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108th Congress                                            Rept. 108-260
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1
======================================================================
 
   TO AMEND AND EXTEND THE IRISH PEACE PROCESS CULTURAL AND TRAINING 
                          PROGRAM ACT OF 1998

                                _______
                                

               September 4, 2003.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2655]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 2655) to amend and extend the Irish Peace Process 
Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998, 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.........................................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     2
Vote of the Committee............................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     3
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     3
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     5
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion.......................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6
Markup Transcript................................................     8

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 2655 would extend the expiration date of the Irish 
Peace Process Cultural and Training Program for 2 years, from 
2006 to 2008, and modify the provisions of the program to 
ensure that those aliens receiving visas are those the program 
was designed to benefit.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    In 1998, the Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training 
Program Act was enacted.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Pub. L. No. 105-319 (Oct. 30, 1998).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The purpose of the program was to allow adults between the 
ages of 18 and 35 years old who lived in disadvantaged areas of 
Northern Ireland and designated border counties of Ireland that 
were suffering from sectarian violence and high unemployment to 
enter the United States to develop job skills and conflict 
resolution abilities in a diverse, cooperative, peaceful, and 
prosperous environment, so that they could return to their 
homes better able to contribute toward economic regeneration 
and the Irish peace process. Up to 4,000 qualifying aliens (and 
their spouses and minor children) could be admitted each year 
and they could stay in the U.S. for up to 3 years. The program 
was set to sunset on October 1, 2005. In the 107th Congress, 
the program was extended until October 1, 2006.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\ Pub. L. No. 107-234 (Oct. 4, 2002).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 2655 would extend the program for another 2 years, 
until October 1, 2008. It would also make a number of changes 
to the program. These changes are mainly designed to ensure 
that the aliens granted admission are those truly economically 
disadvantaged young adults the program was designed to help. 
These changes include requirements that only 20% of the program 
participants may have a degree from a higher education 
institution, that they be at least 21 years of age, and that 
they have been unemployed and resident in Northern Ireland or 
the designated border counties for at least 6 months.
    The bill would also make changes to the program to help 
ensure that the aliens return to Ireland to foster economic 
development and peace. The bill would reduce the duration of 
the visa term from 3 years to 2 years. This change would 
discourage visa holders from remaining in the United States by 
reducing the amount of time they would have to establish roots 
here. The bill would also require that aliens admitted under 
the program return home for 1 year before they could apply for 
an immigrant visa, permanent residence, or another nonimmigrant 
visa.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ The bill permits the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive 
the 1-year residence requirement if: (1) the alien's departure from the 
United States would impose exceptional hardship upon the alien's U.S. 
citizen or lawfully resident spouse or child, (2) the alien would be 
subject to persecution on account of race, religion, or political 
opinion, or (3) the admission of the alien is in the public interest or 
the national interest of the United States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                Hearings

    No hearings were held on H.R. 2655.

                        Committee Consideration

    On July 25, 2003, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered favorably reported the bill H.R. 2655 without amendment 
by voice vote, a quorum being present.

                         Vote of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of Rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee notes that there 
were no recorded votes during the Committee consideration of 
H.R. 2655.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of Rule XIII 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.

               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. 2655, 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, August 8, 2003.
Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., 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. 2655, a bill to 
amend and extend the Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training 
Program of 1998.
    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.
            Sincerely,
                                       Douglas Holtz-Eakin.

Enclosure

cc:
        Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
        Ranking Member
H.R. 2655--A bill to amend and extend the Irish Peace Process Cultural 
        and Training Program Act of 1998.

                                SUMMARY

    The Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act 
of 1998 (Public Law 105-319) provides nonimmigrant visas for 
young adults from certain areas of Northern Ireland and the 
Republic of Ireland. These individuals work or study in the 
United States for up to 3 years. This program is currently 
scheduled to terminate on October 1, 2006. H.R. 2655 would make 
several administrative changes to the program and would extend 
it until October 1, 2008.
    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 2655 would cost about 
$4 million in each of fiscal years 2007 and 2008 for the 
Department of State to administer this program, subject to the 
availability of appropriations. Enacting the bill also would 
affect direct spending, but CBO estimates that any such effects 
would not be significant.
    H.R. 2655 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on State, local, or tribal 
governments.

                ESTIMATED COST TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

    The estimated budgetary impact of H.R. 2655 is shown in the 
following table. The costs of this legislation fall within 
budget function 750 (administration of justice).

