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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     110-909

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



 
                SEPTEMBER 11 FAMILY HUMANITARIAN RELIEF 
                           AND PATRIOTISM ACT

                                _______
                                

October 3, 2008.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1071]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 1071) to provide the nonimmigrant spouses and 
children of nonimmigrant aliens who perished in the September 
11 terrorist attacks an opportunity to adjust their status to 
that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that the 
bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
The Amendment....................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     4
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     4
Hearings.........................................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     7
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     7
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     7
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     8
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     8
Advisory on Earmarks.............................................     8
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     8
Agency Views.....................................................    10
Dissenting Views.................................................    13

                             The Amendment

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``September 11 Family Humanitarian 
Relief and Patriotism Act''.

SEC. 2. ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS FOR CERTAIN NONIMMIGRANT VICTIMS OF 
                    TERRORISM.

    (a) Adjustment of Status.--
            (1) In general.--The status of any alien described in 
        subsection (b) shall be adjusted by the Secretary of Homeland 
        Security to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent 
        residence, if the alien--
                    (A) applies for such adjustment not later than 2 
                years after the date on which the Secretary promulgates 
                final regulations to implement this section; and
                    (B) is otherwise admissible to the United States 
                for permanent residence, except in determining such 
                admissibility the grounds for inadmissibility specified 
                in paragraphs (4), (5), (6)(A), (7)(A), and (9)(B) of 
                section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act 
                (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)) shall not apply.
            (2) Rules in applying certain provisions.--In the case of 
        an alien described in subsection (b) who is applying for 
        adjustment of status under this section--
                    (A) the provisions of section 241(a)(5) of the 
                Immigration and Nationality Act shall not apply; and
                    (B) the Secretary of Homeland Security may grant 
                the alien a waiver of the grounds of inadmissibility 
                under subparagraphs (A) and (C) of section 212(a)(9) of 
                such Act.
        In granting waivers under subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall 
        use standards used in granting consent under subparagraphs 
        (A)(iii) and (C)(ii) of such section 212(a)(9).
            (3) Relationship of application to certain orders.--An 
        alien present in the United States who has been ordered 
        excluded, deported, removed, or ordered to depart voluntarily 
        from the United States under any provision of the Immigration 
        and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) may, 
        notwithstanding such order, apply for adjustment of status 
        under paragraph (1). Such an alien may not be required, as a 
        condition of submitting or granting such application, to file a 
        separate motion to reopen, reconsider, or vacate such order. If 
        the Secretary of Homeland Security grants the application, the 
        Secretary shall cancel the order. If the Secretary renders a 
        final administrative decision to deny the application, the 
        order shall be effective and enforceable to the same extent as 
        if the application had not been made.
    (b) Aliens Eligible for Adjustment of Status.--The benefits 
provided by subsection (a) shall apply to any alien who--
            (1) was lawfully present in the United States as a 
        nonimmigrant alien described in section 101(a)(15) of the 
        Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)) on 
        September 10, 2001;
            (2) was, on such date, the spouse, child, dependent son, or 
        dependent daughter of an alien who--
                    (A) was lawfully present in the United States as a 
                nonimmigrant alien described in section 101(a)(15) of 
                the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
                1101(a)(15)) on such date; and
                    (B) died as a direct result of a specified 
                terrorist activity; and
            (3) was deemed to be a beneficiary of, and by, the 
        September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 (42 U.S.C. 
        40101).
    (c) Stay of Removal; Work Authorization.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary of Homeland Security and the 
        Attorney General shall provide by regulation for an alien 
        subject to a final order of removal to seek a stay of such 
        order based on the filing of an application under subsection 
        (a).
            (2) During certain proceedings.--Notwithstanding any 
        provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 
        et seq.), the Attorney General shall not order any alien to be 
        removed from the United States, if the alien is in removal 
        proceedings under any provision of such Act and has applied for 
        adjustment of status under subsection (a), except where the 
        Secretary has rendered a final administrative determination to 
        deny the application.
            (3) Work authorization.--The Secretary of Homeland Security 
        shall authorize an alien who has applied for adjustment of 
        status under subsection (a) to engage in employment in the 
        United States during the pendency of such application.
    (d) Availability of Administrative Review.--The Secretary of 
Homeland Security shall provide to applicants for adjustment of status 
under subsection (a) the same right to, and procedures for, 
administrative review as are provided to--
            (1) applicants for adjustment of status under section 245 
        of the Immigration and Nationality Act; or
            (2) aliens subject to removal proceedings under section 240 
        of such Act.

