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116th Congress }                                            { Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session    }                                            { 116-423

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


 
 FOR THE RELIEF OF MARIA CARMEN CASTRO RAMIREZ AND J. REFUGIO CARRENO 
                                 ROJAS

                                _______
                                

   May 22, 2020.--Referred to the Private Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1548]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 1548) for the relief of Maria Carmen Castro Ramirez 
and J. Refugio Carreno Rojas, 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.........................................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     4
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     4
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     5
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     5
Advisory on Earmarks.............................................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     6

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 1548, ``For the relief of Maria Carmen Castro Ramirez 
and J. Refugio Carreno Rojas,'' would provide the beneficiaries 
of this private bill, Ms. Castro Ramirez and Mr. Carreno Rojas, 
with an opportunity to obtain lawful permanent resident status 
in the United States.

                Background and Need for the Legislation


                       A. IMMIGRATION BACKGROUND

    Maria Carmen Castro Ramirez and J. Refugio Carreno Rojas 
were both born in Guanajuato, Mexico and separately entered the 
United States without inspection approximately 30 years ago. 
The couple married in 1992 and have three U.S. citizen 
children: Guadalupe Carreno Castro, age 26; Ivan Carreno 
Castro, age 25; and Jose Carreno Castro, age 12.
    In 1994, Ms. Castro Ramirez and Mr. Carreno Rojas were 
placed in separate deportation proceedings. Following 
protracted proceedings and various requests for relief from 
deportation, both received final deportation orders. On January 
27, 2009, Ms. Castro Ramirez and Mr. Carreno Rojas were 
arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Shortly 
thereafter, Mr. Carreno Rojas was deported from the United 
States, while Ms. Castro Ramirez remained in the United States 
pursuant to the grant of multiple stays of removal associated 
with the introduction of private bills on the couple's behalf. 
Desperate to be reunited with his family, Mr. Carreno Rojas 
reentered the United States without inspection in 2011.

           B. NO CRIMINAL HISTORY OR NEGATIVE PUBLIC RECORDS

    In March 2019, the Subcommittee on Immigration and 
Citizenship voted in favor of requesting a report from the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Ms. Castro Ramirez and 
Mr. Carreno Rojas. The report was issued on April 25, 2019 and 
revealed no criminal history or negative public records about 
either individual.

                         C. MEDICAL CONDITIONS

    Two of the couple's children suffer from severe medical 
conditions. As a child, Guadalupe was diagnosed with acute 
Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy. This condition can lead to 
permanent neurological impairment and life-threatening seizures 
if not properly controlled. Twelve-year-old Jose suffers from 
severe asthma that requires the care of a pediatric pulmonology 
specialist, prescription medication, and emergency medical 
services when necessary. Additionally, Jose has been referred 
for psychological treatment, and recently suffered a perforated 
eardrum, which resulted in some hearing loss requiring 
corrective surgery.
    The couple has private insurance, which they receive 
through their employers and which allows them to receive 
quality medical care that they can afford. Medical experts have 
confirmed that the family would be subjected to sub-standard 
medical care if forced to relocate to Mexico, as a result of 
limited medical expertise and shortages of required 
medications. This would make it difficult for Jose to receive 
appropriate care for his asthma, including emergency medical 
care. The medication that Guadalupe takes to treat her 
condition is unavailable in most parts of Mexico. If the family 
is relocated to Mexico, the negative impact on their health and 
well-being would be significant.
    The risks for Jose if he were to remain in the United 
States apart from his parents are also significant. A licensed 
therapist confirmed that if Jose remained in the United States 
while his parents were forced to relocate to Mexico, he would 
likely ``experience negative effects on his personal health 
[which] could manifest as worsened frequency of asthma attacks, 
severity of symptoms, or length of time that the attacks 
occur.''\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Psychological Assessment of Extreme Hardship, Jose Antonio 
Carreno Castro, East Bay Area Therapy at 10 (Mar. 2, 2020), on file 
with Subcommittee.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

