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105th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 1st Session                                                    105-147
_______________________________________________________________________


 
       INELIGIBILITY OF ILLEGAL ALIENS FOR RELOCATION ASSISTANCE

                                _______
                                

                 June 23, 1997.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


 Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 849]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 849) to prohibit an alien who is 
not lawfully present in the United States from receiving 
assistance under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real 
Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, having considered 
the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and 
recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. DISPLACED PERSONS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR ASSISTANCE.

  (a) In General.--Title I of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and 
Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.) 
is amended by adding at the end the following:

``SEC. 104. DISPLACED PERSONS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR ASSISTANCE.

  ``(a) In General.--Except as provided in subsection (c), a displaced 
person shall not be eligible to receive relocation payments or any 
other assistance under this Act if the displaced person is an alien not 
lawfully present in the United States.
  ``(b) Determinations of Eligibility.--
          ``(1) Issuance of regulations.--Not later than 6 months after 
        the date of the enactment of this section, and after providing 
        notice and an opportunity for public comment, the head of the 
        lead agency shall issue regulations to carry out subsection 
        (a).
          ``(2) Contents of regulations.--Regulations issued under 
        paragraph (1) shall--
                  ``(A) prescribe the processes, procedures, and 
                information that a displacing agency must use in 
                determining whether a displaced person is an alien not 
                lawfully present in the United States;
                  ``(B) prohibit a displacing agency from 
                discriminating against any displaced person;
                  ``(C) ensure that each eligibility determination is 
                fair and based on reliable information; and
                  ``(D) prescribe standards for a displacing agency to 
                apply in making determinations relating to exceptional 
                and extremely unusual hardship under subsection (c).
  ``(c) Exceptional and Extremely Unusual Hardship.--If a displacing 
agency determines by clear and convincing evidence that a determination 
of the ineligibility of a displaced person under subsection (a) would 
result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to an individual 
who is the displaced person's spouse, parent, or child and who is a 
citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for 
permanent residence, the displacing agency shall provide relocation 
payments and other assistance to the displaced person under this Act if 
the displaced person is otherwise eligible for such assistance.
  ``(d) Limitation on Statutory Construction.--Nothing in this section 
may be construed to affect any rights available to a displaced person 
under any other provision of Federal or State law.''.

SEC. 2. DUTIES OF LEAD AGENCY.

  Section 213(a) of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property 
Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 4633(a)) is amended--
          (1) by redesignating paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) as 
        paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively; and
          (2) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:
          ``(2) provide, in consultation with the Attorney General 
        (acting through the Commissioner of the Immigration and 
        Naturalization Service), through training and technical 
        assistance activities, information developed with the Attorney 
        General (acting through the Commissioner) on proper 
        implementation of section 104;
          ``(3) ensure that displacing agencies implement section 104 
        fairly and without discrimination;''.

                          Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of this legislation is to amend the Uniform 
Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies 
Act of 1970 (URA) to prohibit individuals who are aliens not 
lawfully present in the United States from receiving relocation 
assistance.

