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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Congressional Record: July 27, 2001 (Senate)]
[Page S8355-S8366]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr27jy01-114]                         

.......................................
                                 ______
                                 
      By Mr. BROWNBACK (for himself, Mr. Graham, and Mr. Helms):
  S. 1259. A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act with 
respect to the admission of nonimmigrant nurses; to the Committee on 
the Judiciary.
  Mr. BROWNBACK. Madam President, I rise today to introduce the Rural 
and Urban Health Care Act of 2001. I want to thank my cosponsors 
Senator Graham and Senator Helms for their support and leadership on 
this vital issue.
  Nothing can traumatize a family more than a medical emergency, 
particularly one that may have been prevented by timely access to a 
needed medical professional. In Kansas, I know many communities that 
would be without a doctor if it was not for an immigrant physician. I 
know that many communities both in Kansas and around the country would 
benefit from a greater number of not only doctors, but nurses, nurse 
aides, radiologists, medical technicians, and other health-care 
professionals.
  In the area of nurses, it's become apparent that the problem has 
developed into one of national significance.
  According to the American Organization of Nurse Executives, ``A 
nursing shortage is emerging nationwide that is fueled by age-related 
career retirements, small to moderate increases in job creation, and 
reduced nursing school enrollments. Job replacement-related demands due 
to registered nurse age-related retirements are expected to increase 
rapidly over the next 5 to 15 years.''

[[Page S8356]]

  According to data from the Department of Health and Numan Services, 
today 18.3 percent of registered nurses are under the age of 35, 
compared to over 40 percent in 1980. Today, only nine percent of 
registered nurses are under the age of 30, compared to 25 percent in 
1980.
  Projections by economists Peter Buerhaus, Douglas Staiger, and David 
Auerbach show that by the year 2020, the number of registered nurses 
working in America will be ``20 percent below the projected need.''
  I believe this legislation contains many crucial elements that would 
benefit many health care providers and the patients they serve.
  First, the legislation amends the H-1C category established in the 
``Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas of 1999. The problem with that 
category is that it allows only a handful of health care facilities 
throughout the country to hire nurses on temporary visas. That makes 
little sense. We should open the category up to facilities in all 
States, rather than select a handful of hospitals that alone would be 
allowed to hire foreign nurses on temporary visas. In addition, the 
bill streamlines some of the current processes to remove redundancy and 
situations that impede the arrival of nurses to work and help patients 
in the United States.
  Second, the legislation retains stringent labor protections 
established previously for the H-1C category on wages, layoffs and 
strikes.
  Third, the bill authorizes appropriations for the Secretary of Health 
and Human Services to work with states to develop programs aimed at 
increasing the domestic supply of nurses in the United States.
  Finally, the legislation expands an already successful program by 
increasing from 20 to 40 waivers for foreign physicians that may be 
exercised by a particular State, as well allowing a carryover of any 
unused waivers to the next fiscal year. It also eliminates the sunset 
date of the program.
  This bill does not attempt to solve all problems related to this 
issue. Other, more expensive solutions, primarily very long-term, may 
emerge from the HELP or Finance committees. However, it is not possible 
in one bill to address all outstanding financial or labor issues 
present in today's hospitals and nursing homes. Indeed, many of these 
issues will have to be addressed at the State level. But simply because 
we cannot solve all of today's health-care problems, does not mean that 
we abdicate our responsibility to find practical solutions to help real 
people.
  I think this bill provides real and immediate help for problems that 
are only going to grew worse the longer we wait to address them.
  I ask that the text of the bill and a section by section summary of 
the bill be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                S. 1259

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Rural and Urban Health Care 
     Act of 2001''.

     SEC. 2. REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION OF NONIMMIGRANT NURSES.