            D. HOUSE PRECEDENT FOR CONSIDERATION OF PRIVATE 
                           IMMIGRATION BILLS

    In the modern era, Congress has passed numerous private 
bills for similarly situated individuals, including in cases 
where the beneficiary, or the U.S. citizen spouse or child of a 
beneficiary, suffered from a serious illness and could not 
receive proper treatment in the beneficiary's home country.
    For example, in the 106th Congress, the House passed a 
private bill for Marina Khalina and her son Albert Kifakov, the 
latter of whom had cerebral palsy and would require lifelong 
medical treatment that was unavailable in their home country of 
Russia.\2\ Also in the 106th Congress, the House passed a 
private bill for the relief of Jacqueline Salinas--who was 
paralyzed from the waist down and her children, one of whom was 
afflicted with bone cancer.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\See H.R. Rep. No. 106-956 (2000); See also S.150, 106th Cong. 
(1999).
    \3\See H.R. Rep. No. 106-962 (2000); See also S.1513, 106th Cong. 
(1999).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the 104th Congress, the House passed a private bill for 
Oscar Salas-Velazquez, whose U.S. citizen child and wife were 
carriers of an antigen that predisposes them to developing 
Reiter's syndrome--a severe, disabling, incurable arthritic 
disease which can be triggered by an intestinal infection from 
organisms widespread in Mexico.\4\ Requiring Mr. Salas-
Velazquez's wife and child to join him in Mexico would very 
likely result in the development of Reiter's syndrome.\5\ In 
the 106th Congress, the House also passed a private bill for 
Saeed Rezai, whose U.S. citizen wife was stricken with multiple 
sclerosis.\6\ Medical professionals indicated that her 
condition would likely deteriorate rapidly from the severe 
stress resulting from her husband's removal.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\See H.R. Rep. No. 104-810 (1996); See also H.R. 1031, 104th 
Cong. (1995).
    \5\Id.
    \6\See H.R. Rep. No. 106-905 (2000); See also H.R. 5266, 106th 
Cong. (2000).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                Hearings

    The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H.R. 
1548.

                        Committee Consideration

    On March 11, 2020, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered the bill, H.R. 1548, favorably reported without 
amendment, by a voice vote, 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 there 
were no recorded votes during the Committee's consideration of 
H.R. 1548.

                      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. 1548, 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, May 12, 2020.
Hon. Jerrold Nadler,
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. 1548, a bill for 
the relief of Maria Carmen Castro Ramirez and J. Refugio 
Carreno Rojas.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is David 
Rafferty, who can be reached at 226-2840.
            Sincerely,
                                         Phillip L. Swagel,
                                                          Director.
Enclosure.
        cc: Honorable Doug Collins
           Ranking Member

 
 [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
        

    H.R. 1548 would allow the two people named in the bill to 
become lawful permanent residents. Enacting H.R. 1548 could 
increase direct spending and reduce revenues because lawful 
permanent residents are eligible for certain federal benefits, 
such as Medicaid and premium tax credits for health insurance 
purchased through the marketplaces established by the 
Affordable Care Act, if they otherwise meet the eligibility 
requirements for those benefits. CBO estimates that those 
effects would not be significant because only two people would 
be affected by the bill.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is David Rafferty. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Director of Budget Analysis.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.R. 1548 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the federal government known to be duplicative of 
another federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                    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. 
1548 would provide Maria Carmen Castro Ramirez and J. Refugio 
Carreno Rojas with an opportunity to obtain lawful permanent 
resident status in the United States.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 1548 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of rule XXI.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following discussion describes the bill as reported by 
the Committee.
    Sec. 1. Permanent Resident Status for Maria Carmen Castro 
Ramirez and J. Refugio Carreno Rojas. Subsection (a) provides 
that Maria Carmen Castro Ramirez and J. Refugio Carreno Rojas 
shall each be eligible for issuance of an immigrant visa or for 
adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence upon filing 
the appropriate application.
    Subsection (b) provides that if Ms. Castro Ramirez or Mr. 
Carreno Rojas enter the United States before the filing 
deadline specified in subsection (d), they shall be considered 
to have entered and remained lawfully and shall be eligible for 
adjustment of status as of the date of the enactment of this 
Act.
    Subsection (c)(1) provides that Ms. Castro Ramirez and Mr. 
Carreno Rojas may not be removed from the United States, denied 
admission, or considered ineligible for lawful permanent 
residence by reason of any ground for removal or 
inadmissibility that is reflected in the records of the 
Department of Homeland Security or the Department of State as 
of the date of the enactment of this Act.
    Subsection (c)(2) provides that the Secretary of Homeland 
Security shall rescind any outstanding orders of removal or 
deportation, or any finding of inadmissibility or 
deportability, that has been entered against Ms. Castro Ramirez 
or Mr. Carreno Rojas.
    Subsection (d) requires Ms. Castro Ramirez and Mr. Carreno 
Rojas to apply for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status 
within 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.
    Subsection (e) provides that upon granting an immigrant 
visa or permanent residence to Ms. Castro Ramirez and Mr. 
Carreno Rojas, the Secretary of State shall reduce by two, the 
total number of immigrant visas that are made available to 
natives of the country of their birth.
    Subsection (f) provides that the natural parents, brothers, 
and sisters of Ms. Castro Ramirez and Mr. Carreno Rojas shall 
not, by virtue of such relationship, be accorded any right, 
privilege, or status under the Immigration and Nationality Act.