                          Need for Legislation

    The URA provides a statutory scheme of compensation to any 
person who is displaced from property as a result of the 
acquisition of that property for a Federal program or project 
or for a project which uses Federal financial assistance. 
Displaced people entitled to compensation are property 
occupants including: real property owners; residential tenants; 
and operators of businesses and farms. To the extent that the 
statutory scheme applies to real property owner/occupants, it 
is a legislative supplement to the compensation required by the 
Just Compensation clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United 
States Constitution. For tenants and business operators who are 
not real property owners, recovery under the Just Compensation 
clause is extremely rare and the URA will typically provide the 
only compensation of any significance. In all cases URA 
compensation is based upon a regulatory formula taking into 
account such factors as moving costs, length of occupancy and 
rent or mortgage differentials.
    H.R. 849, will deny relocation compensation to any 
individual who is an alien ``not lawfully present in the United 
States,'' i.e. an illegal alien. It was prompted by local press 
reports from Oceanside, California detailing $12,000 in 
compensation and assistance to an allegedly illegal alien 
displaced from public housing by condemnation of the building 
for a local community AIDS center. The Immigration and 
Naturalization Service is currently investigating this person's 
immigration status. There are also press reports of a similar 
instance in New Jersey.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    As ordered reported by the Committee, H.R. 849 contains the 
following sections:
    Section 1.--Section 1 amends the Uniform Relocation 
Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 
by adding a new section to the law, Section 104. The provisions 
of new Section 104 are as follows:
    Section 104(a) prohibits relocation payments to any 
displaced person who is an illegal alien, that is, one who is 
``not lawfully present'' in the United States. The Committee 
understands that ``not lawfully present'' is a term of art in 
immigration law and is limited to those who are unlawfully 
present in the United States after the expiration of the period 
of stay authorized by the Attorney General or are present in 
the United States without being admitted or paroled. Those who 
are lawfully present in the United States include both those 
with American citizenship and those who are lawful residents.
    The Committee also understands that the phrase ``not 
lawfully present'' is limited to those contexts where an alien 
is illegally in the United States. The phrase should not be, 
and has not been, interpreted to mean that relocation 
assistance should be denied to those who lawfully own property 
in the United States and are not in the United States 
unlawfully at the time eligibility for relocation assistance is 
determined. A foreign national who resides outside the United 
States, or an American citizen residing outside the United 
States, but who owns property within the United States will not 
be denied relocation assistance by this provision.
    Section 104(b) directs the Department of Transportation to 
issue regulations implementing Section 104(a) within 6 months 
of enactment of the bill into law. In issuing these regulations 
the Department must provide for public notice and comment. The 
regulations shall prescribe the processes, procedures and 
information all agencies will use in determining whether a 
displaced person is ineligible for relocation payments under 
subsection (a). The regulations will also prohibit 
discrimination and will be required to ensure that all 
individual eligibility determinations are based on reliable 
information.
    It is not the Committee's intent to specify precisely the 
content of such regulations. However, the Committee anticipates 
that these regulations will conform to the following 
principles:
    (1) The regulations for determining eligibility for 
relocation assistance based upon immigration status will be 
applied uniformly to all applicants. All applicants will be 
required to establish eligibility by demonstrating citizenship 
or lawful residence and uniform standards for establishing 
eligibility shall apply to all applicants.
    (2) The regulations will establish procedures and standards 
for the determination of eligibility for relocation benefits of 
those whose immigration status has yet to be determined, such 
as asylum seekers. The Committee intends that the regulations 
shall establish standards that every displacing agency would 
apply to such cases. All displacing agencies should treat 
similarly situated individuals in a similar fashion.
    (3) The regulations will adopt uniform evidentiary 
standards which displacing agencies will use to establish 
eligibility for relocation assistance. The Committee expects 
that the regulations will list documents a displacing agency 
may request as evidence of lawful residency or citizenship. For 
example, 8 U.S.C. Sec. 274A of the Immigration and Nationality 
Act lists documents that employers may request to determine a 
person's eligibility for employment. A comparable list could be 
developed for the relocation assistance context.
    (4) The regulations will incorporate existing regulations 
relating to administrative appeals from adverse determinations, 
such as those set forth in 49 CFR 24.10. These regulations 
derive from Section 213(b)(3) of the URA which the Committee 
intends to apply to eligibility determinations under Section 
104. The Committee also anticipatesthat relocation notices 
required pursuant to 49 CFR 24.203 will clearly indicate that the right 
to appeal includes appeal of an eligibility determination under Section 
104.
    The Committee notes that, in requiring that the regulations 
provide for the determination of eligibility for relocation 
assistance on the basis of ``reliable evidence,'' the Committee 
is speaking to the nature and quantum of evidence necessary and 
suitable for each individual eligibility determination. It is 
not the Committee's intent that the Department of 
Transportation should assess the overall reliability of 
existing databases and information systems of the Immigration 
and Naturalization Service (INS). To the contrary, the 
Committee anticipates that the regulations will incorporate the 
expertise of the INS in determining immigration status and will 
rely upon existing information and databases developed by the 
INS, such as the System for Alien Verification of Eligibility 
established in Section 121(a) of the Immigration Reform and 
Control Act of 1986, or comparable systems.
    Section 104(c) provides a safety net for those highly 
unusual and rare situations where, in the case of a person not 
lawfully present in the United States, failure to provide 
compensation for displacement would cause exceptional and 
extremely unusual hardship to a displaced alien's spouse, child 
or parent who is a United States citizen or a lawful resident 
alien. In such rare circumstances it is appropriate to waive 
the ineligibility that is otherwise applicable under subsection 
(a) even though the recipient is an illegal alien.
    The Committee intends that this exemption be used very 
sparingly. Accordingly, the Committee has adopted the hardship 
standard established for the cancellation of removal under the 
Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 
1996, 8 U.S.C. Sec. 240A(b)(1)(D) . A level of hardship that 
would merit cancellation of removal should also merit 
displacement compensation under the Uniform Relocation 
Assistance Act for those not lawfully present in the United 
States if they otherwise qualify as a displaced person. The 
Committee anticipates that in providing guidance to displacing 
agencies for implementing subsection (c) the lead agency will 
be informed and guided by the standards developed in the 
interpretation of the parallel immigration provisions.
    Displacement always causes some degree of hardship; the 
exemption described in subsection (c) is intended to be applied 
to those situations which are truly extraordinary and warrant 
an exception. Thus, the Committee intends that the agency 
require clear and convincing evidence of harm to an illegal 
alien's spouse, child or parent (who is a United States citizen 
or lawfully resident alien) that is substantially beyond that 
which would ordinarily result from displacement. For example, 
the mere fact that the displaced person is an illegal alien who 
has a spouse, parent or child of U.S. citizenship would not, by 
itself, provide a basis for exempting the alien from the 
operation of the provisions of this Act. Indeed, it was the 
provision of compensation in these circumstances under existing 
law that was a prime motivation for this legislation. Nor would 
the Committee anticipate that social circumstances, such as 
having become acclimated to life in the United States or a 
particular locality, would constitute the requisite hardship.
    The Committee shares the Judiciary Committee's view that:

        * * * our immigration law is generally clear that an 
        alien may not derive benefits or compensation through 
        his or her child, parent or spouse who is a United 
        States citizen. The availability in truly exceptional 
        cases or relief under [subsection (c)] must not 
        undermine this or other fundamental immigration 
        enforcement policies.

House Rpt. 104-828, at 213-14 (104th Cong. 2d Sess.) (referring 
to Section 240A as enacted in the Illegal Immigration Reform 
and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996).
    Despite the narrowness of this exemption, the Committee 
believes that it is important to include such a provision in 
law for two reasons. First, an exemption from ineligibility for 
compensation for exceptional and extremely unusual cases is 
necessary to establish consistency between this legislation and 
general immigration law. Second, the Committee recognizes that 
extreme conditions which cannot presently be foreseen can arise 
that would warrant an exemption.
    Section 104(d) makes clear that nothing in the provisions 
of H.R. 849 in any way replaces or modifies other rights that a 
displaced person might have under Federal or state laws other 
than the URA. To the extent that illegal aliens have a real 
property interest for which they may seek compensation under 
the Just Compensation clause of the United States Constitution, 
under a relevant state constitution, or under other applicable 
Federal or state laws, they remain free to do so. The sole 
intention of H.R. 849 is to eliminate the Federal right to 
relocation assistance under the URA.
    Section 2.--Section 2 requires the Secretary of 
Transportation, in consultation with the Attorney General, to 
provide training to other agencies on the proper implementation 
of Section 104 and to ensure that Section 104 is implemented 
fairly and without discrimination.

                        Committee Consideration

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held no 
hearings on the legislation. The Committee, at a meeting on 
June 11, 1997, a quorum being present, discharged the 
Subcommittee on Surface Transportation from further 
consideration of H.R. 849, unanimously approved the bill, as 
amended, by voice vote and ordered it reported.

