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H.R. 6618 - Jobs Originated through Launching Travel Act of 2018

Sponsor: Mike Quigley (D)
Introduced: 2018-07-26
Bill Status: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
 
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Full Text


115th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6618


    To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to stimulate international tourism to the United States, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 26, 2018

    Mr. Quigley (for himself, Mr. Rice of South Carolina, Mr. Lipinski, and Mr. Krishnamoorthi) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

    To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to stimulate international tourism to the United States, and for other purposes.

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 “Jobs Originated through Launching Travel Act of 2018” or the “JOLT Act of 2018”.

SEC. 2. Encouraging Canadian tourism to the United States.

Section 214 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(s) Canadian retirees.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Homeland Security may admit as a visitor for pleasure as described in section 101(a)(15)(B) any alien for a period not to exceed 240 days, if the alien demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Secretary, that the alien—

“(A) is a citizen of Canada;

“(B) is at least 50 years of age;

“(C) maintains a residence in Canada;

“(D) owns a residence in the United States or has signed a rental agreement for accommodations in the United States for the duration of the alien's stay in the United States;

“(E) is not inadmissible under section 212;

“(F) is not described in any ground of deportability under section 237;

“(G) will not engage in employment or labor for hire in the United States; and

“(H) will not seek any form of assistance or benefit described in section 403(a) of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1613(a)).

“(2) SPOUSE.—The spouse of an alien described in paragraph (1) may be admitted under the same terms as the principal alien if the spouse satisfies the requirements of paragraph (1), other than subparagraph (D).

“(3) IMMIGRANT INTENT.—In determining eligibility for admission under this subsection, maintenance of a residence in the United States shall not be considered evidence of intent by the alien to abandon the alien's residence in Canada.

“(4) PERIOD OF ADMISSION.—During any single 365-day period, an alien may be admitted as described in section 101(a)(15)(B) pursuant to this subsection for a period not to exceed 240 days, beginning on the date of admission. Periods of time spent outside the United States during such 240-day period shall not toll the expiration of such 240-day period.”.

SEC. 3. Secure travel partnership program enhanced security and reform.

(a) Definitions.—Section 217(c)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(c)(1)) is amended to read as follows:

“(1) AUTHORITY TO DESIGNATE; DEFINITIONS.—

“(A) AUTHORITY TO DESIGNATE.—The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may designate any country as a program country if that country meets the requirements under paragraph (2).

“(B) DEFINITIONS.—In this subsection:

“(i) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES.—The term ‘appropriate Congressional Committees’ means—

“(I) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate; and

“(II) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Homeland Security, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives.

“(ii) OVERSTAY RATE.—

“(I) INITIAL DESIGNATION.—The term ‘overstay rate’ means, with respect to a country being considered for designation in the program, the ratio of—

“(aa) the number of nationals of that country who were admitted to the United States on the basis of a nonimmigrant visa under section 101(a)(15)(B) whose periods of authorized stay ended during a fiscal year but who remained unlawfully in the United States beyond such periods; to

“(bb) the number of nationals of that country who were admitted to the United States on the basis of a nonimmigrant visa under section 101(a)(15)(B) whose periods of authorized stay ended during that fiscal year.

“(II) CONTINUING DESIGNATION.—The term ‘overstay rate’ means, for each fiscal year after initial designation under this section with respect to a country, the ratio of—

“(aa) the number of nationals of that country who were admitted to the United States under this section or on the basis of a nonimmigrant visa under section 101(a)(15)(B) whose periods of authorized stay ended during a fiscal year but who remained unlawfully in the United States beyond such periods; to

“(bb) the number of nationals of that country who were admitted to the United States under this section or on the basis of a nonimmigrant visa under section 101(a)(15)(B) whose periods of authorized stay ended during that fiscal year.

“(III) COMPUTATION OF OVERSTAY RATE.—In determining the overstay rate for a country, the Secretary of Homeland Security may utilize information from any available databases to ensure the accuracy of such rate.

“(iii) PROGRAM COUNTRY.—The term ‘program country’ means a country designated as a program country under subparagraph (A).”.

(b) Technical and conforming amendments.—Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187) is amended—

(1) by striking “Attorney General” each place the term appears (except in subsection (c)(11)(B)) and inserting “Secretary of Homeland Security”; and

(2) in subsection (c)—

(A) in paragraph (2)(C)(iii), by striking “Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate” and inserting “appropriate congressional committees”;

(B) in paragraph (5)(A)(i)(III), by striking “Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Homeland Security, of the House of Representatives and the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate” and inserting “appropriate congressional committees”; and

(C) in paragraph (7), by striking subparagraph (E).