SEC. 3. CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL FOR CERTAIN IMMIGRANT VICTIMS OF 
                    TERRORISM.

    (a) In General.--Subject to the provisions of the Immigration and 
Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), other than subsections (b)(1), 
(d)(1), and (e) of section 240A of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1229b), the 
Attorney General shall, under such section 240A, cancel the removal of, 
and adjust to the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent 
residence, an alien described in subsection (b), if the alien applies 
for such relief.
    (b) Aliens Eligible for Cancellation of Removal.--The benefits 
provided by subsection (a) shall apply to any alien who--
            (1) was, on September 10, 2001, the spouse, child, 
        dependent son, or dependent daughter of an alien who died as a 
        direct result of a specified terrorist activity; and
            (2) was deemed to be a beneficiary of, and by, the 
        September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 (49 U.S.C. 
        40101).
    (c) Stay of Removal; Work Authorization.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary of Homeland Security and the 
        Attorney General shall provide by regulation for an alien 
        subject to a final order of removal to seek a stay of such 
        order based on the filing of an application under subsection 
        (a).
            (2) Work authorization.--The Secretary of Homeland Security 
        shall authorize an alien who has applied for cancellation of 
        removal under subsection (a) to engage in employment in the 
        United States during the pendency of such application.
    (d) Motions To Reopen Removal Proceedings.--Notwithstanding any 
limitation imposed by law on motions to reopen removal proceedings 
(except limitations premised on an alien's conviction of an aggravated 
felony (as defined in section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and 
Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43))), any alien who has become 
eligible for cancellation of removal as a result of the enactment of 
this section may file one motion to reopen removal proceedings to apply 
for such relief. The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney 
General shall designate a specific time period in which all such 
motions to reopen are required to be filed. The period shall begin not 
later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and 
shall extend for a period not to exceed 240 days.

SEC. 4. EXCEPTIONS.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, an alien may not 
be provided relief under this Act if the alien is--
            (1) inadmissible under paragraph (2) or (3) of section 
        212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
        1182(a)), or deportable under paragraph (2) or (4) of section 
        237(a) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1227(a)), including any individual 
        culpable for a specified terrorist activity; or
            (2) a member of the family of an alien described in 
        paragraph (1).

SEC. 5. EVIDENCE OF DEATH.

    For purposes of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security and 
the Attorney General shall use the standards established under section 
426 of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate 
Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) 
Act of 2001 in determining whether death occurred as a direct result of 
a specified terrorist activity.

SEC. 6. DEFINITIONS.

    (a) Application of Immigration and Nationality Act Provisions.--
Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Act, the definitions 
used in the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) 
(excluding the definitions applicable exclusively to title III of such 
Act) shall apply in the administration of this Act.
    (b) Specified Terrorist Activity.--For purposes of this Act, the 
term ``specified terrorist activity'' means any terrorist activity 
conducted against the Government or the people of the United States on 
September 11, 2001.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 1071, the ``September 11 Family Humanitarian Relief 
and Patriotism Act,'' allows the eligible surviving dependents 
of nonimmigrant and undocumented aliens who died as a result of 
the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to become lawful 
permanent residents of the United States.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    Among the victims of the 9/11 attacks were nonimmigrant 
foreign nationals and undocumented immigrants. Their deaths 
left behind husbands, wives and dependent children lacking a 
legal immigration status and with no way to become legal 
residents of the United States. H.R. 1071, the September 11 
Family Humanitarian Relief and Patriotism Act, will grant those 
survivors lawful permanent resident status.
    The bill allows the eligible surviving dependents of 
nonimmigrant and undocumented aliens who died as a result of 
the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to become lawful 
permanent residents of the United States. H.R. 1071 limits 
eligibility to those survivors who registered with and received 
compensation under the Victims Compensation Fund (VCF). Because 
the VCF stopped accepting applications in December 2003, using 
the VCF as a filter provides for a closed class of individuals 
in need of adjustment of their status. Under the bill, 
survivors may not obtain lawful permanent residence if they are 
criminals or have criminal records that would make them 
inadmissible to the United States, nor may they be related to 
those who perpetrated the horrible terrorist attacks of 
September 11, 2001.