       (a) Requirements.--Section 212(m) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(m)) is amended to read as 
     follows:
       ``(m)(1) The qualifications referred to in the section 
     101(a)(15)(i)(c), with respect to an alien who is coming to 
     the United States to perform nursing services for a facility, 
     are that the alien--
       ``(A) has obtained a full and unrestricted license to 
     practice professional nursing in the country where the alien 
     obtained nursing education, or has received nursing education 
     in the United States or Canada;
       ``(B) has passed the examination given by the Commission on 
     Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (or has passed another 
     appropriate examination recognized in regulations promulgated 
     in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human 
     Services), or has a full and unrestricted license under State 
     law to practice professional nursing in the State of intended 
     employment; and
       ``(C) is fully qualified and eligible under the laws 
     (including such temporary or interim licensing requirements 
     which authorize the nurse to be employed) governing the place 
     of intended employment to take the State licensure 
     examination after entry into the United States, and the lack 
     of a social security number shall not indicate a lack of 
     eligibility to take the State licensure examination.
       ``(2)(A) The attestation referred to in section 
     101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c), with respect to a facility for which an 
     alien will perform services, is an attestation as to the 
     following:
       ``(i) The employment of the alien will not adversely affect 
     the wages and working conditions of registered nurses 
     similarly employed at the facility.
       ``(ii) The alien employed by the facility will be paid the 
     wage rate for registered nurses similarly employed by the 
     facility.
       ``(iii) There is not a strike or lockout in the course of a 
     labor dispute, the facility did not lay off and will not lay 
     off a registered staff nurse who provides patient care and 
     who is employed by the facility within the period beginning 
     90 days before and ending 90 days after the date of filing of 
     any visa petition for clarification of such an alien under 
     section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c), and the employment of such an 
     alien is not intended or designed to influence an election 
     for a bargaining representative for registered nurses of the 
     facility.
       ``(iv) At the time of the filing of the petition for 
     registered nurses under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c), notice 
     of the filing has been provided by the facility to the 
     bargaining representative of the registered nurses at the 
     facility or, where there is no such bargaining 
     representative, notice of the filing has been provided to the 
     registered nurses employed by the employer at the facility 
     through posting in conspicuous locations.
       ``(v) The facility will not, with respect to any alien 
     issued a visa or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status under 
     section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c)--
       ``(I) authorize the alien to perform nursing services at 
     any worksite other than a worksite controlled by the 
     facility; or
       ``(II) transfer the place of employment of the alien from 
     one worksite to another.
       ``(B) A copy of the attestation shall be provided, within 
     30 days of the date of filing, to registered nurses employed 
     at the facility on the date of filing.
       ``(C) The Secretary of Labor shall review an attestation 
     only for completeness and obvious inaccuracies. Unless the 
     Secretary finds that the attestation is incomplete or 
     obviously inaccurate, the Secretary shall certify the 
     attestation within 7 calendar days of the date of the filing 
     of the attestation. If the attestation is not returned to the 
     facility within 7 calendar days, the attestation shall be 
     deemed certified.
       ``(D) Subject to subparagraph (F), an attestation under 
     subparagraph (A)--
       ``(i) shall expire on the date that is the later of--
       ``(I) the end of the three-year period beginning on the 
     date of its filing with the Secretary; or
       ``(II) the end of the period of admission under section 
     101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) of the last alien with respect to whose 
     admission it was applied (in accordance with clause (ii)); 
     and
       ``(ii) shall apply to petitions filed during the three-year 
     period beginning on the date of its filing with the Secretary 
     if the facility states in each such petition that it 
     continues to comply with the conditions in the attestation.
       ``(E) A facility may meet the requirements under this 
     paragraph with respect to more than one registered nurse in a 
     single petition.
       ``(F)(i) The Secretary shall compile and make available for 
     public examination in a timely manner in Washington, D.C., a 
     list identifying facilities which have filed petitions for 
     classification of nonimmigrants under section 
     101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) and, for each such facility, a copy of 
     the facility's attestation under subparagraph (A) and each 
     such petition filed by the facility.
       ``(ii) The Secretary shall establish a process, including 
     reasonable time limits, for the receipt, investigation, and 
     disposition of complaints respecting a facility's failure to 
     meet conditions attested to or a facility's misrepresentation 
     of a material fact in an attestation. Complaints may be filed 
     by any aggrieved person or organization (including bargaining 
     representatives, associations deemed appropriate by the 
     Secretary, and other aggrieved parties as determined under 
     regulations of the Secretary, but excluding any governmental 
     agency or entity). The Secretary shall conduct an 
     investigation under this clause if there is probable cause to 
     believe that a facility willfully failed to meet conditions 
     attested to. Subject to the time limits established under 
     this clause, this subparagraph shall apply regardless of 
     whether or not an attestation is expired or unexpired at the 
     time a complaint is filed.
       ``(iii) Under such process, the Secretary shall provide, 
     within 180 days after the date such a complaint is filed, for 
     a determination as to whether or not a basis exists to make a 
     finding described in clause (iv). If the Secretary determines 
     that such a basis exists, the Secretary shall provide for 
     notice of such determination to the interested parties and an 
     opportunity for a hearing on the complaint within 60 days of 
     the date of the determination.
       ``(iv) If the Secretary finds, after notice and opportunity 
     for a hearing, that a facility (for which an attestation is 
     made) has willfully failed to meet a condition attested to or 
     that there was a willful misrepresentation of material fact 
     in the attestation, the Secretary shall notify the Attorney 
     General of such finding and may, in addition, impose such 
     other administrative remedies (including civil monetary 
     penalties in an amount not to exceed $1,000 per nurse per 
     violation, with the total penalty not to exceed $10,000 per 
     violation) as the Secretary determines to be appropriate. 
     Upon receipt of such notice,

