Summary: S.2222 — 97th Congress (1981-1982)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (08/17/1982)

(Measure passed Senate, amended, roll call #329 (80-19))

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1982 - Title I: Control of Illegal Immigration - Part A: Employment - Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to make it unlawful for a person to knowingly hire, maintain in his or her employment, or refer or recruit for a fee any alien not authorized to work. Makes it unlawful for an employer of four or more persons to hire anyone without complying with the verification procedure set forth in this Act. Makes following such procedure an affirmative defense for an employer so charged.

Sets forth such verification procedure which requires an employer (of four or more persons) to attest, under penalty of perjury, that he has examined an employee's identification papers, and requires an employee to attest to his citizenship or legal work status. Requires employers to keep such records for five years or one year after an employee leaves, whichever is longer.

Requires the President to implement a secure verification system within three years. Prohibits the use of this system or any required identification document for other law enforcement purposes.

Sets forth graduated civil and criminal penalties for verification violations.

Requires such system to protect the privacy and security of personal information and identifiers used in it. Requires recommendations to Congress regarding civil and criminal sanctions for misuse of such information. Directs the President to evaluate the suitability of existing Federal and State identification systems for purposes of this Act.

Authorizes the Attorney General to bring a civil action to enjoin persons systematically violating such hiring provisions. Subjects employers to a $500 civil penalty for verification and recordkeeping violations. Requires the Attorney General to provide notice and hearing opportunity before assessing any civil penalties. Permits the Attorney General to sue in U.S. district court to collect outstanding penalties.

States that the provisions of this Part preempt State and local sanctions regarding employment of unauthorized aliens.

Authorizes FY 1983 appropriations for verification system implementation and monitoring.

Directs the Attorney General, in cooperation with the Secretaries of Commerce, Labor, and Agriculture, and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, to inform employers, employment agencies, unions, and the public about these requirements. Authorizes FY 1983 appropriations for such purposes.

Makes it illegal to fraudulently misuse or manufacture entry or work documents (up to $5,000 fine or five years' imprisonment or both).

Requires the General Accounting Office to review such employer sanctions program and report to the appropriate congressional committees at specified intervals. Authorizes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate related discrimination allegations.

Specifies how violations shall be counted when determining an employer's penalty for illegal hiring, and establishes separate units of corporate liability.

Part B: Enforcement and Fees - Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) enforcement activities should be increased; and (2) such increase shall be provided for and monitored through the annual authorization of appropriations process.

Eliminates the provision preventing employment from being considered as harboring an alien.

Makes it unlawful to knowingly or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien is not authorized to enter the United States bring such person into the country (up to $2,500 or one year's imprisonment, with additional penalties for a subsequent offense).

Requires the Attorney General to impose maintenance fees for an alien's use of border or other INS facilities.

Part C: Adjudication Procedures and Asylum Inspection and Exclusion - Directs immigration officers at entry points to exclude without hearing or further inquiry aliens without proper documents, or without any reasonable basis for legal entry or asylum. States that if an alien claims asylum, the exclusion hearing shall be limited to the asylum issue.

Establishes in the Department of Justice a United States Immigration Board to hear appeals from final decisions of immigration judges. States that the Board's determination shall be binding on all immigration judges, immigration officers, and consular officers unless modified by a court or the Attorney General. Permits the Attorney General to review a Board determination within 30 days if the matter is in the national interest.

Sets forth administrative and operating provisions.

Replaces the existing special inquiry officer system with a system of immigration judges. Provides for the appointment of up to 70 judges. Grants such judges responsibility for exclusion, deportation, asylum, and status rescission cases.

Requires exclusion appeals to be filed with the Board (rather than with the Attorney General) within 15 days. Limits judicial review in exclusion and asylum cases to the question of habeas corpus. Reduces the period for filing a petition for judicial review of final orders of exclusion, deportation, and asylum from six months to 45 days.

Prohibits judicial review of: (1) exclusion, deportation, or asylum determinations; (2) denial of stays of exclusion or deportation; or (3) summary exclusion.

Requires an action for judicial review of any administrative action, other than a final order of deportation, to be filed within 30 days after the date of the final administrative action, or of the date of enactment, whichever is later.

Revises asylum provisions to: (1) require an alien under an exclusion or deportation order to apply for asylum within 14 days and to complete such application within 35 days after notice of such order unless changed circumstances in the alien's country cause a change in asylum eligibility; (2) prohibit an alien from reapplying for asylum after having been denied such status unless such changes have occurred; (3) require asylum applications to be heard before administrative law judges having special training in international law; (4) permit legal counsel at asylum hearings; (5) require an alien to be an admissible refugee in order to be granted asylum; (6) place the burden of proof on the applicant; (7) prohibit the reopening of an application proceeding unless changed circumstances in the alien's country cause a change in asylum eligibility; (8) require the Secretary of State to make human rights reports available to the Attorney General on a continuing basis; (9) state that asylum hearings shall be closed to the public unless the applicant requests otherwise; (10) require the Attorney General to notify the Secretary of State of individual asylum claims; and (11) exempt asylum records and documents from disclosure.

