Text: S.2174 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 116-277 (12/31/2020)

 
[116th Congress Public Law 277]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 3367]]

          MISSING PERSONS AND UNIDENTIFIED REMAINS ACT OF 2019

[[Page 134 STAT. 3368]]

Public Law 116-277
116th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 To the extent provided in advance in appropriations Act, the Attorney 
        General is authorized to use funds appropriated for the 
 operationalization, maintenance, and expansion of the National Missing 
and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) for the purpose of carrying out 
             this Act. <<NOTE: Dec. 31, 2020 -  [S. 2174]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Missing Persons 
and Unidentified Remains Act of 2019.>> 
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 34 USC 10101 note.>>  SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Missing Persons and Unidentified 
Remains Act of 2019''.
SEC. 2. USE OF GRANT FUNDS.

    (a) Jennifer's Law.--Jennifer's Law (34 U.S.C. 40501 et seq.) is 
amended--
            (1) by striking section 202 (34 U.S.C. 40501) and inserting 
        the following:
``SEC. 202. <<NOTE: 34 USC 40501.>>  PROGRAM AUTHORIZED.

    ``(a) In General.--
            ``(1) Grants authorized.--The Attorney General may award 
        grants to eligible entities described in paragraph (2) to enable 
        the eligible entities to improve the transportation, processing, 
        identification, and reporting of missing persons and 
        unidentified remains, including migrants.
            ``(2) Eligible entities.--Eligible entities described in 
        this paragraph are the following:
                    ``(A) States and units of local government.
                    ``(B) Accredited, publicly funded, Combined DNA 
                Index System (commonly known as `CODIS') forensic 
                laboratories, which demonstrate the grant funds will be 
                used for DNA typing and uploading biological family DNA 
                reference samples, including samples from foreign 
                nationals, into CODIS, subject to the protocols for 
                inclusion of such forensic DNA profiles into CODIS, and 
                the privacy protections required under section 203(c).
                    ``(C) Medical examiners offices.
                    ``(D) Accredited, publicly funded toxicology 
                laboratories.
                    ``(E) Accredited, publicly funded crime 
                laboratories.
                    ``(F) Publicly funded university forensic 
                anthropology laboratories.
                    ``(G) Nonprofit organizations that have working 
                collaborative agreements with State and county forensic 
                offices, including medical examiners, coroners, and 
                justices of the peace, for entry of data into CODIS or 
                the National Missing

[[Page 134 STAT. 3369]]

                and Unidentified Persons System (commonly known as 
                `NamUs'), or both.'';
            (2) in section 203 (34 U.S.C. 40502)--
                    (A) in subsection (a), by striking ``a State'' and 
                inserting ``an entity described in section 202'';
                    (B) in subsection (b)--
                          (i) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by 
                      striking ``State'' and inserting ``applicant'';
                          (ii) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting 
                      the following:
            ``(1) <<NOTE: Reports.>>  report to the National Crime 
        Information Center and, when possible, to law enforcement 
        authorities throughout the applicant's jurisdiction regarding 
        every deceased unidentified person, regardless of age, found in 
        the applicant's jurisdiction;'';
                          (iii) in paragraph (3), by striking ``and'' at 
                      the end;
                          (iv) in paragraph (4), by striking the period 
                      at the end and inserting ``; and''; and
                          (v) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(5) <<NOTE: Reports.>>  collect and report information to 
        the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) 
        regarding missing persons and unidentified remains.''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following:

    ``(c) Privacy Protections for Biological Family Reference Samples.--
            ``(1) In general.--Any suspected biological family DNA 
        reference samples received from citizens of the United States or 
        foreign nationals and uploaded into the Combined DNA Index 
        System (commonly referred to as `CODIS') by an accredited, 
        publicly funded CODIS forensic laboratory awarded a grant under 
        this section may be used only for identifying missing persons 
        and unidentified remains.
            ``(2) Limitation on use.--Any biological family DNA 
        reference samples from citizens of the United States or foreign 
        nationals entered into CODIS for purposes of identifying missing 
        persons and unidentified remains may not be disclosed to a 
        Federal or State law enforcement agency for law enforcement 
        purposes.''; and
            (3) by striking section 204 (34 U.S.C. 40503) and inserting 
        the following:
``SEC. 205. <<NOTE: 34 USC 40503.>>  USE OF FUNDS.

    ``An applicant receiving a grant award under this title may use such 
funds to--
            ``(1) pay for the costs incurred during or after fiscal year 
        2017 for the transportation, processing, identification, and 
        reporting of missing persons and unidentified remains, including 
        migrants;
            ``(2) establish and expand programs developed to improve the 
        reporting of unidentified persons in accordance with the 
        assurances provided in the application submitted pursuant to 
        section 203(b);
            ``(3) hire and maintain additional DNA case analysts and 
        technicians, fingerprint examiners, forensic odontologists, and 
        forensic anthropologists, needed to support such identification 
        programs; and

[[Page 134 STAT. 3370]]

            ``(4) procure and maintain state of the art multi-modal, 
        multi-purpose forensic and DNA-typing and analytical 
        equipment.''.

    (b) Kristen's Act.--Section 102 of Kristen's Act (34 U.S.C. 40504 
note) is amended to read as follows:
``SEC. 102. AUTHORIZATION OF FUNDING.

