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105th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 1st Session                                                    105-129
_______________________________________________________________________


 
 FOR THE RELIEF OF MICHEL CHRISTOPHER MEILI, GIUSEPPINA MEILI, MIRJAM 
                     NAOMI MEILI, AND DAVIDE MEILI

                                _______
                                

   June 11, 1997.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and 
                         ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


Mr. Smith of Texas, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 768]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
Act (S. 768) for the relief of Michel Christopher Meili, 
Giuseppina Meili, Mirjam Naomi Meili, and Davide Meili, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment 
and recommend that the Act do pass.

                          purpose and summary

    This bill would allow the beneficiaries to be lawfully 
admitted to the United States for permanent residence.

                background and need for the legislation

    In January of this year Christopher Meili, a security guard 
at the Union Bank of Switzerland, was making his nightly rounds 
when he came across Holocaust era documents in the shredding 
room. Shortly before that night, the Swiss parliament had 
passed a law specifically prohibiting the destruction of 
documents that could assist in the search for assets which had 
belonged to the victims of Hitler's concentration camps. Mr. 
Meili, realizing the significance of the financial records, 
took some of those documents and turned them into the Swiss 
authorities. Mr. Meili was subsequently fired for stealing the 
documents, and has been refused any other employment in his 
field based on a negative recommendation by his former 
employer. After much publicity, Mr. Meili and his family 
started receiving death threats. Mr. Meili has done a great 
service for the world in exposing these documents, and because 
of the death threats and his inability to find employment in 
Switzerland, he has asked that he and his family be allowed to 
emigrate permanently to the U.S.
    A private bill is needed because Mr. Meili and his family 
do not meet the necessary criteria for permanent residency 
under any existing categories. Because they do not have any 
immediate family in the United States they cannot obtain 
family-based immigrant visas. And, although Mr. Meili has been 
offered a full-time job by the World Jewish Congress, it would 
take several years for the labor certification process to allow 
him to stay in this country, thus not solving the immediate 
death threat concerns should he have to go back to Switzerland 
to await the employment visa.
    Mr. Meili and his family are currently here on a 90-day 
temporary visa which expires in July. Therefore, it is 
necessary to quickly resolve their immigration status.

                                hearings

    The Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims held 
no hearings on S. 768.

                        committee consideration

    On June 3, 1997, the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims 
met in open session and ordered favorably reported the bill S. 
768, by voice vote, a quorum being present.
    On June 11, 1997, the Committee on the Judiciary met in 
open session and ordered reported favorably the bill S. 768, by 
voice vote, a quorum being present.

                      committee oversight findings

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(A) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee reports 
that the findings and recommendations of the Committee, based 
on oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

         committee on government reform and oversight findings

    No findings or recommendations of the Committee on 
Government Reform and Oversight were received as referred to in 
clause 2(l)(3)(D) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

               new budget authority and tax expenditures

    Clause 2(l)(3)(B) of House Rule XI is inapplicable because 
this legislation does not provide new budgetary authority or 
increased tax expenditures.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(C) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets 
forth, with respect to the bill, S. 768, the following estimate 
and comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office under section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 11, 1997.
Hon. Henry J. Hyde,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 768, an act for the 
relief of Michel Christopher Meili, Giuseppina Meili, Mirjam 
Naomi Meili, and Davide Meili.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacted is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

S. 768--An act for the relief of Michel Christopher Meili, Giuseppina 
        Meili, Mirjam Naomi Meili, and Davide Meili

    CBO estimates that enacting this legislation would have no 
significant impact on the federal budget. S. 768 would not 
affect direct spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply. This act contains no intergovernmental 
or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act of 1995 and would impose no costs on state, local, 
or tribal governments.
    S. 768 would grant permanent residence to Michel 
Christopher Meili, Giuseppina Meili, Mirjam Naomi Meili, and 
Davide Meili. This act would not affect the total level of 
immigration; thus, enacting this legislation would have no 
significant impact on the federal budget.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
This estimate was approved by Paul N. Van de Water, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to rule XI, clause 2(l)(4) of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds the authority for 
this legislation in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 10 of the 
Constitution.

                              Agency Views

    The comments of the Immigration and Naturalization Service 
on S. 768 are as follows:

                        U.S. Department of Justice,
                    Immigration and Naturalization Service,
                                      Washington, DC, June 6, 1997.
Hon. Henry J. Hyde,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: S. 768 is a private bill which would 
grant permanent resident status to Michel Christopher Meili and 
his family members, Giuseppina Meili, Mirjam Naomi Meili, and 
Davide Meili.
    Mr. Meili was a security guard at a Swiss bank, who kept 
certain Holocaust-era Swiss bank records from being shredded 
and turned them over to the Swiss police and to the Jewish 
community in Zurich. Mr. Meili, his wife, and two minor 
children arrived in the United States on April 30, 1997, and 
were admitted as visitors for pleasure under the Visa Waiver 
Pilot Program until July 29, 1997. No extensions are available 
for aliens admitted under Section 217 of the Immigration and 
Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1187.
    We have reviewed the circumstances of Mr. Meili and his 
family and would confirm that there is no immediate relief 
under existing law available to him and his family as a 
condition of their admission under the Visa Waiver Pilot 
Program. Mr. Meili and his family members waived their right to 
a removal hearing, except for consideration of an application 
for asylum. Although Mr. Meili has never filed for asylum under 
Section 208 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1158, it would seem extremely 
unlikely that he could establish that the harm he fears is on 
account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a 
particular social group or political opinion or that the Swiss 
Government is unable or unwilling to control those who have 
threatened harm to him and his family.
    The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has not 
completed background checks on the Meili family, and, 
therefore, does not take a position on the merits of S. 768 
with regard to the specifics of this case. However, the INS has 
no objection on legal or policy grounds to the passage of S. 
768.
    We hope that the information provided is useful. If we may 
be of assistance in the future, please let us know.
            Sincerely,
                                    Allen Erenbaum,
                   Acting Director, Congressional Relations
                                            (For the Commissioner).