Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

107th Congress                                            Rept. 107-749
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 1

======================================================================



 
          PERSIAN GULF WAR POW/MIA ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2002

                                _______
                                

                October 15, 2002.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Sensenbrenner, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1339]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (S. 1339) to amend the Bring Them Home Alive Act of 2000 
to provide an asylum program with regard to American Persian 
Gulf War POW/MIAs, and for other purposes, having considered 
the same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     1
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     2
Hearings.........................................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     2
Vote of the Committee............................................     2
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     2
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     3
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     3
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     3
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     4
Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion.......................     4
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     5
Markup Transcript................................................     7

                          Purpose and Summary

    S. 1339 would provide refugee status to certain aliens (and 
their immediate relatives) who delivers into the custody of the 
U.S. government living American prisoners of war from the 
Persian Gulf War.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    The Bring Them Home Alive Act requires the Attorney General 
to provide refugee status to any alien (and his or her parent, 
spouse, or child) who is a national of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, 
China, or any of the independent states of the former Soviet 
Union, and who personally delivers into the custody of the U.S. 
government a living American prisoner of war from the Vietnam 
War. It grants similar status to any alien (and his or her 
family members) who is a national of North Korea, China, or the 
independent states of the former Soviet Union, and who delivers 
a living American prisoner of war from the Korean War. 
Information regarding the Act is to be broadcast by the 
International Broadcasting Bureau over Voice of America and 
other services.
    S. 1339 would amend the Bring Them Home Alive Act to 
encompass the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War and any future American 
pre-emptive military operations against Iraq. There have been 
recent reports that Michael Speicher, a Navy pilot shot down 
over Iraq in 1991, may still be in Iraqi hands. The nation owes 
it to him and to all those who may be called to serve in the 
coming months to take every step possible to ensure that no 
American soldier is left behind.
    The bill provides refugee status to an alien (and his or 
her parent, spouse, or child) who is a national of Iraq or a 
nation of the greater Middle East, who personally delivers into 
the custody of the U.S. government a living American prisoner 
of war from the Persian Gulf War or subsequent actions against 
Iraq. To receive refugee status, the alien could not be 
ineligible for asylum on the basis of the factors set out in 
section 208(b)(2)(A)(i)-(v) of the Immigration and Nationality 
Act (such as being a criminal, a terrorist, or a danger to the 
security of the United States).

                                Hearings

    No hearings were held on S. 1339.

                        Committee Consideration

    On October 9, 2002, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered favorably reported the bill S. 1339 without amendment 
by voice vote, a quorum being present.

                         Vote of the Committee

    There were no recorded votes on S. 1339.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII 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.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    S. 1339 does not authorize funding. Therefore, clause 3(c) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives is 
inapplicable.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of House rule XIII is inapplicable because 
this legislation does not provide new budgetary authority or 
increased tax expenditures.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with 
respect to the bill, S. 1339, the following estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, October 11, 2002.
Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., 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. 1339, the Persian 
Gulf War POW/MIA Accountability Act of 2002.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact for this 
estimate is Mark Grabowicz, who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                  Dan L. Crippen, Director.

Enclosure

cc:
        Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
        Ranking Member
S. 1339--Persian Gulf War POW/MIA Accountability Act of 2002.
    CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would cost 
about $20,000 annually, subject to the availability of 
appropriated funds. The act also could affect direct spending, 
but we estimate that any such effects would be less than 
$100,000 annually. S. 1339 contains no intergovernmental or 
private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act and would not have a significant effect on State 
budgets. The act would have no effect on local or tribal 
governments.
    S. 1339 would grant refugee status to certain nationals of 
selected countries if they deliver into the custody of the 
United States a living American considered to be either a 
prisoner of war or missing in action from the Persian Gulf war. 
Those eligible would include nationals of Iraq and other 
nations of the greater Middle East region, as determined by the 
Attorney General and the Secretary of State. The act would 
require the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to promote 
the refugee program through radio and television broadcasts to 
those countries.
    Based on information from the BBG, CBO estimates that the 
cost of additional international broadcasting would be about 
$20,000 a year. Enacting S. 1339 also could increase the number 
of refugees admitted to the United States, which would increase 
the administrative costs for the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service and the costs for certain Federal entitlement programs. 
However, CBO estimates that any increased spending on these 
activities, which would be classified as direct spending, would 
be less than $100,000 in any year because very few additional 
refugees are expected under S. 1339.
    On July 15, 2002, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 
1339, as reported by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on 
June 27, 2002. The two versions of the legislation are very 
similar, and the cost estimates are identical.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz, 
who can be reached at 226-2860. This estimate was approved by 
Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget 
Analysis.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds the authority for 
this legislation in article 1, section 8, clause 4 of the 
Constitution.

               Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion

Section 1. Short Title.
    The short title of the Act is the ``Persian Gulf War POW/
MIA Accountability Act of 2002.''
Section 2. American Persian Gulf War POW/MIA Asylum Program.
    Section 2 of the bill adds a new section 3A to the Bring 
Them Home Alive Act of 2000.\1\ Section 3A provides that the 
Attorney General shall grant refugee status upon application 
from an alien who is a national of Iraq or a nation of the 
Greater Middle East Region (as determined by the Attorney 
General in consultation with the Secretary of State) and who 
personally delivers into the custody of the U.S. government a 
living American ``POW/MIA'' from the Persian Gulf War or 
subsequent actions. Such status shall also be granted to any 
parent, spouse, or child of such an alien.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Pub. L. No. 106-484, 114 Stat. 2195, 8 U.S.C. sec. 1157 note.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However, under section 3A, an alien would not be eligible 
for refugee status if the Attorney General in his sole 
unreviewable discretion determines that the alien 1) has 
ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the 
persecution of any person on account of race, religion, 
nationality, membership in a particular social group, or 
political opinion, 2) has been convicted by a final judgment of 
a particularly serious crime constituting a danger to the 
community of the U.S., 3) has committed a serious nonpolitical 
crime outside the U.S. prior to his arrival in the U.S., 4) is 
a danger to the security of the U.S., 5) is inadmissible for 
certain terrorism-related activities set forth in section 
212(a)(3)(B)(i)(I)-(IV), (VI) of the INA, including engaging in 
or inciting terrorist activity, being a representative of a 
terrorist organization or an organization that endorses 
terrorist activity (unless the Attorney General determines that 
there are not reasonable grounds for regarding the alien as a 
danger to the security of the U.S.) , or endorsing or espousing 
terrorist activity or persuading others to engage in terrorist 
activity, or 6) is deportable for engaging in terrorist 
activity as set forth in section 237(a)(4)(B) of the INA.
    Section 3A of the bill defines an American Persian Gulf War 
POW/MIA as an individual who is a member of the uniformed 
services of the U.S. or a U.S. government employee, who is in a 
``missing'' status (including being missing, missing in action, 
interned in a foreign country, captured, beleaguered, or 
besieged by a hostile force, or being detained in a foreign 
country against his will) as a result of the Persian Gulf War, 
or any successor conflict, operation, or action such as that 
American might undertake against Iraq in the coming months. 
Such term does not include a person who it has been officially 
determined is officially absent from his post of duty without 
authority. Missing status also requires that the individual at 
the time he went missing be performing service in Kuwait, Iraq, 
or elsewhere in the Greater Middle East Region.
    The Bring Them Home Alive Act requires the International 
Broadcasting Bureau to broadcast, through WORLDNET Television 
and Film Service and Radio, VOA-TV, VOA Radio, or otherwise, 
information that promotes the refugee program created by the 
Act in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China, North Korea, Russia and 
the other independent states of the former Soviet Union. 
Section 3A of the bill adds to this list Iraq, Kuwait, or any 
other country of the Greater Middle East Region.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) 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 italics, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

BRING THEM HOME ALIVE ACT OF 2000

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3A. AMERICAN PERSIAN GULF WAR POW/MIA ASYLUM PROGRAM.

    (a) Asylum for Eligible Aliens.--Notwithstanding any other 
provision of law, the Attorney General shall grant refugee 
status in the United States to any alien described in 
subsection (b), upon the application of that alien.
    (b) Eligibility.--
            (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph 
        (2), an alien described in this subsection is--
                    (A) any alien who--
                            (i) is a national of Iraq or a 
                        nation of the Greater Middle East 
                        Region (as determined by the Attorney 
                        General in consultation with the 
                        Secretary of State); and
                            (ii) personally delivers into the 
                        custody of the United States Government 
                        a living American Persian Gulf War POW/
                        MIA; and
                    (B) any parent, spouse, or child of an 
                alien described in subparagraph (A).
            (2) Exceptions.--An alien described in this 
        subsection does not include a terrorist, a persecutor, 
        a person who has been convicted of a serious criminal 
        offense, or a person who presents a danger to the 
        security of the United States, as set forth in clauses 
        (i) through (v) of section 208(b)(2)(A) of the 
        Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
        1158(b)(2)(A)).
    (c) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) American persian gulf war pow/mia.--
                    (A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), the term ``American Persian 
                Gulf War POW/MIA'' means an individual--
                            (i) who is a member of a uniformed 
                        service (within the meaning of section 
                        101(3) of title 37, United States Code) 
                        in a missing status (as defined in 
                        section 551(2) of such title and this 
                        subsection) as a result of the Persian 
                        Gulf War, or any successor conflict, 
                        operation, or action; or
                            (ii) who is an employee (as defined 
                        in section 5561(2) of title 5, United 
                        States Code) in a missing status (as 
                        defined in section 5561(5) of such 
                        title) as a result of the Persian Gulf 
                        War, or any successor conflict, 
                        operation, or action.
                    (B) Exclusion.--Such term does not include 
                an individual with respect to whom it is 
                officially determined under section 552(c) of 
                title 37, United States Code, that such 
                individual is officially absent from such 
                individual's post of duty without authority.
            (2) Missing status.--The term ``missing status'', 
        with respect to the Persian Gulf War, or any successor 
        conflict, operation, or action, means the status of an 
        individual as a result of the Persian Gulf War, or such 
        conflict, operation, or action, if immediately before 
        that status began the individual--
                    (A) was performing service in Kuwait, Iraq, 
                or another nation of the Greater Middle East 
                Region; or
                    (B) was performing service in the Greater 
                Middle East Region in direct support of 
                military operations in Kuwait or Iraq.
            (3) Persian gulf war.--The term ``Persian Gulf 
        War'' means the period beginning on August 2, 1990, and 
        ending on the date thereafter prescribed by 
        Presidential proclamation or by law.