(c) Designation of program countries based on overstay rates.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 217(c)(2)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(c)(2)(A)) is amended to read as follows:

“(A) GENERAL NUMERICAL LIMITATIONS.—

“(i) LOW NONIMMIGRANT VISA REFUSAL RATE.—The percentage of nationals of that country refused nonimmigrant visas under section 101(a)(15)(B) during the previous full fiscal year was not more than 3 percent of the total number of nationals of that country who were granted or refused nonimmigrant visas under such section during such year.

“(ii) LOW NONIMMIGRANT OVERSTAY RATE.—The overstay rate for that country was not more than 3 percent during the previous fiscal year.”.

(2) QUALIFICATION CRITERIA.—Section 217(c)(3) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(c)(3)) is amended to read as follows:

“(3) QUALIFICATION CRITERIA.—After designation as a program country under section 217(c)(2), a country may not continue to be designated as a program country unless the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, determines, pursuant to the requirements under paragraph (5), that the designation will be continued.”.

(3) INITIAL PERIOD.—Section 217(c) is further amended by striking subsection (c)(4).

(4) CONTINUING DESIGNATION.—Section 217(c)(5)(A)(i)(II) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(c)(5)(A)(i)(II)) is amended to read as follows:

“(II) shall determine, based upon the evaluation in subclause (I), whether any such designation under subsection (d) or (f), or probation under subsection (f), ought to be continued or terminated;”.

(5) REPORT.—Section 217(c)(5)(A)(i) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(c)(5)(A)(i)) is further amended—

(A) in subclause (III), by striking “and” at the end;

(B) in subclause (IV), by striking the period at the end and inserting “; and”; and

(C) by adding after subclause (IV) the following new subclause:

“(V) shall submit to Congress a report regarding the security parameters described in paragraph (9).”.

(6) COMPUTATION OF VISA REFUSAL RATES; JUDICIAL REVIEW.—Section 217(c)(6) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(c)(6)) is amended to read as follows:

“(6) COMPUTATION OF VISA REFUSAL RATES AND JUDICIAL REVIEW.—

“(A) COMPUTATION OF VISA REFUSAL RATES.—For purposes of determining the eligibility of a country to be designated as a program country, the calculation of visa refusal rates shall not include any visa refusals which incorporate any procedures based on, or are otherwise based on, race, sex, or disability, unless otherwise specifically authorized by law or regulation.

“(B) JUDICIAL REVIEW.—No court shall have jurisdiction under this section to review any visa refusal, the Secretary of State’s computation of a visa refusal rate, the Secretary of Homeland Security’s computation of an overstay rate, or the designation or nondesignation of a country as a program country.”.

(7) VISA WAIVER INFORMATION.—Section 217(c)(7) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(c)(7)) is amended by—

(A) striking subparagraphs (B) through (D); and

(B) striking “waiver information.—” and all that follows through “In refusing” and inserting “waiver information.—In refusing”.

(8) WAIVER AUTHORITY.—Section 217(c)(8) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(c)(8)) is amended to read as follows:

“(8) WAIVER AUTHORITY.—The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may waive the application of paragraph (2)(A)(i) for a country if—

“(A) the country meets all other requirements of paragraph (2);

“(B) the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that the totality of the country's security risk mitigation measures provide assurance that the country's participation in the program would not compromise the law enforcement, security interests, or enforcement of the immigration laws of the United States;

“(C) there has been a general downward trend in the percentage of nationals of the country refused nonimmigrant visas under section 101(a)(15)(B);

“(D) the country consistently cooperated with the Government of the United States on counterterrorism initiatives, information sharing, preventing terrorist travel, and extradition to the United States of individuals (including the country's own nationals) who commit crimes that violate United States law before the date of its designation as a program country, and the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State assess that such cooperation is likely to continue;

“(E) the percentage of nationals of the country refused a nonimmigrant visa under section 101(a)(15)(B) during the previous full fiscal year was not more than 10 percent of the total number of nationals of that country who were granted or refused such nonimmigrant visas; and

“(F) the country enters into intelligence collection and information sharing arrangements with the United States and meets necessary requirements as established by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the United States intelligence community.”.