                 By Fiscal Year, in Millions of Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 2003   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008
------------------------------------------------------------------------
SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
Spending Under Current Law
  Estimated Authorization           3      4      4      4      0      0
 Level 
  Estimated Outlays                 3      4      4      4      0      0

Proposed Changes
  Estimated Authorization           0      0      0      0      4      4
 Level
  Estimated Outlays                 0      0      0      0      4      4

Spending Under H.R. 2655
  Estimated Authorization           3      4      4      4      4      4
 Level
  Estimated Outlays                 3      4      4      4      4      4
------------------------------------------------------------------------
a.  The 2003 level (about $3.4 million) is the amount appropriated for
  that year for the Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program.
  The estimated authorization levels for 2004 through 2006 are CBO
  baseline estimates.

    Since the program's inception, there have been about 300 
participants each year. Thus, CBO estimates that the increase 
in the amount of application fees collected and spent by the 
Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and the State 
Department as a result of extending the program would be 
insignificant.

              INTERGOVERNMENTAL AND PRIVATE-SECTOR IMPACT

    H.R. 2655 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on State, 
local, or tribal governments.

                         ESTIMATE PREPARED BY:

Federal Costs: Mark Grabowicz (226-2860) and Sunita D'Monte 
    (226-2840)
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Melissa Merrell 
    (225-3220)
Impact on the Private Sector: Paige Piper/Bach (226-2960)

                         ESTIMATE APPROVED BY:

Peter H. Fontaine
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    H.R. 2655 does not authorize funding. Therefore, clause 
3(c)(4) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds the authority for 
this legislation in article I, section 8, of the Constitution.

               Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion

Section 1. Amendment and Extension of Irish Peace Process Cultural and 
        Training Program Act of 1998.
    The terms of the Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training 
Program Act may be found at section 101(a)(15)(Q)(ii) of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act and as a note at section 1101 
of title 8 of the U.S. Code.
    Subsection (a) amends the Irish Peace Process Cultural and 
Training Program Act of 1998 by requiring that not more than 
20% of the participants in the program may have a degree from 
an institution of higher education. Subsection (a) also 
requires that participants be between the ages of 21 and 35, 
have been unemployed for not less than 6 months, and have 
resided for not less than 6 months in Northern Ireland or the 
counties of Louth, Monaghan, Cavan, Leitrim, Sligo, or Donegal 
within the Republic of Ireland. The subsection also provides 
that program participants can stay in the U.S. under the 
program for not more than 24 months.
    Subsection (a) also amends section 212(e) of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act to provide that no person 
admitted as a program participant or acquiring such status 
after admission shall be eligible to apply for an immigrant 
visa, or for permanent residence, or for a nonimmigrant visa 
until it is established that such person has resided and been 
physically present in his country of nationality or last 
residence for an aggregate of at least 1 year following 
departure from the United States. The Secretary of Homeland 
Security may waive this requirement if he determines that 1) 
departure from the United States would impose exceptional 
hardship upon the alien's spouse or child (if such spouse or 
child is a citizen of the United States or a lawfully resident 
alien), 2) the alien cannot return to the country of the 
alien's nationality or last residence because the alien would 
be subject to persecution on account of race, religion, or 
political opinion, or 3) the admission of the alien is in the 
public interest or the national interest of the United States.
    Subsection (b) is designed to extend the date of repeal of 
the program until October 1, 2008. Subsection (b)(2) contains 
incorrect date designations that the Committee expects will be 
corrected on the House floor. Subsection (b) also modifies the 
requirement that reports be provided to Congress on the number 
of aliens admitted who have overstayed their visas to provide 
that the report be provided each year the program is in 
existence.
    Subsection (c) corrects makes technical and conforming 
changes recognizing the transfer of the functions of the 
Immigration and Naturalization Service to the Department of 
Homeland Security.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

IRISH PEACE PROCESS CULTURAL AND TRAINING PROGRAM ACT OF 1998

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 2. IRISH PEACE PROCESS CULTURAL AND TRAINING PROGRAM.

    (a) Purpose.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary of State and the 
        [Attorney General] Secretary of Homeland Security shall 
        establish a program to allow young people from 
        disadvantaged areas of designated counties suffering 
        from sectarian violence and high structural 
        unemployment to enter the United States for the purpose 
        of developing job skills and conflict resolution 
        abilities in a diverse, cooperative, peaceful, and 
        prosperous environment, so that those young people can 
        return to their homes better able to contribute toward 
        economic regeneration and the Irish peace process. The 
        program shall promote cross-community and cross-border 
        initiatives to build grassroots support for long-term 
        peaceful coexistence. The Secretary of State and the 
        [Attorney General] Secretary of Homeland Security shall 
        cooperate with nongovernmental organizations to assist 
        those admitted to participate fully in the economic, 
        social, and cultural life of the United States.
            (2) Scope and duration of program.--
                    (A) In general.--The program under 
                paragraph (1) shall provide for the admission 
                of not more than 4,000 aliens under section 
                101(a)(15)(Q)(ii) of the Immigration and 
                Nationality Act (including spouses and minor 
                children) in each of 4 consecutive program 
                years. Not more than 20 percent of participants 
                in the program may have a degree from an 
                institution of higher education.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