SEC. 4. BROADCASTING INFORMATION ON THE ``BRING THEM HOME ALIVE'' 
                    PROGRAM.

    (a) Requirement.--
            (1) * * *
            (2) Covered countries.--The foreign countries 
        covered by paragraph (1) are--
                    (A) Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China, and 
                North Korea; [and]
                    (B) Russia and the other independent states 
                of the former Soviet Union[.]; and
                    (C) Iraq, Kuwait, or any other country of 
                the Greater Middle East Region (as determined 
                by the International Broadcasting Bureau in 
                consultation with the Attorney General and the 
                Secretary of State).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                           Markup Transcript



                            BUSINESS MEETING

                       WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2002

                  House of Representatives,
                                Committee on the Judiciary,
                                                    Washington, DC.
    The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 11:25 a.m., in 
Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. F. James 
Sensenbrenner [Chairman of the Committee] presiding.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Now, pursuant to notice, I call up 
the bill Senate 1339, the ``Persian Gulf War POW-MIA 
Accountability Act of 2002,'' and move its favorable 
recommendation to the House. Without objection, the bill will 
be considered as read and open for amendment at any point.
    [The bill, S. 1339, follows:]
    
    
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. And the Chair recognizes the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Gekas, for 5 minutes to 
explain the bill.
    Mr. Gekas. I thank the Chair. In the 106th Congress, the 
``Bring Him Home Alive Act'' was enacted as Public Law 106-484. 
This legislation, sponsored by Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell 
and Congressman Joel Hefley, offers refugee status to any 
national of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China, or any of the 
independent states of the former Soviet Union who personally 
delivers into the custody of the U.S. Government a living 
American prisoner of war from the Vietnam War.
    It grants similar status to any national of North Korea, 
China, or the states of the former Soviet Union who delivers a 
living American prisoner of war from the Korean war.
    Information regarding the act is to be broadcast by the 
International Broadcasting Bureau over Voice of America and 
other broadcast services. The ``Bring Him Home Alive Act'' 
signals our continuing dedication to all the Americans who 
served in the Vietnam and Korean Wars. It shall be needed until 
all our soldiers are accounted for.
    S. 1339 amends this act to broaden its coverage to account 
for the Persian Gulf War and any future hostilities in Iraq. 
There have been recent reports that Michael Spiker, a Navy 
pilot shot down over Iraq in 1991, may still be in Iraqi hands. 
We owe it to him and all those who may be called to serve in 
the coming months to pass this bill.
    The bill provides refugee status to a national of Iraq or 
any other nation of the greater Middle East who personally 
delivers into the custody of the U.S. Government a living 
American prisoner of war from the Persian Gulf War or any 
successor conflict. To receive refugee status, the alien cannot 
be ineligible for asylum on account of being a criminal, a 
terrorist, or a danger to the security of the United States.
    We urge support of the bill.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Without objection, all Members' 
opening statements will be placed in the record at this point.
    [The information follows:]
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Are there amendments? If there are 
no amendments, the Chair notes the presence of a reporting 
quorum, and the question occurs on the motion to report the 
bill Senate 1339 favorably.
    All in favor will say aye.
    Opposed, no.
    The ayes appear to have it. The ayes have it. The motion to 
report favorably is adopted.
    Without objection, the Chairman is authorized to move to go 
to conference pursuant to House rules. Without objection, the 
staff is directed to make any technical and conforming changes, 
and all Members will be given 2 days as provided by the House 
rules in which to submit additional dissenting, supplemental, 
or minority views.