[[Page S8357]]

     the Attorney General shall not approve petitions filed with 
     respect to a facility during a period of at least one year 
     for nurses to be employed by the facility.
       ``(v) In addition to the sanctions provided for under 
     clause (iv), if the Secretary finds, after notice and an 
     opportunity for a hearing, that a facility has violated the 
     condition attested to under subparagraph (A)(ii) (relating to 
     payment of registered nurses at the facility wage rate), the 
     Secretary shall order the facility to provide for payment of 
     such amounts of back pay as may be required to comply with 
     such condition.
       ``(G)(i) The Secretary shall impose on a facility filing an 
     attestation under subparagraph (A) a filing fee in an amount 
     prescribed by the Secretary based on the costs of carrying 
     out the Secretary's duties under this subsection, but not 
     exceeding $250.
       ``(ii) Fees collected under this subparagraph shall be 
     deposited in a fund established for this purpose in the 
     Treasury of the United States.
       ``(iii) The collected fees in the fund shall be available 
     to the Secretary, to the extent and in such amounts as may be 
     provided in appropriations Acts, to cover the costs described 
     in clause (i), in addition to any other funds that are 
     available to the Secretary to cover such costs.
       ``(3) The period of admission of an alien under section 
     101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) shall be for an initial period not to 
     exceed three years, subject to an extension for a period or 
     periods not to exceed a total period of admission of six 
     years.
       ``(4) A facility that has filed a petition under section 
     101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) to employ a nonimmigrant to perform 
     nursing services for the facility--
       ``(A) shall provide the nonimmigrant a wage rate and 
     working conditions commensurate with those of nurses 
     similarly employed by the facility; and
       ``(B) shall not interfere with the right of the 
     nonimmigrant to join or organize a union.
       ``(5)(A) For purposes of paragraph (2)(A)(iii), the term 
     `lay off', with respect to a worker--
       ``(i) means to cause the worker's loss of employment, other 
     than through a discharge for inadequate performance, 
     violation of workplace rules, cause, voluntary departure, 
     voluntary retirement, or the expiration of a grant or 
     contract; but
       ``(ii) does not include any situation in which the worker 
     is offered, as an alternative to such loss of employment, a 
     similar employment opportunity with the same employer at 
     equivalent or higher compensation and benefits than the 
     position from which the employee was discharged, regardless 
     of whether or not the employee accepts the offer.
       ``(B) Nothing in this paragraph is intended to limit an 
     employee's or an employer's rights under a collective 
     bargaining agreement or other employment contract.
       ``(6) For purposes of this subsection and section 
     101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c), the term `facility' includes a hospital, 
     nursing home, skilled nursing facility, registry, clinic, 
     assisted-living center, and an employer who employs any 
     registered nurse in a home setting.
       ``(7) Except as otherwise provided, in this subsection, the 
     term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Labor.''.
       (b) Implementation.--Not later than 90 days after the date 
     of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor (in 
     consultation, to the extent required, with the Secretary of 
     Health and Human Services) and the Attorney General shall 
     promulgate final or interim final regulations to carry out 
     section 212(m) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (as 
     amended by subsection (a)) The amendments made by this 
     section shall take effect not later than 90 days after the 
     date of the enactment of this Act, without regard to whether 
     or not regulations to carry out such amendments have been 
     promulgated by such date.

     SEC. 3. REPEAL.

       Section 3 of the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Act 
     of 1999 (Public Law 106-95; 8 U.S.C. 1182 note; relating to 
     recommendations for alternative remedy for nursing shortage) 
     is repealed.

     SEC. 4. QUALIFICATION FOR CERTAIN ALIEN NURSES.

       (a) Elimination of Certain Grounds of Inadmissability.--
     Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1182) is amended by striking subsections (a)(5)(C) and (r).
       (b) Procedure for Granting Immigrant Status.--Section 
     204(a)(1)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1154(a)(1)(F)) is amended by adding at the end the following 
     new sentence: ``Any such petition filed on behalf of an alien 
     who will be employed as a professional nurse shall include 
     evidence that the alien--
       ``(i) has passed--

       ``(I) the examination given by the Commission on Graduates 
     of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS); or
       ``(II) another appropriate examination recognized in 
     regulations promulgated in consultation with the Secretary of 
     Health and Human Services; or

       ``(ii) holds a full and unrestricted license to practice 
     professional nursing in the State of intended employment.''.

     SEC. 5. WAIVERS OF TWO-YEAR FOREIGN RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT.