            (3) Records and report.--The [Immigration and 
        Naturalization Service] Department of Homeland Security 
        shall maintain records of the nonimmigrant status and 
        place of residence of each alien admitted under the 
        program. Not later than 120 days after the end of the 
        third program year and for the 4 subsequent years, the 
        [Immigration and Naturalization Service] Department of 
        Homeland Security shall compile and submit to the 
        Congress a report on the number of aliens admitted with 
        nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(Q)(ii) who 
        have overstayed their visas.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (b) Temporary Nonimmigrant Visa.--
            (1) In general.--Section 101(a)(15)(Q) of the 
        Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
        1101(a)(15)(Q)) is amended--
                    (A) * * *
                    (B) by inserting after the semicolon at the 
                end the following: ``or (ii)(I) an alien 35 
                years of age or younger having a residence in 
                Northern Ireland, or the counties of Louth, 
                Monaghan, Cavan, Leitrim, Sligo, and Donegal 
                within the Republic of Ireland, which the alien 
                has no intention of abandoning who is coming 
                temporarily (for a period not to exceed 36 
                months) to the United States as a participant 
                in a cultural and training program approved by 
                the Secretary of State and the [Attorney 
                General] Secretary of Homeland Security under 
                section 2(a) of the Irish Peace Process 
                Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998 for 
                the purpose of providing practical training, 
                employment, and the experience of coexistence 
                and conflict resolution in a diverse society, 
                and (II) the alien spouse and minor children of 
                any such alien if accompanying the alien or 
                following to join the alien;''.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (d) Sunset.--
            (1) Effective October 1, [2006,] 2008, the Irish 
        Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998 
        is repealed.
            (2) Effective October 1, 2006, section 
        101(a)(15)(Q) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
        U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(Q)) is amended--
                    (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


                    IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
                            TITLE I--GENERAL

                              definitions

    Section 101. (a) As used in this Act--
    (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (15) The term ``immigrant'' means every alien except an 
alien who is within one of the following classes of 
nonimmigrant aliens--
            (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

            (Q)(i) an alien having a residence in a foreign 
        country which he has no intention of abandoning who is 
        coming temporarily (for a period not to exceed 15 
        months) to the United States as a participant in an 
        international cultural exchange program approved by the 
        Attorney General for the purpose of providing practical 
        training, employment, and the sharing of the history, 
        culture, and traditions of the country of the alien's 
        nationality and who will be employed under the same 
        wages and working conditions as domestic workers; or 
        (ii)(I) an alien [35 years of age or younger having a 
        residence] 21 to 35 years of age, unemployed for not 
        less than 6 months, having resided for not less 6 
        months in Northern Ireland, or the counties of Louth, 
        Monaghan, Cavan, Leitrim, Sligo, and Donegal within the 
        Republic of Ireland, which the alien has no intention 
        of abandoning who is coming temporarily (for a period 
        not to exceed [36 months] 24 months) to the United 
        States as a participant in a cultural and training 
        program approved by the Secretary of State and the 
        Attorney General under section 2(a) of the Irish Peace 
        Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998 for 
        the purpose of providing practical training, 
        employment, and the experience of coexistence and 
        conflict resolution in a diverse society, and (II) the 
        alien spouse and minor children of any such alien if 
        accompanying the alien or following to join the alien;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                         TITLE II--IMMIGRATION

                      Chapter 1--Selection System

      Sec. 212. (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (q)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), no person 
admitted under section 101(a)(15)(Q)(ii)(I) or acquiring such 
status after admission shall be eligible to apply for an 
immigrant visa, or for permanent residence, or for a 
nonimmigrant visa under this Act until it is established that 
such person has resided and been physically present in the 
country of nationality or last residence for an aggregate of a 
least one year following departure from the United States.
    (2) The Secretary of Homeland Security may waive the 
requirement of such one-year foreign residence abroad if the 
Secretary determines that--
            (A) departure from the United States would impose 
        exceptional hardship upon the alien's spouse or child 
        (if such spouse or child is a citizen of the United 
        States or a lawfully resident alien);
            (B) that the alien cannot return to the country of 
        the alien's nationality or last residence because the 
        alien would be subject to persecution on account of 
        race, religion, or political opinion; or
            (C) the admission of the alien is in the public 
        interest or the national interest of the United States.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                           Markup Transcript