                                Hearings

    The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H.R. 
1071.

                        Committee Consideration

    On July 27, 2007, the Subcommittee on Immigration, 
Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law 
met in open session and ordered the bill, H.R. 1071, favorably 
reported without amendment, by a vote of 9 to 3, a quorum being 
present. On August 2, 2007, the Committee met in open session 
and ordered the bill, H.R. 1071, favorably reported without 
amendment, by a rollcall vote of 21 to 10, a quorum being 
present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
following rollcall votes occurred during the Committee's 
consideration of H.R. 1071.
    1. An amendment offered by Mr. King to limit the number of 
beneficiaries under the Act to twenty. Defeated 11 to 17.

                                                 ROLLCALL NO. 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       Ayes            Nays           Present
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Conyers, Jr., Chairman......................................                              X
Mr. Berman......................................................                              X
Mr. Boucher.....................................................
Mr. Nadler......................................................                              X
Mr. Scott.......................................................                              X
Mr. Watt........................................................                              X
Ms. Lofgren.....................................................                              X
Ms. Jackson Lee.................................................
Ms. Waters......................................................                              X
Mr. Delahunt....................................................                              X
Mr. Wexler......................................................                              X
Ms. Sanchez.....................................................                              X
Mr. Cohen.......................................................                              X
Mr. Johnson.....................................................                              X
Ms. Sutton......................................................
Mr. Gutierrez...................................................                              X
Mr. Sherman.....................................................
Ms. Baldwin.....................................................                              X
Mr. Weiner......................................................                              X
Mr. Schiff......................................................                              X
Mr. Davis.......................................................                              X
Ms. Wasserman Schultz...........................................
Mr. Ellison.....................................................
Mr. Smith (Texas)...............................................              X
Mr. Sensenbrenner, Jr...........................................
Mr. Coble.......................................................              X
Mr. Gallegly....................................................
Mr. Goodlatte...................................................
Mr. Chabot......................................................              X
Mr. Lungren.....................................................              X
Mr. Cannon......................................................
Mr. Keller......................................................              X
Mr. Issa........................................................              X
Mr. Pence.......................................................              X
Mr. Forbes......................................................              X
Mr. King........................................................              X
Mr. Feeney......................................................
Mr. Franks......................................................              X
Mr. Gohmert.....................................................
Mr. Jordan......................................................              X
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................             11              17
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2. An amendment by Mr. King to require the beneficiaries of 
the Act to demonstrate their presence within the United States 
on or prior to September 10, 2001, and continuously thereafter 
(with a departure period from the country enduring no more than 
90 consecutive days, or 180 days in aggregate). Defeated 12 to 
20.

                                                 ROLLCALL NO. 2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       Ayes            Nays           Present
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Conyers, Jr., Chairman......................................                              X
Mr. Berman......................................................                              X
Mr. Boucher.....................................................
Mr. Nadler......................................................                              X
Mr. Scott.......................................................                              X
Mr. Watt........................................................                              X
Ms. Lofgren.....................................................                              X
Ms. Jackson Lee.................................................                              X
Ms. Waters......................................................                              X
Mr. Delahunt....................................................                              X
Mr. Wexler......................................................                              X
Ms. Sanchez.....................................................                              X
Mr. Cohen.......................................................                              X
Mr. Johnson.....................................................                              X
Ms. Sutton......................................................
Mr. Gutierrez...................................................                              X
Mr. Sherman.....................................................                              X
Ms. Baldwin.....................................................                              X
Mr. Weiner......................................................                              X
Mr. Schiff......................................................                              X
Mr. Davis.......................................................                              X
Ms. Wasserman Schultz...........................................                              X
Mr. Ellison.....................................................
Mr. Smith (Texas)...............................................              X
Mr. Sensenbrenner, Jr...........................................
Mr. Coble.......................................................              X
Mr. Gallegly....................................................              X
Mr. Goodlatte...................................................
Mr. Chabot......................................................              X
Mr. Lungren.....................................................              X
Mr. Cannon......................................................
Mr. Keller......................................................              X
Mr. Issa........................................................              X
Mr. Pence.......................................................              X
Mr. Forbes......................................................              X
Mr. King........................................................              X
Mr. Feeney......................................................
Mr. Franks......................................................              X
Mr. Gohmert.....................................................
Mr. Jordan......................................................              X
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................             12              20
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    3. A motion to report the bill favorably. Passed 21 to 10.