       (a) In General.--Section 214(l) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(l)) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (1)(B), by striking ``20'' and inserting 
     ``40, plus the number of waivers specified in paragraph 
     (4)''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
       ``(4) The number of waivers specified in this paragraph is 
     the total number of unused waivers allotted to all States for 
     a fiscal year divided by the number of States having no 
     unused waivers remaining in the allotment to those States for 
     that fiscal year.''.
       (b) Elimination of Termination Date.--Section 220(c) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994 
     (Public Law 103-416, as amended; 8 U.S.C.1182 note) is 
     amended by striking ``and before June 1, 2002''.

     SEC. 6. OTHER MEASURES TO MEET RURAL AND URBAN HEALTH CARE 
                   NEEDS.

       (a) Grant Authority.--The Secretary of Health and Human 
     Services shall award grants to States, local governments, and 
     institutions of higher education (as defined in section 
     101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965) to fund training, 
     recruitment, and other activities to increase the supply of 
     domestic registered nurses and other needed health care 
     providers.
       (b) Application.--
       (1) In general.--Each eligible entity desiring a grant 
     under this section shall submit an application to the 
     Secretary of Health and Human Services at such time, in such 
     manner, and accompanied by such information as the Secretary 
     may reasonably require.
       (2) Contents.--Each application submitted pursuant to 
     paragraph (1) shall--
       (A) describe the activities for which assistance under this 
     section is sought; and
       (B) provide such additional assurances as the Secretary of 
     Health and Human Services determines to be essential to 
     ensure compliance with the requirements of this section.
       (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized 
     to be appropriated to the Department of Health and Human 
     Services such sums as may be necessary to carry out this 
     section.
                                  ____

    The Rural and Urban Health Care Act of 2001--Section-by-Section

                               section 1.

       The Act may be cited as the ``Rural and Urban Health Care 
     Act of 2001.''

     section 2. requirements for admission of non-immigrant nurses

       Section 212(m) of the Immigration and Nationality Act is 
     amended as follows:
       To qualify, the alien must:
       1. Obtain a full and unrestricted license to practice 
     professional nursing in the country where obtained nursing 
     education, or received nursing education in the U.S. or 
     Canada;
       2. Pass the examination given by the Commission on 
     Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (or other appropriate 
     examination recognized in regulations of Secretary of Health 
     and Human Services), or have a full and unrestricted license 
     under State law to practice in state of intended employment;
       3. Is fully qualified and eligible to take the State 
     licensure examination after entry into the U.S., and lacking 
     a social security number shall not indicate a lack of 
     eligibility to take the State licensure exam.
       The attestation with respect to a facility where an alien 
     will perform services (referred to in section 
     101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c)), requires the following:
       1. The employment of the alien will not adversely affect 
     the wages and working conditions of registered nurses 
     similarly employed at the facility;
       2. The alien will be paid the wage rate for nurses 
     similarly employed by the facility;
       3. There is not a labor dispute involving a strike or 
     lockout at the facility, and the facility did not lay off and 
     will not lay off a registered staff nurse for a period 
     beginning 90 days before and after the date of filing of any 
     visa petition, and the employment of such an alien is not 
     intended or designed to influence an election for a 
     bargaining representative for registered nurses of the 
     facility.
       4. At the time of filing of petition for registered nurses, 
     notice of the filing has been given to the bargaining 
     representative of the nurses at the facility, and in the 
     absence of such representative, notice of the filing has been 
     provided to the nurses employed by the employer at the 
     facility through posting in conspicuous locations.
       5. The facility will not:
       a. Authorize the alien to perform nursing services at any 
     work site other than a work site controlled by the facility;
       b. Transfer the place of employment from one work site to 
     another.
       6. A copy of the attestation shall be provided to the 
     nurses at the facility within 30 days of the date of filing.
       7. The Secretary of Labor shall review an attestation only 
     for completeness and obvious inaccuracies, and shall certify 
     the attestation within 7 days of date of filing. If not 
     returned within 7 days, the attestation shall be deemed 
     certified.
       8. An Attestation shall:
       a. Expire on the date that is the later of:
       1. The end of the three-year period beginning on the date 
     of its filing with the Secretary, or
       2. The end of the period of admission of the last alien 
     section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) was applied; and
       b. Apply to petitions filed during the three-year period if 
     the facility states in each petition that it continues to 
     comply with the conditions in the attestation.

