Text: S.3294 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (02/13/2020)


116th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3294


To require U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to facilitate naturalization services for noncitizen veterans who have been removed from the United States or are inadmissible.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 13, 2020

Ms. Duckworth introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To require U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to facilitate naturalization services for noncitizen veterans who have been removed from the United States or are inadmissible.

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 “Strengthening Citizenship Services for Veterans Act”.

SEC. 2. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) BIOMETRIC COLLECTION.—The term “biometric collection” means the biometric collection described in section 103.2(b)(9) of title 8, Code of Federal Regulations, during which the applicant provides information, including by providing fingerprints, photographs, or signatures, to confirm his or her identity and to satisfy any requirement for background and security checks in connection with an application to become a naturalized citizen of the United States.

(2) ELIGIBLE VETERAN.—The term “eligible veteran”—

(A) means a veteran who is a noncitizen; and

(B) includes any veteran who—

(i) was removed from the United States; or

(ii) is not in the United States and is inadmissible under section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)).

(3) NATURALIZATION EXAMINATION.—The term “naturalization examination” means the English and civics test that each noncitizen is required to pass (unless exempted) pursuant to section 312(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1423(a)) to become a naturalized citizen of the United States.

(4) NONCITIZEN.—The term “noncitizen” means an individual who is not a citizen of the United States.

(5) OATH OF ALLEGIANCE.—The term “oath of allegiance” means the affirmation and ceremony necessary to become a naturalized citizen of the United States.

(6) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Homeland Security.

(7) VETERAN.—The term “veteran” has the meaning given such term in section 101 of title 38, United States Code.

SEC. 3. Naturalization examinations and biometric collection for eligible veterans.

(a) In general.—The Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services shall ensure that the naturalization examination for each eligible veteran is conducted at—

(1) a United States port of entry that is accessible to the veteran; or

(2) a United States embassy or consulate in the country in which the veteran resides.

(b) Biometric collection.—The Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services shall ensure that biometric collection is made available for each eligible veteran at—

(1) a United States port of entry that is accessible to the veteran; or

(2) a United States embassy or consulate in the country in which the veteran resides.

(c) Oath of allegiance.—The Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services shall ensure that the oath of allegiance for each eligible veteran is conducted at—

(1) a United States port of entry that is accessible to the veteran; or

(2) a United States embassy or consulate in the country in which the veteran resides.

SEC. 4. Joint guidance from the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State.

The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State shall issue guidance regarding—

(1) the methods used by the Department of Homeland Security to conduct biometric collections, naturalization examinations, and oath ceremonies for eligible veterans at a United States port of entry, embassy, or consulate;

(2) the methods used by the Department of State to facilitate available space for the activities described in paragraph (1); and

(3) quality assurance mechanisms to ensure eligible veterans are able to complete the naturalization process at a port of entry, embassy, or consulate.

SEC. 5. Report.

(a) In general.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State shall jointly submit a report to Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate, the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate, the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives that contains an analysis of—

(1) the implementation of this Act; and

(2) the effectiveness of the guidance issued pursuant to section 4.

(b) Updated guidance.—Not later than the last day of the 90-day period beginning on the date on which the report is submitted pursuant to subsection (a), the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State shall jointly update the guidance required under section 4 to the extent any shortcomings are identified in the report.

SEC. 6. Rulemaking.

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

SEC. 7. Effective date; applicability.

(a) Effective date.—This Act shall take effect 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(b) Applicability.—The requirements under this Act shall apply to all naturalization examinations involving eligible veterans with a pending naturalization application as of the date of the enactment of this Act or who submit a naturalization application after such date of enactment, regardless of the date on which the veterans were discharged from the military or exited the United States.


Share This Section