New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

Role of The Executive Branch In Private Bill Process

Author: Green Card Lawyer Alena Shautsova

The Executive branch of government may undertake the following actions in connection with a Private Bill:

  • Presidential Veto.
  • Recommendations of which public laws can be utilized.
  • Stays of removal and preparation of reports upon the request of Congress.

Rarely the executive branch shows any interest in the requests or final dispositions of Private Bill relief.

DHS as per agreement with Congress, may stay removal of the individual when the Private Bill is introduced. INS also has historically agreed to stay removal under the same circumstances. There have been 28 Presidential Vetoes on Private Immigration Bills, citing the character of the individual, precedent, or the availability of administrative remedies.

Therefore it is crucial to investigate the availability of other remedies before starting the work on the Private Bill. If there is an available remedy to one’s specific situation, the bill will not be passed. If one’s case does not have compelling reasons to provide exception, the bill will not be passed most likely due to a precedent.

A power of veto can be utilized if there are doubts as to the applicant’s good moral character. When working on a Private Bill package, it is extremely important to collect all possible evidence of the beneficiary’s contribution to the society and community.

ICE is the main agency within DHS concerning private bill issues. USCIS will only provide a record file when requested and provide documentation to the beneficiary of the bill. As for Work Authorization, the potential beneficiary of a private bill is not subject to an exception of eligibility under 8 CFR $274a.12(c)(14). In short, if and when the applicant is granted a deferred action or a stay of removal they will be eligible for Work Authorization.

The Office of Congressional Relations (OCR) is part of ICE agency and acts as a liaison between ICE and Congress. This office is responsible for presenting reports on private bills in a timely manner (usually 45-60 days) to Congress when they request it. This report includes criminal background check and interviewing of the beneficiary, his or her family members, members of the community, references etc.

21 March 2015
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