[[Page S8358]]

       9. A facility may meet the requirements listed above with 
     respect to more than one registered nurse in a single 
     petition.
       10. The Secretary shall:
       a. Compile and make available to the public a list 
     identifying facilities which have filed petitions for 
     classification of nonimmigrants under section 
     101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c), and provide a copy of the attestation 
     filed for each facility.
       b. Establish a process for the receipt, investigation, and 
     disposition of complaints respecting a facility's failure to 
     meet conditions attested to or a facility's misrepresentation 
     of a material fact in an attestation. Complaints may be filed 
     by any aggrieved person or organization (but excluding any 
     governmental agency or entity). The Secretary shall conduct 
     an investigation if there is probable cause to believe that a 
     facility willfully failed to meet conditions attested to. 
     This will apply regardless of whether or not an attestation 
     is expired or unexpired at the time a complaint is filed.
       c. If a complaint is filed, the Secretary shall provide 
     within 180 days of filing, a determination as to if a basis 
     exists to make a finding described below (iv). If such a 
     basis exists, the Secretary shall provide notice of such 
     determination to the interested parties, and an 
     opportunity for a hearing on the complaint within 60 days 
     of the date of determination. The Secretary shall 
     promulgate regulations providing for penalties, including 
     civil monetary fines, upon parties who submit complaints 
     that are found to be frivolous.
       d. After notice and opportunity for hearing, if the 
     Secretary finds that a facility has willfully failed to meet 
     a condition attested to, or that there was willful 
     misrepresentation of material fact, the Secretary shall 
     notify the Attorney General of such finding and may also 
     impose administrative remedies (including civil monetary 
     penalties not to exceed $1000 per nurse per violation, with 
     the total penalty not to exceed $10,000 per violation) as the 
     Secretary deems appropriate. Upon receipt of such notice, the 
     Attorney General shall not approve petitions filed with 
     respect to a facility during a period of at least one year 
     for nurses to be employed by the facility.
       e. In addition to the sanctions listed above (iv), if the 
     Secretary finds (after notice and opportunity for hearing) 
     that a facility has violated conditions regarding the payment 
     of registered nurses at the facility wage rate (subparagraph 
     (A)(ii)), the Secretary shall order the facility to provide 
     for payment of back pay to comply with such condition.
       11. The Secretary shall:
       a. Impose a facility filing fee, but not to exceed $250.
       b. Such fees collected shall be deposited in a fund 
     established for this purpose with the Treasury of the United 
     States.
       c. The collected fees shall be available to the Secretary, 
     to the extent provided in appropriation Acts, to cover the 
     costs described above.
       The period of admission of an alien under 
     101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) shall be for an initial period not to 
     exceed three years, and subject to an extension not to exceed 
     a total period of admission of six years.
       A facility that has filed a petition under 
     101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) shall:
       1. Provide a wage rate and working conditions the same as 
     those of nurses similarly employed by the facility.
       2. Not interfere with the right of the immigrant to join or 
     organize a union.
       The term ``lay off'' with respect to a worker (for purposes 
     of paragraph (2)(A)(iii)),
       1. Means to cause the worker's loss of employment, other 
     than a discharge for inadequate performance, violation of 
     workplace rules, cause, voluntary departure, voluntary 
     retirement, or the expiration of a grant or contract; but
       2. Does not include any situation in which the workers 
     offered, as an alternative to such loss, a similar employment 
     opportunity with the same employer at equivalent or higher 
     compensation and benefits than the position from which the 
     employee was discharged, regardless of whether or not the 
     employee accepts the offer.
       3. Nothing in this paragraph is intended to limit an 
     employee's or an employer's rights under a collective 
     bargaining agreement or other employment contract.
       The term `facility' includes a hospital, nursing home, 
     skilled nursing facility, registry, clinic, assisted-living 
     center, and an employer who employs any registered nurse in a 
     home setting.
       The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Labor
       1. Implementation:
       a. No later than 90 days after date of the enactment of 
     this Act, regulations to carry out this amendment shall be 
     made by the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of 
     Health and Human Services, and the Attorney General. The 
     amendments made shall take effect not later than 90 days 
     after the date of the enactment of this Act, without regard 
     to regulations have been made by that date.

                           Section 3. Repeal

       Section 3 of the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas As 
     of 1999 is repealed.

           Section 4. Certification for Certain Alien Nurses

       Any such petitions filed on behalf of an alien who will be 
     employed as a professional nurse shall include evidence that 
     the alien has passed: (I) the examination given by the 
     Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools; or (II) 
     another appropriate examination recognized in regulations 
     promulgated in consultation with the Secretary of Health and 
     Human Services; or holds a full and unrestricted license to 
     practice professional nursing in the State of intended 
     employment.