(d) Termination of designation; probation.—Section 217(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(f)) is amended to read as follows:

“(f) Termination of designation; probation.—

“(1) DEFINITIONS.—In this subsection:

“(A) PROBATIONARY PERIOD.—The term ‘probationary period’ means the fiscal year in which a probationary country is placed in probationary status under this subsection.

“(B) PROGRAM COUNTRY.—The term ‘program country’ has the meaning given that term in subsection (c)(1)(B).

“(2) DETERMINATION, NOTICE, AND INITIAL PROBATIONARY PERIOD.—

“(A) DETERMINATION OF PROBATIONARY STATUS AND NOTICE OF NONCOMPLIANCE.—As part of each program country’s periodic evaluation required by subsection (c)(5)(A), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall determine whether a program country is in compliance with the program requirements under subparagraphs (A)(ii) through (F) of subsection (c)(2).

“(B) INITIAL PROBATIONARY PERIOD.—If the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that a program country is not in compliance with the program requirements under subparagraphs (A)(ii) through (F) of subsection (c)(2), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall place the program country in probationary status for the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the periodic evaluation is completed.

“(3) ACTIONS AT THE END OF THE INITIAL PROBATIONARY PERIOD.—At the end of the initial probationary period of a country under paragraph (2)(B), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take one of the following actions:

“(A) COMPLIANCE DURING INITIAL PROBATIONARY PERIOD.—If the Secretary determines that all instances of noncompliance with the program requirements under subparagraphs (A)(ii) through (F) of subsection (c)(2) that were identified in the latest periodic evaluation have been remedied by the end of the initial probationary period, the Secretary shall end the country’s probationary period.

“(B) NONCOMPLIANCE DURING INITIAL PROBATIONARY PERIOD.—If the Secretary determines that any instance of noncompliance with the program requirements under subparagraphs (A)(ii) through (F) of subsection (c)(2) that were identified in the latest periodic evaluation has not been remedied by the end of the initial probationary period—

“(i) the Secretary may terminate the country’s participation in the program; or

“(ii) on an annual basis, the Secretary may continue the country’s probationary status if the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of State, determines that the country’s continued participation in the program is in the national interest of the United States.

“(4) ACTIONS AT THE END OF ADDITIONAL PROBATIONARY PERIODS.—At the end of all probationary periods granted to a country pursuant to paragraph (3)(B)(ii), the Secretary shall take one of the following actions:

“(A) COMPLIANCE DURING ADDITIONAL PERIOD.—The Secretary shall end the country’s probationary status if the Secretary determines during the latest periodic evaluation required by subsection (c)(5)(A) that the country is in compliance with the program requirements under subparagraphs (A)(ii) through (F) of subsection (c)(2).

“(B) NONCOMPLIANCE DURING ADDITIONAL PERIODS.—The Secretary shall terminate the country's participation in the program if the Secretary determines during the latest periodic evaluation required by subsection (c)(5)(A) that the program country continues to be in noncompliance with the program requirements under subparagraphs (A)(ii) through (F) of subsection (c)(2).

“(5) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The termination of a country's participation in the program under paragraph (3)(B) or (4)(B) shall take effect on the first day of the first fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the Secretary determines that such participation shall be terminated. Until such date, nationals of the country shall remain eligible for a waiver under subsection (a).

“(6) TREATMENT OF NATIONALS AFTER TERMINATION.—For purposes of this subsection and subsection (d)—

“(A) nationals of a country whose designation is terminated under paragraph (3) or (4) shall remain eligible for a waiver under subsection (a) until the effective date of such termination; and

“(B) a waiver under this section that is provided to such a national for a period described in subsection (a)(1) shall not, by such termination, be deemed to have been rescinded or otherwise rendered invalid, if the waiver is granted prior to such termination.

“(7) CONSULTATIVE ROLE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE.—In this subsection, references to subparagraphs (A)(ii) through (F) of subsection (c)(2) and subsection (c)(5)(A) carry with them the consultative role of the Secretary of State as provided in those provisions.”.

(e) Review of overstay tracking methodology.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a review of the methods used by the Secretary of Homeland Security—

(1) to track aliens entering and exiting the United States; and

(2) to detect any such alien who stays longer than such alien's period of authorized admission.

