TITLE V--RESTRICTIONS ON BENEFITS FOR ALIENS

Subtitle C--Affidavits of Support

SEC. 551. REQUIREMENTS FOR SPONSOR'S AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT.

(a) In General.--Section 213A (8 U.S.C. 1183a), as inserted
by section 423(a) of the Personal Responsibility and Work
Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, is amended to read as
follows:


``requirements for sponsor's affidavit of support

``Sec. 213A. (a) Enforceability.--
``(1) Terms of affidavit.--No affidavit of support may be
accepted by the Attorney General or by any consular officer
to establish that an alien is not excludable as a public
charge under section 212(a)(4) unless such affidavit is
executed by a sponsor of the alien as a contract--
``(A) in which the sponsor agrees to provide support to
maintain the sponsored alien at an annual income that is not
less than 125 percent of the Federal poverty line during the
period in which the affidavit is enforceable;
``(B) that is legally enforceable against the sponsor by
the sponsored alien, the Federal Government, any State (or
any political subdivision of such State), or by any other
entity that provides any means-tested public benefit (as
defined in subsection (e)), consistent with the provisions of
this section; and
``(C) in which the sponsor agrees to submit to the
jurisdiction of any Federal or State court for the purpose of
actions brought under subsection (b)(2).
``(2) Period of enforceability.--An affidavit of support
shall be enforceable with respect to benefits provided for an
alien before the date the alien is naturalized as a citizen
of the United States, or, if earlier, the termination date
provided under paragraph (3).
``(3) Termination of period of enforceability upon
completion of required period of employment, etc.--
``(A) In general.--An affidavit of support is not
enforceable after such time as the alien (i) has worked 40
qualifying quarters of coverage as defined under title II of
the Social Security Act or can be credited with such
qualifying quarters as provided under subparagraph (B), and
(ii) in the case of any such qualifying quarter creditable
for any period beginning after December 31, 1996, did not
receive any Federal means-tested public benefit (as provided
under section 403 of the Personal Responsibility and Work
Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996) during any such
period.
``(B) Qualifying quarters.--For purposes of this section,
in determining the number of qualifying quarters of coverage
under title II of the Social Security Act an alien shall be
credited with--
``(i) all of the qualifying quarters of coverage as defined
under title II of the Social Security Act worked by a parent
of such alien while the alien was under age 18, and
``(ii) all of the qualifying quarters worked by a spouse of
such alien during their marriage and the alien remains
married to such spouse or such spouse is deceased.
No such qualifying quarter of coverage that is creditable
under title II of the Social Security Act for any period
beginning after December 31, 1996, may be credited to an
alien under clause (i) or (ii) if the parent or spouse (as
the case may be) of such alien received any Federal means-
tested public benefit (as provided under section 403 of the
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation
Act of 1996) during the period for which such qualifying
quarter of coverage is so credited.
``(C) Provision of information to save system.--The
Attorney General shall ensure that appropriate information
regarding the application of this paragraph is provided to
the system for alien verification of eligibility (SAVE)
described in section 1137(d)(3) of the Social Security Act.
``(b) Reimbursement of Government Expenses.--
``(1) Request for reimbursement.--
``(A) Requirement.--Upon notification that a sponsored
alien has received any means-tested public benefit, the
appropriate nongovernmental entity which provided such
benefit or the appropriate entity of the Federal Government,
a State, or any political subdivision of a State shall
request reimbursement by the sponsor in an amount which is
equal to the unreimbursed costs of such benefit.
``(B) Regulations.--The Attorney General, in consultation
with the heads of other appropriate Federal agencies, shall
prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out
subparagraph (A).
``(2) Actions to compel reimbursement.--
``(A) In case of nonresponse.--If within 45 days after a
request for reimbursement under paragraph (1)(A), the
appropriate entity has not received a response from the
sponsor indicating a willingness to commence payment an
action may be brought against the sponsor pursuant to the
affidavit of support.
``(B) In case of failure to pay.--If the sponsor fails to
abide by the repayment terms established by the appropriate
entity, the entity may bring an action against the sponsor
pursuant to the affidavit of support.
``(C) Limitation on actions.--No cause of action may be
brought under this paragraph later than 10 years after the
date on which the sponsored alien last received any means-
tested public benefit to which the affidavit of support
applies.
``(3) Use of collection agencies.--If the appropriate
entity under paragraph (1)(A) requests reimbursement from the
sponsor or brings an action against the sponsor pursuant to
the affidavit of support, the appropriate entity may appoint
or hire an individual or other person to act on behalf of
such entity acting under the authority of law for purposes of
collecting any amounts owed.
``(c) Remedies.--Remedies available to enforce an affidavit
of support under this section include any or all of the
remedies described in section 3201, 3203, 3204, or 3205 of
title 28, United States Code, as well as an order for
specific performance and payment of legal fees and other
costs of collection, and include corresponding remedies
available under State law. A Federal agency may seek to
collect amounts owed under this section in accordance with
the provisions of subchapter II of chapter 37 of title 31,
United States Code.
``(d) Notification of Change of Address.--
``(1) General requirement.--The sponsor shall notify the
Attorney General and the State in which the sponsored alien
is currently a resident within 30 days of any change of
address of the sponsor during the period in which an
affidavit of support is enforceable.
``(2) Penalty.--Any person subject to the requirement of
paragraph (1) who fails to satisfy such requirement shall,
after notice and opportunity to be heard, be subject to a
civil penalty of--
``(A) not less than $250 or more than $2,000, or
``(B) if such failure occurs with knowledge that the
sponsored alien has received any means-tested public benefits
(other than benefits described in section 401(b), 403(c)(2),
or 411(b) of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity
Reconciliation Act of 1996) not less than $2,000 or more than
$5,000.