                             Rollcall Vote

    Clause 2(l)(2)(A) and (B) of rule XI requires that a 
majority of a committee be present in order to report a 
measure; and that each committee report include the total 
number of votes cast for and against on each roll call vote on 
a motion to report the measure and the names of those members 
voting for and against. On June 11, 1997, the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure met in open markup wherein 
Mr. Petrimoved to report H.R. 849, as amended, favorably to the 
whole House. The bill, as amended, was favorably reported by voice 
vote, a quorum being present.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Clause 2(l)(3)(A) of rule XI requires each committee report 
to contain oversight findings and recommendations required 
pursuant to clause 2(b)(1) of rule X. The Transportation and 
Infrastructure Committee has no specific oversight findings.

 Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee on Government 
                          Reform and Oversight

    Clause 2(l)(3)(D) of rule XI requires each committee report 
to contain a summary of the oversight findings and 
recommendations made by the Government Reform and Oversight 
Committee pursuant to clause 4(c)(2) of rule X, whenever such 
findings have been timely submitted. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure has received no such findings 
or recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    Clause 2(l)(3)(B) of rule XI requires each committee report 
that accompanies a measure providing new budget authority, new 
spending authority or changing revenues or tax expenditures to 
contain a cost estimate, as required by section 308(a)(1) of 
the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended. H.R. 849 does 
not provide new budget authority, spending authority, or new 
credit authority as defined by that act; nor does it change 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    Clause 7(a) of rule XIII requires committees to include in 
reports accompanying measures their own estimate of the costs 
to be incurred by the United States by carrying out the 
legislation. The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure 
adopts as its own, the cost estimate prepared by the Director 
of the Congressional Budget Office, pursuant to section 403 of 
the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                 Congressional Budget Office Estimates

    Clause 2(l)(3)(C) of rule XI requires each committee report 
accompanying a measure to include the estimate and comparison 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
pursuant to section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, if timely submitted. The following is the Congressional 
Budget Office cost estimate:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 20, 1997.
Hon. Bud Shuster,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of 
        Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 849, a bill to 
prohibit an alien who is not lawfully present in the United 
States from receiving assistance under the Uniform Relocation 
Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Deborah 
Reis (for federal costs), and Karen L. McVey (for the state and 
local impact).
            Sincerely,
                                              James L. Blum
                                   (For June E. O'Neill, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 849--A bill to prohibit an alien who is not lawfully present in 
        the United States from receiving assistance under the Uniform 
        Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies 
        Act of 1970

    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 849 would cost the 
federal government less than $500,000 over the next year or 
two, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. The bill 
would not affect direct spending or receipts; therefore, pay-
as-you-go procedures would not apply. H.R. 849 would impose no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 and would impose no 
significant costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    H.R. 849 would prevent persons who are not lawfully present 
in the United States from receiving relocation payments or 
other assistance when real property they occupy is acquired by 
a federal agency or with federal financing. The bill would 
require the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to 
promulgate regulations within six months of enactment to 
implement the new law, including rules for determining whether 
a displaced person is lawfully present in the country and 
standards for judging when exceptions should be made for 
unusual hardship. DOT also would be responsible for providing 
agencies with information on proper implementation of the law 
through training and technical assistance.
    Based on information provided by DOT and other agencies, 
and assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO 
estimates that DOT and other federal agencies would spend less 
than $500,000 to develop the necessary regulations, guidelines, 
and training programs to implement H.R. 849. We expect that the 
bill would have little or no effect on total property 
acquisition costs because so few transactions are likely to 
involve aliens who reside illegally in this country.
    The bill would place a new requirement on state, local, 
and, in some circumstances, tribal entities carrying out 
programs or projects with federal financial assistance that 
result in the displacement of persons. As a condition of 
receiving such assistance the affected entities would have to 
determine whether displaced persons are lawfully present in the 
U.S. Based on discussions with the U.S. Departments of 
Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, the 
Immigration and Naturalization Service, and affected agencies, 
CBO estimates that the additional administrative costs to 
state, local, and tribal governments would be minimal.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Deborah Reis 
(for federal costs), and Karen L. McVey (for the state and 
local impact). This estimate was approved by Paul N. Van de 
Water, Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause (2)(l)(4) of rule XI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, committee reports on a bill or joint 
resolution of a public character shall include a statement 
citing the specific powers granted to the Congress in the 
Constitution to enact the measure. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure finds that Congress has the 
authority to enact this measure pursuant to its powers granted 
under article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the 
bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed 
to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is 
printed in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed 
is shown in roman):