                                                 ROLLCALL NO. 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       Ayes            Nays           Present
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Conyers, Jr., Chairman......................................              X
Mr. Berman......................................................              X
Mr. Boucher.....................................................
Mr. Nadler......................................................              X
Mr. Scott.......................................................              X
Mr. Watt........................................................              X
Ms. Lofgren.....................................................              X
Ms. Jackson Lee.................................................              X
Ms. Waters......................................................              X
Mr. Delahunt....................................................              X
Mr. Wexler......................................................              X
Ms. Sanchez.....................................................              X
Mr. Cohen.......................................................              X
Mr. Johnson.....................................................              X
Ms. Sutton......................................................
Mr. Gutierrez...................................................              X
Mr. Sherman.....................................................              X
Ms. Baldwin.....................................................              X
Mr. Weiner......................................................              X
Mr. Schiff......................................................              X
Mr. Davis.......................................................              X
Ms. Wasserman Schultz...........................................              X
Mr. Ellison.....................................................
Mr. Smith (Texas)...............................................                              X
Mr. Sensenbrenner, Jr...........................................
Mr. Coble.......................................................                              X
Mr. Gallegly....................................................                              X
Mr. Goodlatte...................................................
Mr. Chabot......................................................                              X
Mr. Lungren.....................................................              X
Mr. Cannon......................................................
Mr. Keller......................................................                              X
Mr. Issa........................................................                              X
Mr. Pence.......................................................
Mr. Forbes......................................................                              X
Mr. King........................................................                              X
Mr. Feeney......................................................
Mr. Franks......................................................                              X
Mr. Gohmert.....................................................
Mr. Jordan......................................................                              X
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................             21              10
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises 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.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives 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, H.R. 1071, 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, August 16, 2007.
Hon. John Conyers, 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 H.R. 1071, the 
``September 11 Family Humanitarian Relief and Patriotism Act.''
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz, who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                           Peter R. Orszag,
                                                  Director.

Enclosure

cc:
        Honorable Lamar S. Smith.
        Ranking Member
H.R. 1071--September 11 Family Humanitarian Relief and Patriotism Act.
    H.R. 1071 would grant permanent U.S. residence to certain 
spouses and dependents of aliens who died in the terrorist 
attacks of September 11, 2001. Enacting this legislation could 
affect direct spending of immigration fees by the Department of 
Homeland Security and the cost of certain federal assistance 
programs. The bill would likely affect a small number of 
persons, however, and CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 1071 
would have no significant budgetary impact. Enacting the bill 
would not affect revenues.
    H.R. 1071 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no significant costs on State, local, or tribal 
governments.
    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, Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H.R. 
1071 requires the Secretary of Homeland Security and the 
Attorney General to promulgate expeditiously regulations or 
other guidance providing for the implementation and 
administration of this Act, and to take steps to ensure that 
each eligible applicant who applies for benefits under this Act 
receives such benefits within 6 months of the date of his or 
application for such benefits.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