(f) Sense of Congress on nonimmigrant overstay rates.—It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Homeland Security has not complied with the requirements under section 2 of Public Law 105–173 (8 U.S.C. 1376) relating to the collection of data and the submission of reports to Congress on nonimmigrant visa overstay rates, and that the Secretary should collect such data, and submit such reports as are required by that section.

(g) Renaming of program.—Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187) is amended by striking “visa waiver program” each place it appears and inserting “secure travel partnership program”.

SEC. 4. Visa processing.

(a) In general.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law and not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall—

(1) require United States diplomatic and consular missions to conduct visa interviews for nonimmigrant visa applications determined to require a consular interview in an expeditious manner, consistent with national security requirements, and in recognition of resource allocation considerations, such as the need to ensure provision of consular services to citizens of the United States; and

(2) set a goal of interviewing nonimmigrant visa applicants, worldwide, within 15 days of receipt of application, subject to the conditions outlined in paragraph (1).

(b) Reporting.—

(1) SEMI-ANNUAL REPORTS.—Not later than 30 days after the end of the first 6 months after the implementation of subsection (a), and not later than 30 days after June 30 and after December 31 of each subsequent year, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate committees of the Congress a report that provides—

(A) data substantiating the efforts of the Secretary of State to meet the requirements and goals described in subsection (a);

(B) any factors that have negatively impacted the efforts of the Secretary to meet such requirements and goals; and

(C) any measures that the Secretary plans to implement to meet such requirements and goals.

(2) ANNUAL REPORTS.—On an annual basis, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate committees of the Congress a strategic plan that describes the resources needed to carry out subsection (a), including a 10-year forecast of demand for nonimmigrant visas in the key high-growth markets, including—

(A) a description of the methodology used to make such forecasts that—

(i) describes the internal and external studies utilized to prepare such forecasts; and

(ii) indicates whether such methodology utilizes the Department of Commerce’s analysis of visitor arrival projections;

(B) a comparison of the Department of State’s nonimmigrant visa demand projections and the Department of Commerce’s visitor arrival projections by country; and

(C) a description of the practices and procedures currently used by each United States diplomatic and consular mission to manage nonimmigrant visa workload.

(3) APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF THE CONGRESS.—In this section, the term “appropriate committees of the Congress” means—

(A) the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and

(B) the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

(c) Savings provision.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Nothing in subsection (a) may be construed to affect a consular officer’s authority—

(A) to deny a visa application under section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1201(g)); or

(B) to initiate any necessary or appropriate security-related check or clearance.

(2) SECURITY CHECKS.—The completion of a security-related check or clearance shall not be subject to the time limits set out in subsection (a).

SEC. 5. Secure technology pilot program.

Section 222 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1202) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(i)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), the Secretary of State—

“(A) shall develop and conduct a pilot program to enhance existing procedures for processing visas under section 101(a)(15)(B) using secure remote videoconferencing technology as a method for conducting visa interviews of applicants; and

“(B) in consultation with other Federal agencies that use such secure communications, shall help ensure the security of the videoconferencing transmission and encryption conducted under subparagraph (A).

“(2) The pilot program authorized under paragraph (1) may not be conducted if the Secretary of State determines that such program—

“(A) poses an undue security risk; and

“(B) cannot be conducted in a manner consistent with maintaining security controls.

“(3) Not later than 90 days after the termination of the pilot program authorized under paragraph (1), the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, and the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives that contains—

“(A) a detailed description of the results of such program, including an assessment of the efficacy, efficiency, and security of the remote videoconferencing technology as a method for conducting visa interviews of applicants; and

“(B) recommendations for whether such program should be continued, broadened, or modified.

“(4) If the Secretary of State makes a determination under paragraph (3), the Secretary shall submit a report to the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, and the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives that describes the reasons for such determination.

“(5) For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘in person interview’ includes interviews conducted using remote video technology.”.

SEC. 6. Visa and trusted traveler application coordination.

To the maximum extent possible, the Secretary of State shall seek to coordinate enrollment and interview processes for individuals eligible for both a United States visa and enrollment in the Global Entry program operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, including providing space for U.S. Customs and Border Protection interviews and unified application fees.

SEC. 7. Report.

The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to Congress a report on the visa waiver program under section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187), which includes the following:

(1) Quantitative language on how many people visited the United States under the secure travel partnership program, which countries had the highest number of visitors, and which were growing.

(2) Ways in which the secure travel partnership program promotes travel security.

(3) Long-term resource allocation of the Department of Homeland Security in managing the program.


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