FOR THE RELIEF OF KERANTHA POOLE-CHRISTIAN
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR THE LEGISLATION
Kerantha Poole-Christian was born in Jamaica in April 1978. Kerantha is now 22 years old and came to the U.S. with her mother when she was six. Her mother, a domestic worker, maintained residence at the home of the Christians and left Kerantha in the care of the Christians while she worked elsewhere. In 1991, when Kerantha was 12, her mother returned to Jamaica for an immigrant visa interview to qualify for permanent residence status without taking her daughter with her. At that time, the mother was refused the visa and not allowed to return to the U.S.
Three years later the mother died suddenly. According to documents submitted by Senator Torrecelli's office, in April 1992, when Kerantha's age was 14, both of her natural parents requested that the Christians adopt Kerantha. Additionally, a letter was submitted to the subcommittee dated September 25, 1993, from the mother to Kerantha expressing her happiness that the Christians were adopting her when Kerantha's was 15. Documents show that the Christians contacted an attorney to prepare necessary documents for adoption in October 1993. However, the adoption was not finalized until after Kerantha's 16th birthday.
In order for an adoptee to lawfully immigrate to the United States, the immigration law requires an adoption to have occurred prior to the age of 16. Because Kerantha's adoption was not completed until her 17th birthday, she would need a private bill in order to gain permanent residence.
The precedent concerning adoption cases is well-established. Precedent dictates that in order for favorable consideration of a private bill that allows an adoption to be considered legitimate for immigration purposes, the adoption needs to have been finalized and must have been initiated prior to the child's turning 16.
It is clear from the documentation provided that the Christians were actively proceeding with the adoption prior to Kerantha's 16th birthday.
On September 26, 2000, the Committee on the Judiciary met in open session and ordered reported favorably the bill S. 302 without amendment by voice vote, a quorum being present.
COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS
In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(A) of rule XI 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.
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM FINDINGS
No findings or recommendations of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight were received as referred to in clause 2(l)(3)(D) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives.
NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY AND TAX EXPENDITURES
Clause 2(l)(3)(B) of House Rule XI 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(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the committee believes that the bill would have no significant impact on the Federal budget. This is based on the Congressional Budget Office cost estimate on S. 302. That Congressional Budget Office cost estimate follows:
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, September 26, 2000.
Hon. HENRY J. HYDE, CHAIRMAN,
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The Congressional Budget Office has reviewed H.R. 5266 and S. 302, which were ordered reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary on September 26, 2000. CBO estimates that their enactment would have no significant impact on the federal budget. H.R. 5266 and S. 302 could have a very small effect on fees collected by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and on benefits paid under certain federal entitlement programs. Because these fees and expenditures are classified as direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply. The two pieces of legislation reviewed are:
ĚH.R. 5266, a bill for the relief of Saeed Rezai; and
ĚS. 302, an act for the relief of Kerantha Poole-Christian.
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. This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
Dan L. Crippen, Director.
Honorable John Conyers Jr.
Ranking Democratic Member