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

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 1071 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of Rule XXI.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following discussion describes the bill as reported by 
the Committee.
    Sec. 1. Short title. Section 1 sets forth the short title 
of the bill as the ``September 11 Family Humanitarian Relief 
and Patriotism Act.''
    Sec. 2. Adjustment of Status for Certain Nonimmigrant 
Victims of Terrorism. Section 2 provides adjustment to 
``permanent resident status'' for an individual who, on 
September 10, 2001, was the spouse, child, or dependent child 
of a lawful nonimmigrant alien who died as a result of the 
September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States. 
An applicant must have been deemed to have been a beneficiary 
of the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund of 2001. There 
is a 2-year deadline for applying for a benefit under this 
section once the Secretary of Homeland Security promulgates 
regulations.
    Applicants under this section must be otherwise admissible 
to the United States, although the inadmissibility grounds 
listed in paragraphs (4), (5), (6)(A), (7)(A), and (9)(B) of 
section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act will not 
apply to applicants under this section. Applicants under this 
section who have been ordered excluded, deported, removed, or 
granted voluntary departure may file for and be granted 
permanent residence without having to file a separate motion to 
reopen their exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings.
    Section 2 further provides that applicants must be given an 
opportunity to apply for a stay of removal based on the filing 
of an application to adjust their status to that of a lawful 
permanent resident. The Secretary of Homeland Security must 
provide work authorization to applicants while their 
applications are pending.
    Sec. 3. Cancellation of Removal for Certain Immigrant 
Victims of Terrorism. Section 3 provides for cancellation of 
removal and adjustment to ``permanent resident status'' for an 
individual who was: (1) on September 10, 2001, the spouse, 
child, or dependent child of an alien who died as a result of 
the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United 
States; and (2) deemed to be a beneficiary of the September 
11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. It provides that 
subsections (b)(1), (d)(1), and (e) of section 240A of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act do not apply to applications 
for cancellation of removal filed pursuant to this section.
    Section 3 further provides that eligible applicants may 
file one motion to reopen their exclusion, deportation or 
removal proceedings, notwithstanding any other limitations on 
such filing (with the exception of limitations premised on an 
alien's aggravated felony conviction). Applicants must be given 
an opportunity to apply for a stay of removal based on the 
filing of an application for cancellation of removal under this 
section. The Secretary of Homeland Security must provide work 
authorization to applicants while their applications are 
pending.
    Sec. 4. Exceptions. Section 4 makes the provisions of the 
Act inapplicable to an individual who was: (1) inadmissible or 
deportable under criminal or security grounds, including 
September 11, 2001 terrorist activity; or (2) a family member 
of such an alien. This section ensures that applicants will not 
be granted adjustment of status if they would be otherwise 
disqualified for certain criminal activities and it clarifies 
that the bill does not permit issuing immigration benefits to 
the September 11th hijackers.
    Sec. 5. Evidence of Death. Section 5 provides that the 
Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General use the 
standards established under section 426 of the USA PATRIOT Act 
of 2001 in determining whether death occurred as a direct 
result of a specified terrorist activity.
    Sec. 6. Definitions. Section 6 provides that the 
definitions used in the Immigration and Nationality Act, 
excluding the definitions applicable exclusively to title III 
of such Act, apply in the administration of H.R. 1071. This 
section also defines the term ``specified terrorist activity'' 
to mean any terrorist activity conducted against the Government 
or the people of the United States on September 11, 2001.

                              Agency Views


    (In addition to the Honorable John Conyers, Jr., the 
preceding letter was also sent to the Honorable Lamar S. Smith, 
the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, and the Honorable John A. Boehner.)
                            Dissenting Views

