Immigration Legislation of the House and Senate

The House and Senate have not passed any immigration laws recently that have gained headlines. Yet, as the following indicates, Congress has not been complacent in this regard. These bills would have far reaching effects for the states, including Columbus, Ohio where unemployment remains a focal political issue. Here are just a few of the immigration related legislation to have made it ot the House and Senate since October 2010:

Introduced by Rep Duncan (R-TN), the Marine Sergeant Michael H. Ferschke, Jr. Memorial Act (H.R.6397) would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to consider as a spouse, wife, or husband a party to a marriage ceremony in which the parties were not in each other’s physical presence, and the marriage was not consummated, if the failure to consummate was caused by physical separation because of one party’s active-duty status abroad in the U.S. Armed Forces. The immigration laws act to benefit those serving in the armed forces and this is no exception.

Introduced by Rep. Lofgren (D-CA), H.R.6396 would amend the INA to toll, during active-duty service abroad in the Armed Forces, the periods of time to file a petition and appear for an interview to remove the conditional basis for permanent resident status, and for other purposes.

Introduced by Rep. Green (D-TX), the Pakistani Temporary Protected Status Act of 2010 (H.R.6505) and due to flooding in Pakistan qualifies Pakistan for designation under the Immigration and Nationality Act pursuant to which its nationals would be eligible for temporary protected status (TPS) in the United States. Designates Pakistan as a TPS-eligible country for an initial 12-month period. Sets forth related TPS eligibility requirements, including continuous U.S. presence since July 22, 2010.

Introduced by Rep. Cao (R-LA) Vietnam Human Rights Sanctions Act (H.R. 6433) directs the President to: (1) impose financial and immigration/entry sanctions on listed nationals of Vietnam who are complicit in human rights abuses committed against nationals of Vietnam or their family members, regardless of whether such abuses occurred in Vietnam; and (2) submit to Congress a publicly available list of individuals determined to be complicit in such human rights abuses. Authorizes the President to waive sanctions: (1) to comply with international agreements; and (2) if in the U.S. national interest. Terminates sanctions if the President certifies to Congress that the government of Vietnam has: (1) released all political prisoners; (2) ceased its practices of violence, detention, and abuse of citizens of Vietnam engaging in peaceful political activity; and (3) conducted a transparent investigation into the killings, arrest, and abuse of such political activists and prosecuted those responsible.

Introduced by Rep. Giffith (R-AL) H.R.6438 amends the INA to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to adjust an alien’s status from conditional resident to lawful permanent resident if such person: (1) became a conditional resident as an alien entrepreneur, alien spouse, or alien child on or before December 31, 1998; (2) filed an application to remove conditional resident status on an I-829 form on or before December 31, 2000; and (3) had such form or a motion to reopen or reconsider the denial of such form pending before DHS as of the date of the enactment of this Act.