                            BUSINESS MEETING

                         FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2003

                  House of Representatives,
                                Committee on the Judiciary,
                                                    Washington, DC.
    The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:40 a.m., in 
Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. F. James 
Sensenbrenner, Jr., [Chairman of the Committee] presiding.
    [Intervening business.]
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Pursuant to notice I now call up 
the bill H.R. 2655, to amend and extend the Irish Peace Process 
Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998, for purposes of 
markup and move its favorable recommendation to the House.
    Without objection, the bill will be considered as read and 
open for amendment at any point.
    [The bill, H.R. 2655, follows:]
      
      

  


      
      

  


      
      

  


      
      

  


    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Without objection, all Members' 
opening statements will be placed in the record at this point. 
I have one of them.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Sensenbrenner follows:]
  Prepared Statement of the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., a 
 Representative in Congress From the State of Wisconsin, and Chairman, 
                       Committee on the Judiciary
    H.R. 2655, is a bill to amend and extend the Irish Peace Process 
Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998. The original Act established 
a cultural training program to assist the Irish peace process. The 
program created 12,000, three-year non-immigrant visas for adults 
between the ages of 18 and 35 years old and who live in disadvantaged 
areas in Northern Ireland and border counties of Ireland. The purpose 
of the visa is to provide practical training, employment, and the 
experience of coexistence and conflict resolution in a diverse society 
and strong economy.
    H.R. 2655 amends the program to state that only 20 percent of the 
program participants may have a degree from a higher education 
institution.
    It also would change the eligible age group from 18-35 to 21-35 
years old, require that the applicant has been unemployed for at least 
six months immediately preceding the visa application, and require that 
the applicant have resided in the specified area for at least six 
months. The bill would also reduce the duration of the ``Q'' visa from 
three years to two years. The author of the bill, Rep. James Walsh, 
believes these changes will improve the program so that college 
graduates who merely wish to vacation in the U.S. do not take advantage 
of this program. Also, reducing the duration of the visa discourages 
``Q'' visa holders from remaining in the United States by reducing the 
amount of time they have to marry and establish roots in the U.S.
    H.R. 2655 adds the requirement that an alien admitted under the 
program would have to return home for one year before the alien could 
apply for an immigrant visa, permanent residence, or another 
nonimmigrant visa.
    However, the bill permits the Secretary of Homeland Security to 
waive the one-year residence requirement if: (1) the alien's departure 
from the United States would impose exceptional hardship upon the 
alien's U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or child; (2) 
the alien would be subject to persecution on account of race, religion, 
or political opinion; or (3) the admission of the alien is in the 
public interest or the national interest of the United States. Finally, 
the bill delays the sunset of the program from 2006 to 2008.
    I urge my colleagues to support the passage of this bill.

    Chairman Sensenbrenner. I would point out that the 
provisions in this bill are the same as those that were in the 
State Department authorization bill which was passed last week 
by the House. The visa program for the so-called Walsh visas 
expires on September 30. Mr. Walsh has asked this Committee to 
report out stand-alone legislation so that if the State 
Department authorization bill is delayed, the Senate can take 
up H.R. 2655 and thus provide an uninterrupted program for 
these types of visas.
    Mr. Watt. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentleman from North Carolina.
    Mr. Watt. Would the gentleman yield?
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. I am happy to yield.
    Mr. Watt. I just want to know what a Walsh visa is.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The Walsh visas are named after 
Congressman Walsh of New York State, and there has been a 
program that has been--for the last 5 years that brings 
Catholic and Protestant kids from Northern Ireland to work side 
by side in the United States where there is not the ethnic 
group pressure for them to hate each other like there is back 
home. And this program has gotten very good reviews, you know, 
in terms of attempting to bridge the religious hatred in that 
part of the world. And Mr. Walsh wants to have it continued, 
and I think it is a good idea.
    Mr. Watt. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Are there amendments to the bill? 
If there are no amendments, a reporting quorum is not present, 
and without objection, the previous question is ordered on 
reporting this bill favorably.
    [Intervening business.]
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The unfinished business is the 
motion to report the bill H.R. 2655, to amend and extend the 
Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998, 
upon which the previous question had been ordered on the motion 
to report favorably. Those in favor will say aye.
    Opposed, no.
    The ayes appear to have it. The ayes have it. The motion to 
report favorably is agreed to.
    Without objection, the Chair will be authorized to move to 
go to conference pursuant to House rules.
    Without objection, the staff will be given authority to 
make technical and conforming changes, and all Members will be 
given 2 days pursuant to the rules in order to submit 
additional, supplemental, dissenting or minority views.