 UNIFORM RELOCATION ASSISTANCE AND REAL PROPERTY ACQUISITION POLICIES 
                              ACT OF 1970

          * * * * * * *

                      TITLE I--GENERAL PROVISIONS

          * * * * * * *

SEC. 104. DISPLACED PERSONS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR ASSISTANCE.

  (a) In General.--Except as provided in subsection (c), a 
displaced person shall not be eligible to receive relocation 
payments or any other assistance under this Act if the 
displaced person is an alien not lawfully present in the United 
States.
  (b) Determinations of Eligibility.--
          (1) Issuance of regulations.--Not later than 6 months 
        after the date of the enactment of this section, and 
        after providing notice and an opportunity for public 
        comment, the head of the lead agency shall issue 
        regulations to carry out subsection (a).
          (2) Contents of regulations.--Regulations issued 
        under paragraph (1) shall--
                  (A) prescribe the processes, procedures, and 
                information that a displacing agency must use 
                in determining whether a displaced person is an 
                alien not lawfully present in the United 
                States;
                  (B) prohibit a displacing agency from 
                discriminating against any displaced person;
                  (C) ensure that each eligibility 
                determination is fair and based on reliable 
                information; and
                  (D) prescribe standards for a displacing 
                agency to apply in making determinations 
                relating to exceptional and extremely unusual 
                hardship under subsection (c).
  (c) Exceptional and Extremely Unusual Hardship.--If a 
displacing agency determines by clear and convincing evidence 
that a determination of the ineligibility of a displaced person 
under subsection (a) would result in exceptional and extremely 
unusual hardship to an individual who is the displaced person's 
spouse, parent, or child and who is a citizen of the United 
States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, 
the displacing agency shall provide relocation payments and 
other assistance to the displaced person under this Act if the 
displaced person is otherwise eligible for such assistance.
  (d) Limitation on Statutory Construction.--Nothing in this 
section may be construed to affect any rights available to a 
displaced person under any other provision of Federal or State 
law.
          * * * * * * *

                TITLE II--UNIFORM RELOCATION ASSISTANCE

          * * * * * * *

                         duties of lead agency

      Sec. 213. (a) The head of the lead agency shall--
          (1) develop, publish, and issue, with the active 
        participation of the Secretary of Housing and Urban 
        Development and the heads of other Federal agencies 
        responsible for funding relocation and acquisition 
        actions, and in coordination with State and local 
        governments, such regulations as may be necessary to 
        carry out this Act;
          (2) provide, in consultation with the Attorney 
        General (acting through the Commissioner of the 
        Immigration and Naturalization Service), through 
        training and technical assistance activities, 
        information developed with the Attorney General (acting 
        through the Commissioner) on proper implementation of 
        section 104;
          (3) ensure that displacing agencies implement section 
        104 fairly and without discrimination;
          [(2)] (4) ensure that relocation assistance 
        activities under this Act are coordinated with low-
        income housing assistance programs or projects by a 
        Federal agency or a State or State agency with Federal 
        financial assistance;
          [(3)] (5) monitor, in coordination with other Federal 
        agencies, the implementation and enforcement of this 
        Act and report to the Congress, as appropriate, on any 
        major issues or problems with respect to any policy or 
        other provision of this Act; and
          [(4)] (6) perform such other duties as may be 
        necessary to carry out this Act.
          * * * * * * *