    ``To the extent provided in advance in appropriations Acts, the 
Attorney General is authorized to use funds appropriated for the 
operationalization, maintenance, and expansion of the National Missing 
and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) for the purpose of carrying out 
this Act''.
SEC. 3. RESCUE BEACONS.

    Section 411(o) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 
211(o)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
            ``(3) Rescue beacons. <<NOTE: Effective date.>> --Beginning 
        in fiscal year 2019, in carrying out subsection (c)(8), the 
        Commissioner shall purchase, deploy, and maintain not more than 
        170 self-powering, 9-1-1 cellular relay rescue beacons along the 
        southern border of the United States at locations determined 
        appropriate by the Commissioner to mitigate migrant deaths.''.
SEC. 4. <<NOTE: 34 USC 40505.>>  REPORTING ON NATIONAL MISSING AND 
                    UNIDENTIFIED PERSONS SYSTEM (NAMUS) PROGRAM.

    Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this act, 
and every year thereafter, the Attorney General shall submit a report to 
the appropriate committees of Congress regarding--
            (1) the number of unidentified person cases processed;
            (2) CODIS associations and identifications;
            (3) the number of anthropology cases processed;
            (4) the number of suspected border crossing cases and 
        associations made;
            (5) the number of trials supported with expert testimony;
            (6) the number of students trained and professions of those 
        students; and
            (7) the turnaround time and backlog.
SEC. 5. <<NOTE: 6 USC 224.>>  OTHER REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) Unidentified Remains.--
            (1) Reporting requirement.--Not later than 1 year after the 
        date of enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the 
        Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection shall submit 
        a report to the appropriate committees of Congress regarding all 
        unidentified remains discovered, during the reporting period, on 
        or near the border between the United States and Mexico, 
        including--
                    (A) for each deceased person--
                          (i) the cause and manner of death, if known;
                          (ii) the sex, age (at time of death), and 
                      country of origin (if such information is 
                      determinable); and
                          (iii) the location of each unidentified 
                      remain;
                    (B) the total number of deceased people whose 
                unidentified remains were discovered by U.S. Customs and 
                Border Protection during the reporting period;
                    (C) to the extent such information is available to 
                U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the total number of

[[Page 134 STAT. 3371]]

                deceased people whose unidentified remains were 
                discovered by Federal, State, local or Tribal law 
                enforcement officers, military personnel, or medical 
                examiners offices;
                    (D) the efforts of U.S. Customs and Border 
                Protection to engage with nongovernmental organizations, 
                institutions of higher education, medical examiners and 
                coroners, and law enforcement agencies--
                          (i) to identify and map the locations at which 
                      migrant deaths occur; and
                          (ii) to count the number of deaths that occur 
                      at such locations; and
                    (E) a detailed description of U.S. Customs and 
                Border Protection's Missing Migrant Program, including 
                how the program helps mitigate migrant deaths while 
                maintaining border security.
            (2) <<NOTE: Web posting.>>  Public disclosure.--Not later 
        than 30 days after each report required under paragraph (1) is 
        submitted, the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border 
        Protection shall publish on the website of the agency the 
        information described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of 
        paragraph (1) during each reporting period.

    (b) <<NOTE: Mexico.>>  Rescue Beacons.--Not later than 1 year after 
the date of enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the 
Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection shall submit a report 
to the appropriate committees of Congress regarding the use of rescue 
beacons along the border between the United States and Mexico, 
including, for the reporting period--
            (1) the number of rescue beacons in each border patrol 
        sector;
            (2) the specific location of each rescue beacon;
            (3) the frequency with which each rescue beacon was 
        activated by a person in distress;
            (4) a description of the nature of the distress that 
        resulted in each rescue beacon activation (if such information 
        is determinable); and
            (5) <<NOTE: Assessment. Consultation.>>  an assessment, in 
        consultation with local stakeholders, including elected 
        officials, nongovernmental organizations, and landowners, of 
        necessary additional rescue beacons and recommendations for 
        locations for deployment to reduce migrant deaths.

    (c) GAO Report.--Not later than 6 months after the report required 
under subsection (a) is submitted to the appropriate committees of 
Congress, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit a 
report to the same committees that describes--
            (1) how U.S. Customs and Border Protection collects and 
        records border-crossing death data;
            (2) the differences (if any) in U.S. Customs and Border 
        Protection border-crossing death data collection methodology 
        across its sectors;
            (3) how U.S. Customs and Border Protection's data and 
        statistical analysis on trends in the numbers, locations, 
        causes, and characteristics of border-crossing deaths compare to 
        other sources of data on these deaths, including border county 
        medical examiners and coroners and the Centers for Disease 
        Control and Prevention;

[[Page 134 STAT. 3372]]

            (4) how U.S. Customs and Border Protection measures the 
        effectiveness of its programs to mitigate migrant deaths; and
            (5) the extent to which U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
        engages Federal, State, local, and Tribal governments, foreign 
        diplomatic and consular posts, and nongovernmental 
        organizations--
                    (A) to accurately identify deceased individuals;
                    (B) to resolve cases involving unidentified remains;
                    (C) to resolve cases involving unidentified persons; 
                and
                    (D) to share information on missing persons and 
                unidentified remains, specifically with the National 
                Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).

    Approved December 31, 2020.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 2174:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 166 (2020):
            Nov. 16, considered and passed Senate.
            Dec. 16, considered and passed House, amended.
            Dec. 18, Senate concurred in House amendments.

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