    We oppose H.R. 1071, the ``September 11 Family Humanitarian 
and Patriotism Act of 2007.''
    HR. 1071 provides lawful permanent resident status or 
cancellation of removal and permanent resident status to aliens 
who were: (1) on September 10, 2001, the spouse, child, or 
dependent son or daughter of an illegal immigrant or temporary 
visitor or worker who died as a result of the September 11, 
2001, terrorist attacks against the United States; and (2) 
deemed to be a beneficiary of, and by, the September 11th 
Victim Compensation Fund of 2001.
    The attacks of September 11, 2001, were heinous acts of 
international terrorism carried out inside U.S. borders. Over 
3,000 individuals were murdered on that day and the entire 
Nation grieved with the families and friends of those who died.
    But sympathy for the loss of a loved one is no reason to 
grant legal immigration status to those who have violated U.S. 
law to enter and remain in the United States. Such a grant is 
clearly amnesty.
    This issue has been raised previously, most recently during 
the enactment of the USA PATRIOT Act (Pub. L. No. 107-56). The 
PATRIOT Act gave lawful permanent resident status to the alien 
spouse and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent 
residents who were killed as a result of the 9/11 terrorist 
attacks. During PATRIOT Act negotiations, Congress deliberately 
decided not to grant permanent residence to the family members 
of illegal immigrants or temporary visitors or workers.
    H.R. 1071 predicates adjustment of immigration status on 
whether the illegal immigrant was deemed to be a beneficiary of 
the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. In 
essence, if the illegal immigrant submitted a claim for, and 
received compensation from, the September 11th Victim 
Compensation Fund of 2001 due to the death or injury of a 
family member, they are eligible for adjustment of status under 
this bill.
    The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 was 
created by the ``Air Transportation Safety and System 
Stabilization Act of 2001'' (P.L. 107-42). The purpose of the 
Fund was to ``provide compensation to any individual (or 
relatives of a deceased individual) who was physically injured 
or killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes 
of September 11, 2001.''\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Section 403.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Supporters of H.R. 1071 state that only 16 people would be 
affected by this legislation since the eligible class is closed 
(the deadline for making a claim for compensation under the 
September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was December 22, 2003).
    Over 7,300 claims for death or injury were paid out by the 
Fund and over 98% of eligible families of a deceased victim 
submitted claims.\2\ The average claim award for a deceased 
victim was $2,082,127.00. The minimum claim awarded by the fund 
was $250,000 and the maximum claim awarded was $7.1 million.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Closing Statement from the Special Master, Mr. Kenneth R. 
Feinberg, on the Shutdown of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since H.R. 1071 applies to a closed and relatively small 
group of individuals, it is a de facto private relief bill. 
Committee Members are provided with full and complete evidence, 
including biographical background information, on private 
relief bill beneficiaries prior to the consideration of the 
bill by the Judiciary Committee.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Rules of Procedure for Private Claims Bills, Subc. On 
Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International 
Law, Rule 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Members of the Minority requested, through both oral and 
written communications, on several occasions specific 
biographical background information regarding the potential 
beneficiaries of H.R. 1071. Specifically the Minority Members 
requested that the following information be supplied separately 
for each potential beneficiary:

         LCity and state or nation of current 
        residence;

         LDate and place of birth;

         LOccupation & current employment;

         LThrough what means the person entered the 
        United States (ie: crossed the border illegally, 
        entered on a temporary visa, etc.);

         LDate on which the person initially entered 
        the United States;

         LDate and duration of any departures from the 
        United States;

         LAmount of monetary award from the September 
        11 Victim Compensation Fund;

         LCountry of national origin;

         LDate of birth of any U.S. citizen children; 
        and

         LAny criminal history, including date of 
        arrest, case resolution and penalty served or paid.\4\
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    \4\Letter from Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve King 
to Immigration Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren, Aug. 21, 2007.

    Despite the repeated requests, and assurances from Majority 
Members that the information would be provided, very little 
information has been provided to the Minority Members as of the 
time we are filing these views. In fact, no information 
specific to any potential beneficiary was supplied. All Members 
of the Committee should have the opportunity to know exactly 
who may receive the benefit of H.R. 1071.
    Proponents of H.R. 1071 cite as one of the main reasons for 
supporting the legislation that if these illegal immigrants are 
deported, they may be put at risk of kidnapping and other 
crimes involving ``exploitation for their assets.'' In essence, 
proponents of H.R. 1071 are claiming that because the illegal 
immigrants are now wealthy, they should be granted permanent 
residency. This would seem to set a precedent that wealthy 
people in countries with high rates of crime should receive 
asylum because of their wealth.
    In addition, the results of H.R. 1071 are unfair to the 
families of illegal immigrants or temporary workers of visitors 
who die each year in the U.S. as a result of accidents, 
environmental disasters, criminal activity or natural causes.
    Enactment of H.R. 1071 would set a precedent should there 
be any future terrorist attacks, or other disasters, in which 
illegal immigrants or temporary visitors or workers are killed. 
It will be used as justification for similar amnesties in the 
event of such attacks.
    H.R. 1071 undermines the rule of law and American 
sovereignty with a grant of legal immigration status to those 
who lost loved ones in the September 11, 2001 terrorist 
attacks, based solely on the fact of their loss. While it is 
certainly understandable, the grant of such a benefit will set 
an unjustified precedent.

                                   Lamar Smith.
                                   Steve King.