Requires the President to nominate Board members within 45 days. Sets forth other administrative and operating provisions for the transfer of asylum proceedings from the existing special inquiry system to the administrative law judge system. Authorizes appropriations for such purpose for FY 1983.

Part D: Adjustment of Status - Prohibits adjustment of status to permanent resident for violators of (nonimmigrant) visa terms.

Title II: Reform of Legal Immigration - Part A: Immigrants - Revises numerical limitation provisions to: (1) establish a "family reunification" category of 350,000 (minus the number of prior-year immediate relatives); (2) establish an "independent" category of 75,000 (minus the number of prior-year special immigrants); and (3) permit 40,000 annual entrants each from Mexico and Canada, with each country entitled to the other's unused visas.

Sets forth "family reunification" preference allocations as follows: (1) unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; (2) spouses and children of permanent residents; (3) married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and (4) brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens with already approved visas. Sets forth "independent" preference allocations as follows: (1) aliens of exceptional ability; (2) skilled workers; (3) investors; and (4) nonpreference aliens according to application date.

Sets forth an interpreference allocation guide.

Revises labor certification provisions to: (1) require the Secretary of Labor to consider national, rather than local, employment and wage data; (2) include a finding that sufficient American workers could not be trained within a reasonable time period; (3) prohibit courts from overturning certifications without compelling evidence that the decision was arbitrary; and (4) permit the job offer requirement to be waived for aliens of exceptional ability.

Includes within the definition of "special immigrant" specified retirees of certain international organizations, their spouses (or surviving spouses), and their unmarried sons and daughters.

Includes within the definition of "nonimmigrant": (1) parents of minor children having special immigrant status; (2) other children of such parents; and (3) children of surviving spouses or retirees (of foreign organizations) having special immigrant status.

Sets forth transitional provisions.

Part B: Nonimmigrants - Separates temporary agricultural labor from other temporary labor for purposes of nonimmigrant worker provisions.

Limits (H-2 visa) temporary workers to a maximum eight-month stay per year, except for agricultural workers who may stay for more than one year if previously so allowed.

Requires an employer H-2 visa petition to certify that: (1) there are not enough local U.S. workers for the job; and (2) similarly employed U.S. workers' wages will not be adversely affected.

Permits the Secretary of Labor to charge application fees.

Prohibits the Secretary from approving such petition if: (1) the job is open because of a strike or lock-out; (2) the alien violated temporary worker admissions terms within the past five years; or (3) the employer violated similar terms within the past two years.

Provides with regard to temporary agricultural workers that: (1) employers need not submit such petition more than 80 days in advance of need; (2) the Secretary must decide on a petition within 20 days of need; (3) producer associations may file such petitions; and (4) the Secretary shall establish expedited procedures for review of denied petitions or de novo administrative hearings.

Requires the Secretary, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Agriculture, to report annually to the Congress. Authorizes appropriations beginning with FY 1983 to recruit domestic workers and monitor the nonimmigrant worker program.

Authorizes the Attorney General to waive the two-year foreign residence requirement for status adjustment to immigrant (or for nonimmigrant trainees) for specified numbers of students with certain high technology degrees. Prohibits other foreign students (except those who are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens) and visitors admitted under the visa waiver program from adjusting to immigrant status.

Authorizes the Attorney General and the Secretary of State to establish a three-year pilot visa waiver program by October 1, 1983, for up to eight countries providing a similar benefit to the United States. Sets forth program provisions.

Title III: Legalization - Authorizes adjustment of status to permanent resident for specified undocumented aliens who have resided in the United States since January 1, 1977. Requires such applications to be filed within 18 months.

Authorizes a temporary resident status for Cuban/Haitian entrants and for specified undocumented aliens who have resided in the United States since January 1, 1980. Requires such applications to be filed within 18 months. Permits such temporary resident aliens to: (1) work in the United States; (2) apply for permanent resident status after three years; and (3) travel abroad.

Makes temporary residents (other than Cuban/Haitian entrants) and (for three years) such permanent residents ineligible for Federal public assistance.

Authorizes FY 1983 through 1988 appropriations for block grants to States to assist them with additional costs resulting from this program. Sets forth allocation and other program provisions.

Prohibits the legalization of persons: (1) convicted of a felony or three or more misdemeanors in the United States; or (2) who have taken part in political, religious, or racial persecution.

Authorizes the Attorney General to terminate temporary resident status if an alien has not filed for adjustment to permanent status within 31 months.

Directs the Attorney General, in cooperation with designated voluntary agencies and the Secretary of Labor, to disseminate information about such status legalization program.

Authorizes appropriations for such program for FY 1983.

Directs the Attorney General to promulgate a definition of "resided continuously" and to establish entry requirements after consulting with the appropriate congressional committees and volunteer agencies.

Title IV: General Provisions - Requires the President to submit various reports to the appropriate congressional committees on specified amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act made by this Act.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that: (1) immigration laws should be vigorously and uniformly enforced; and (2) in so doing the rights and safety of U.S. citizens and aliens should be safeguarded.

Title V: Sense of the Congress - Expresses the sense of the Congress that English is the sole official language of the United States.