believe are 
                removable from the United States by the Secretary or a 
                cooperating entity; and
                    (B) are apprehended by immigrations and customs 
                enforcement or a cooperating entity.
            (8) Parent.--The term ``parent'' means--
                    (A) a biological or adoptive parent of a child, 
                whose parental rights have not been relinquished or 
                terminated under State law or the law of a foreign 
                country; or
                    (B) a legal guardian under State law or the law of 
                a foreign country.
            (9) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Homeland Security.


    (a) Apprehension Procedures.--In any immigration enforcement 
action, the Secretary and cooperating entities shall--
            (1) as soon as possible, but generally not later than 2 
        hours after an immigration enforcement action, inquire whether 
        an individual is a parent or primary caregiver of a child in 
        the United States and provide any such individuals with--
                    (A) the opportunity to make a minimum of 2 
                telephone calls to arrange for the care of such child 
                in the individual's absence; and
                    (B) contact information for--
                            (i) child welfare agencies and family 
                        courts in the same jurisdiction as the child; 
                            (ii) consulates, attorneys, and legal 
                        service providers capable of providing free 
                        legal advice or representation regarding child 
                        welfare, child custody determinations, and 
                        immigration matters;
            (2) notify the child welfare agency with jurisdiction over 
        the child if--
                    (A) the child's parent or primary caregiver is 
                unable to make care arrangements for the child; or
                    (B) the child is in imminent risk of serious harm;
            (3) ensure that personnel of the Department and cooperating 
        entities do not, absent medical necessity or extraordinary 
                    (A) interview individuals in the immediate presence 
                of children; or
                    (B) compel or request children to interpret or 
                translate for interviews of their parents or of other 
                individuals who are encountered as part of an 
                immigration enforcement action;
            (4) absent extraordinary circumstances, ensure that 
        individuals who are the subject of an immigration enforcement 
        action and are parents of children in the United States who are 
        present during the action are given an opportunity--
                    (A) to communicate with their child, including 
                through physical contact;
                    (B) to reassure their child;
                    (C) to share information regarding care 
                arrangements for their child while the parent is 
                detained; and
                    (D) to communicate known medical illnesses, 
                including chronic illnesses, to the Department prior to 
            (5) ensure that any parent or primary caregiver of a child 
        in the United States--
                    (A) absent medical necessity or extraordinary 
                circumstances, is not transferred from his or her area 
                of apprehension until the individual--
                            (i) has made arrangements for the care of 
                        such child; or
                            (ii) if such arrangements are unavailable 
                        or the individual is unable to make such 
                        arrangements, is informed of the care 
                        arrangements made for the child and of a means 
                        to maintain communication, including telephonic 
                        and video conferencing communication, with the 
                    (B) absent medical necessity or extraordinary 
                circumstances, and to the extent practicable, is placed 
                in a detention facility that is--
                            (i) proximate to the location of 
                        apprehension; and
                            (ii) proximate to the child's habitual 
                        place of residence; and
                    (C) receives due consideration of the best 
                interests of such child in any decision or action 
                relating to his or her detention, release, or transfer 
                between detention facilities.
    (b) Requests to State and Local Entities.--If the Secretary 
requests a State or local entity to hold in custody an individual whom 
the Department has reason to believe is removable pending transfer of 
such individual to the custody of the Secretary or to a detention 
facility, the Secretary shall request that the State or local entity 
provide the individual the protections specified in paragraphs (1) and 
(2) of subsection (a) if such individual is the parent or primary 
caregiver of a child in the United States.
    (c) Protections Against Trafficking Preserved.--Nothing in this 
section may be construed to impede, delay, or limit the obligations of 
the Secretary, the Attorney General, or the Secretary of Health and 
Human Services under--
            (1) section 235 of the William Wilberforce Trafficking 
        Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (8 U.S.C. 1232);
            (2) section 462 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 
        U.S.C. 279); or
            (3) the Stipulated Settlement Agreement filed in the United 
        States District Court for the Central District of California on 
        January 17, 1997 (CV 85-4544-RJK) (commonly known as the 
        ``Flores Settlement Agreement'').


    At all detention facilities, the Secretary shall--
            (1) prominently post, in a manner accessible to detainees 
        and visitors, and include in detainee handbooks--
                    (A) information regarding the protections required 
                under this Act; and
                    (B) information regarding potential eligibility for 
                parole or release;
            (2) absent extraordinary circumstances, ensure that 
        individuals who are detained by the Department and are parents 
        or legal guardians of children in the United States are--
                    (A) permitted regular phone calls and contact 
                visits with their children;
                    (B) provided with contact information for child 
                welfare agencies and family courts in the relevant 
                    (C) given the opportunity to participate fully and, 
                to the extent possible, in person--
                            (i) in all family court proceedings; and
                            (ii) in any other proceedings that may 
                        impact their right to custody of their 
                    (D) granted free and confidential telephone calls 
                to relevant child welfare agencies and family courts as 
                often as is necessary to ensure that the best interest 
                of their children, including a preference for family 
                unity whenever appropriate, can be considered in child 
                welfare agency or family court proceedings;
                    (E) able to fully comply with all family court or 
                child welfare agency orders impacting custody of their 
                    (F) provided access to United States passport 
                applications or other relevant travel document 
                applications for the purpose of obtaining travel 
                documents for their children;
                    (G) afforded timely access to a notary public for 
                the purpose of applying for a passport for their 
                children or executing guardianship or other agreements 
                to ensure the safety of their children; and
                    (H) granted adequate time and opportunity before 
                removal to obtain passports, apostilled birth 
                certificates, travel documents, and other necessary 
                records on behalf of their children if such children 
                will accompany them on their return to their country of 
                origin or join them in their country of origin; and
            (3) if doing so would not impact public safety or national 
        security, facilitate the ability of detained alien parents and 
        primary caregivers to share information regarding travel 
        arrangements with their consulate, children, child welfare 
        agencies, or other caregivers in advance of the detained alien 
        individual's departure from the United States.


    The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and 
Human Services and independent child welfare and family law experts, 
shall develop and provide training on the protections required under 
sections 3 and 4 to all personnel of the Department, cooperating 
entities, and detention facilities operated by or under agreement with 
the Department who--
            (1) regularly engage in immigration enforcement actions, 
        including detention; and
            (2) in the course of such actions, come into contact with 
        individuals who are parents or primary caregivers of children 
        in the United States.


    Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this 
Act, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations to implement sections 3 
and 4.


    If any provision of this Act, any amendment made by this Act, or 
the application of any such provision or amendment to any person or 
circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, the remaining provisions 
of this Act, the remaining amendments made by this Act, and the 
application of such provisions and amendments to any person or 
circumstance shall not be affected by such holding.

Share This