   Section 5. Waivers of Two-Year Foreign Residence Requirement for 
                           Foreign Physicians

       Section 214(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act is 
     amended
       1. In paragraph (1)(B), by striking ``20'' and inserting 
     ``40, plus the number of waivers specified in paragraph 
     (4)''; and
       2. By adding at the end of the following new paragraph: 
     ``(4) The number of waivers specified in this paragraph is 
     the total number of unused waivers allotted to all State for 
     fiscal year divided by the number of States having no unused 
     waivers remaining in the allotment to those States for that 
     fiscal year.''


  Section 6. Other Measures to Meet Rural and Urban health Care Needs

       The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall award 
     grants to States, local governments, and institutions of 
     higher education to fund training, recruitment, and other 
     activities to increase the supply of domestic registered 
     nurses and other needed health care providers. There are 
     authorized such sums as may be necessary to carry out this 
     section.
                                 ______
                                 
...................................
                                 ______
                                 
      By Mr. DURBIN. (for himself, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Reid, Mr. Dodd, Mr. 
        Wellstone, Mr. Corzine, and Mr. Feingold):
  S. 1265. A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to 
require the Attorney General to cancel the removal and adjust the 
status of certain aliens who were brought to the United States as 
children; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, this past Spring thousands of students 
across our Nation donned their caps and gowns and received their high 
school diplomas as their proud parents and family members looked on. 
This is an important milestone in the lives of both the graduates and 
their parents.
  However, while many of these graduates will be looking forward to 
college, tens of thousands of these students will never get to attend 
college and realize their dreams. Why? Because these children are 
undocumented. Most of these children were brought to the United States 
at a very young age by their parents and did not have the ability to 
make an independent decision about where they would live. They had no 
choice in matter. Thus, they grew up here. They went to school here. 
And like other children, they too had thoughts of realizing the 
American dream. These dreams are quickly dashed when these students 
realize that, unlike their classmates, college is not on their horizon 
because of their immigration status.
  Although Congress and the United States Supreme Court rightfully 
require State and local education agencies to permit undocumented 
children to attend elementary and secondary school, there are very few 
mechanisms under current law for these children to legalize their 
immigration status or go on to college once they have completed their 
high school education. They are effectively denied the opportunity to 
go to college and are constantly under the threat of deportation. Their 
lives are filled with uncertainty and lost opportunity.
  That is why I, along with Senators Kennedy, Reid, Dodd, Wellstone, 
Corzine, and Feingold, am introducing the Children's Adjustment, 
Relief, and Education Act, CARE Act. Representatives Cannon, Berman, 
and Roybal-Allard introduced a companion bill in the House on May 21, 
2001.
  The CARE Act would provide immigration relief to undocumented 
children who are in the United States, have lived a significant portion 
of their lives in this country, are of good moral character, and are 
interested in remaining in the country and continuing their education. 
The CARE Act would help lift these vulnerable children from the shadows 
of society and free them to go to college, regularize their status, and 
fully contribute to our country, now their country.
  The CARE Act includes three major provisions.
  As to restoration of the State option to determine residency for 
purposes of higher education benefits, first, the Act would repeal 
Section 505 of the 1996 immigration law, under which any State that 
provides in-state tuition or other higher education benefits to 
undocumented immigrants must provide the same tuition break or benefit 
to out-of-state residents. In other words, under Section 505, a State 
must charge the same tuition to out-of-state U.S. citizens as 
it charges to resident undocumented aliens. Repeal of Section 505 would 
restore to the States the authority to determine their own residency 
rules.

  As to immigration relief for long-term resident students, second, the 
Act would permit students in America's junior high schools and high 
schools who have good moral character, reside in the United States, and 
have lived in the United States for at least five years to obtain 
special immigration relief, known as cancellation of removal, so that 
they can go to college and eventually become United States citizens. 
The act also applies to high school graduates who are under 21 years of 
age and are either enrolled in or are seriously pursuing admission to 
college.
  As to higher education benefits for Student Adjustment Act 
applicants, finally, the Act would ensure that students who are 
applying for immigration relief under the Act may obtain federal 
student assistance on the same basis as other students while their 
application is being processed.
  This legislation would help children like Luis Miguel in my home 
State of Illinois. Luis was born to a single mother in Guadalajara, 
Mexico. His mother was having a very difficult time living in Mexico so 
she decided to take her children and migrate to the United States. Luis 
was eight years old. He didn't have a say in the matter.
  Luis was enrolled in a grammar school and after school he worked in a 
supermarket carrying groceries for people. Because Luis' mother was 
unable to make ends meet, she sent Luis to live in Chicago with his 
aunt and uncle when he was nine. He has lived there ever since.
  Luis is currently 17 years old and just finished up his junior year 
at Kelly High School in Chicago. He is an above average student, and 
hopes to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago someday and 
become a computer engineer. He says he loves being involved in all 
types of activities because it makes him feel good about himself, and 
motivates him to do better. He is very active in and out of school. He 
is part of his school band, where he plays percussion, and he plays 
soccer in the Davis Square Park League. In the past he has participated 
in his church's choir, marimba band and folkloric ballet dance

