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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have introduced the Human Rights Violator Act of 2022. The legislation would establish grounds of inadmissibility for any alien who participated in the persecution of people because of race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion as well as any alien who ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in war crimes as defined in federal law. It would also make any alien already in the country deportable if they fit those definitions.

“America is a welcoming country, but there’s no reason we ought to welcome human rights violators. In an era of persecution and violence abroad, the United States must hold fast to our founding principle that all are created equal. War criminals and those who engage in practices like female mutilation obviously don’t respect that principle, and shouldn’t find refuge in our country. My legislation will make sure of that,” Grassley said.

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“I appreciate the leadership of Senator Grassley on this very important issue of denying people involved in war crimes and human rights abuses the ability to travel to and remain in our country. This change to our immigration law is much-needed in light of the outrage towards Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the war crimes being committed in front of our eyes every day,” said Graham.

The senators’ legislation amends the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to make persecutors – defined as any alien who “ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion” – inadmissible to and deportable from the United States. It also makes aliens who have committed war crimes as defined in existing federal law, along with aliens involved in female genital mutilation (FGM) inadmissible to and deportable from the United States. In addition, the bill formally authorizes ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center for the first time.

The Human Rights Violator Act of 2022 also extends the statute of limitations for foreigners who commit human rights violations who’ve entered the United States by fraud. It gives officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) who adjudicate immigrant applications access to criminal history records. Finally, the bill establishes a new revenue stream to fund the visa security and national security programs within the Department of Homeland Security, which provide screenings in high-risk countries to catch potential threats, including human rights violators. A summary of the legislation can be found HERE.

Full legislative text of the Human Rights Violator Act of 2022 can be found HERE.

Author: Press Release

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