[[Page S8364]]

group. Luis also volunteers as a teacher for catechism classes at Holy 
Cross Church.
  Luis has so much promise. But without this legislation, he is barred 
from fulfilling his potential.
  The same is true for a young musical prodigy who recently completed 
her senior year of high school in the City of Chicago. Because of her 
exceptional musical talent, she was offered a scholarship to Juilliard. 
It is only in filling out the application that she learned of her 
undocumented status. Her only recourse: go to Korea, where she has 
never been, and live her life there. I believe our Nation can do better 
than this.
  These stories are not unique to Illinois. Tens of thousands of high 
school students across our Nation, some of them valedictorians, are 
similarly situated and face uncertain futures. They cannot continue 
their lives or education once they graduate from high school. Instead, 
they face deportation.
  Not only do these children suffer but our Nation suffers because we 
are deprived of future contributors and leaders, increased tax 
revenues, economic growth and social richness. We suffer because 
children who might have been scientists, nurses, teachers or engineers 
are forced, instead, to settle for the limited employment options 
available to those without a college degree.
  Moreover, the damage to our communities starts long before high 
school graduation. Guidance counselors report that many promising 
students drop out of school at an early age once they realize that they 
will, as a practical matter, be barred from going to college.
  I urge my colleagues to join me, Senators Kennedy, Reid, Dodd, 
Wellstone, Corzine, and Feingold in supporting this legislation.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be 
printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the 
Record, as follows:

                                S. 1265

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Children's Adjustment, 
     Relief, and Education Act'' or the ``CARE Act''.

     SEC. 2. DEFINITION.

       In this Act, the term ``secondary school student'' means a 
     student enrolled in any of the grades 7 through 12.

     SEC. 3. STATE FLEXIBILITY IN PROVIDING IN-STATE TUITION FOR 
                   COLLEGE-AGE ALIEN CHILDREN.

       (a) In General.--Section 505 of the Illegal Immigration 
     Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (Public Law 
     104-208; division C; 110 Stat. 3009-672) (8 U.S.C. 1623) is 
     hereby repealed.
       (b) Effective Date.--The repeal made by this section to the 
     Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act 
     of 1996 shall take effect as if included in the enactment of 
     such Act.

     SEC. 4. -CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL AND ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS FOR 
                   CERTAIN ALIEN CHILDREN.

       (a) In General.--Section 240A of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1229b) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (b), by inserting at the end the 
     following new paragraph:
       ``(5) Special rule for residents brought to the united 
     states as children.--
       ``(A) Authority.--Subject to the restrictions in 
     subparagraph (B), the Attorney General shall cancel removal 
     of, and adjust to the status of an alien lawfully admitted 
     for permanent residence, an alien who is inadmissible or 
     deportable from the United States, if the alien applies for 
     relief under this paragraph and demonstrates that on the date 
     of application for such relief--
       ``(i) the alien had not attained the age of 21;
       ``(ii) the alien had been physically present in the United 
     States for a continuous period of not less than five years 
     immediately preceding the date of such application;
       ``(iii) the alien had been a person of good moral character 
     during the five-year period preceding the application; and
       ``(iv) the alien--

       ``(I) was a secondary school student in the United States;
       ``(II) was attending an institution of higher education in 
     the United States as defined in section 101 of the Higher 
     Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001); or
       ``(III) with respect to whom the registrar of such an 
     institution of higher education in the United States had 
     certified that the alien had applied for admission, met the 
     minimum standards for admission, and was being considered for 
     admission.

       ``(B) Restrictions on authority.--Subparagraph (A) does not 
     apply to--
       ``(i) an alien who is inadmissible under section 
     212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I), or is deportable under section 
     237(a)(2)(A)(i), unless the Attorney General determines that 
     the alien's removal would result in extreme hardship to the 
     alien, the alien's child, or (in the case of an alien who is 
     a child) to the alien's parent; or
       ``(ii) an alien who is inadmissible under section 
     212(a)(3), or is deportable under section 237(a)(2)(D)(i) or 
     237(a)(2)(D)(ii).''; and
       (2) in subsection (d)(1)(A), by inserting ``or (5)'' after 
     ``subsection (b)(2)''.
       (b) Exemption From Numerical Limitations.--Section 240A of 
     the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1229b), as 
     amended by this Act, is further amended in subsection (e)(3) 
     by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
       ``(C) Aliens described in subsection (b)(5).''.
       (c) Application of Provisions.--For the purpose of applying 
     section 240A(b)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act 
     (as added by subsection (a))--
       (1) an individual shall be deemed to have met the 
     qualifications of clause (i) of such section 240A(b)(5)(A) if 
     the individual--
       (A) had not attained the age of 21 prior to the date of 
     enactment of this Act; and
       (B) applies for relief under this section within 120 days 
     of the effective date of regulations implementing this 
     section; and
       (2) an individual shall be deemed to have met the 
     requirements of clauses (i), (ii), and (iv) of such section 
     240A(b)(5)(A) if--
       (A) the individual would have met such requirements at any 
     time during the four-year period immediately preceding the 
     date of enactment of this Act; and
       (B) the individual has graduated from, or is on the date of 
     application for relief under such section 240A(b)(5) enrolled 
     in, an institution of higher education in the United States 
     (as defined in clause (iv) of such section 240A(b)(5)(A)).
       (d) Confidentiality of Information.--
       (1) Prohibition.--Neither the Attorney General, nor any 
     other official or employee of the Department of Justice may--
       (A) use the information furnished by the applicant pursuant 
     to an application filed under section 240A(b)(5) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (as added by this Act) for 
     any purpose other than to make a determination on the 
     application;
       (B) make any publication whereby the information furnished 
     by any particular individual can be identified; or
       (C) permit anyone other than the sworn officers and 
     employees of the Department or, with respect to applications 
     filed under such section 240A(b)(5) with a designated entity, 
     that designated entity, to examine individual applications.
       (2) Penalty.--Whoever knowingly uses, publishes, or permits 
     information to be examined in violation of this subsection 
     shall be fined not more than $10,000.
       (e) Regulations.--
       (1) Proposed regulation.--Not later than 60 days after the 
     date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall 
     publish proposed regulations implementing this section.
       (2) Interim, final regulations.--Not later than 120 days 
     after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General 
     shall publish final regulations implementing this section. 
     Such regulations shall be effective immediately on an interim 
     basis, but shall be subject to change and revision after 
     public notice and opportunity for a period of public comment.
       (3) Elements of regulations.--In promulgating regulations 
     described in paragraphs (1) and (2), the Attorney General 
     shall do the following:
       (A) Application for relief.--Establish a procedure allowing 
     eligible individuals to apply affirmatively for the relief 
     available under section 240A(b)(5) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (as added by this Act) without being placed 
     in removal proceedings.
       (B) Continuous presence.--Ensure that an alien shall not be 
     considered to have failed to maintain continuous physical 
     presence in the United States for purposes of section 
     240A(b)(5)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (as 
     added by this Act) by virtue of brief, casual, and innocent 
     absences from the United States.
       (f) Conforming Amendment.--Section 240A(b) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1229b(b)), as 
     amended by this Act, is further amended in paragraph (4) by 
     striking ``paragraph (1) or (2)'' each place it occurs and 
     inserting ``paragraph (1), (2), or (5)''.

     SEC. 5. ELIGIBILITY OF CANCELLATION APPLICANTS FOR 
                   EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE.

       (a) Qualified Aliens.--Section 431 of the Personal 
     Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 
     1996 (8 U.S.C. 1641(b)) is amended by adding at the end the 
     following new paragraph:
       ``(8) for purposes of determining eligibility for 
     postsecondary educational assistance, including grants, 
     scholarships, and loans, an alien with respect to whom an 
     application has been filed for relief under section 
     240A(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, but whose 
     application has not been finally adjudicated.''.
       (b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by this section 
     shall apply as if enacted on August 22, 1996.

  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I strongly support the Children's 
Adjustment, Relief, and Education Act. This needed legislation will 
give thousands

[[Page S8365]]

of immigrant children who are presently unable to obtain a higher 
education a fair opportunity to realize the American dream.
  For too many of these children, the highest level of education they 
can hope to attain is a high school diploma. It is not their lack of 
ability or their lack of desire which holds these children back. It is 
the fact that they were born abroad to parents who unlawfully entered 
this country. Under current law, they are often denied State and 
Federal aid for higher education. In an economy in which higher 
education is a prerequisite for higher wages and benefits, the result 
of current law is to relegate these children to an uncertain future.
  It is wrong to punish these children for their parents' actions. That 
is why I strongly support the CARE Act. It will help undocumented 
children who are in the United States, who have lived a significant 
portion of their lives in this country, who are of good moral 
character, and who want to remain in this country and continue their 
education. It will give them special immigration relief so that they 
can go to college and eventually become U.S. citizens. I urge my 
colleagues to support this important legislation.
                                 ______
...............................


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