The Attorney General shall enforce this paragraph under
appropriate regulations.
``(e) Jurisdiction.--An action to enforce an affidavit of
support executed under subsection (a) may be brought against
the sponsor in any appropriate court--
``(1) by a sponsored alien, with respect to financial
support; or
``(2) by the appropriate entity of the Federal Government,
a State or any political subdivision of a State, or by any
other nongovernmental entity under subsection (b)(2), with
respect to reimbursement.
``(f) Sponsor Defined.--
``(1) In general.--For purposes of this section the term
`sponsor' in relation to a sponsored alien means an
individual who executes an affidavit of support with respect
to the sponsored alien and who--
``(A) is a citizen or national of the United States or an
alien who is lawfully admitted to the United States for
permanent residence;
``(B) is at least 18 years of age;
``(C) is domiciled in any of the several States of the
United States, the District of Columbia, or any territory or
possession of the United States;
``(D) is petitioning for the admission of the alien under
section 204; and
``(E) demonstrates (as provided in paragraph (6)) the means
to maintain an annual income equal to at least 125 percent of
the Federal poverty line.
``(2) Income requirement case.--Such term also includes an
individual who does not meet the requirement of paragraph
(1)(E) but accepts joint and several liability together with
an individual under paragraph (5).
``(3) Active duty armed services case.--Such term also
includes an individual who does not meet the requirement of
paragraph (1)(E) but is on active duty (other than active
duty for training) in the Armed Forces of the United States,
is petitioning for the admission of the alien under section
204 as the spouse or child of the individual, and
demonstrates (as provided in paragraph (6)) the means to
maintain an annual income equal to at least 100 percent of
the Federal poverty line.
``(4) Certain employment-based immigrants case.--Such term
also includes an individual--
``(A) who does not meet the requirement of paragraph
(1)(D), but is the relative of the sponsored alien who filed
a classification petition for the sponsored alien as an
employment-based immigrant under section 203(b) or who has a
significant ownership interest in the entity that filed such
a petition; and
``(B)(i) who demonstrates (as provided under paragraph (6))
the means to maintain an annual income equal to at least 125
percent of the Federal poverty line, or
``(ii) does not meet the requirement of paragraph (1)(E)
but accepts joint and several liability together with an
individual under paragraph (5).
``(5) Non-petitioning case.--Such term also includes an
individual who does not meet the requirement of paragraph
(1)(D) but who accepts joint and several liability with a
petitioning sponsor under paragraph (2) or relative of an
employment-based immigrant under paragraph (4) and who
demonstrates (as provided under paragraph (6)) the means to
maintain an annual income equal to at least 125 percent of
the Federal poverty line.
``(6) Demonstration of means to maintain income.--

[[Page H11822]]

``(A) In general.--
``(i) Method of demonstration.--For purposes of this
section, a demonstration of the means to maintain income
shall include provision of a certified copy of the
individual's Federal income tax return for the individual's 3
most recent taxable years and a written statement, executed
under oath or as permitted under penalty of perjury under
section 1746 of title 28, United States Code, that the copies
are certified copies of such returns.
``(ii) Flexibility.--For purposes of this section, aliens
may demonstrate the means to maintain income through
demonstration of significant assets of the sponsored alien or
of the sponsor, if such assets are available for the support
of the sponsored alien.
``(iii) Percent of poverty.--For purposes of this section,
a reference to an annual income equal to at least a
particular percentage of the Federal poverty line means an
annual income equal to at least such percentage of the
Federal poverty line for a family unit of a size equal to the
number of members of the sponsor's household (including
family and non-family dependents) plus the total number of
other dependents and aliens sponsored by that sponsor.
``(B) Limitation.--The Secretary of State, or the Attorney
General in the case of adjustment of status, may provide that
the demonstration under subparagraph (A) applies only to the
most recent taxable year.
``(h) Federal Poverty Line Defined.--For purposes of this
section, the term `Federal poverty line' means the level of
income equal to the official poverty line (as defined by the
Director of the Office of Management and Budget, as revised
annually by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in
accordance with section 673(2) of the Omnibus Budget
Reconciliation Act of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 9902)) that is
applicable to a family of the size involved.
``(i) Sponsor's Social Security Account Number Required To
Be Provided.--(1) An affidavit of support shall include the
social security account number of each sponsor.
``(2) The Attorney General shall develop an automated
system to maintain the social security account number data
provided under paragraph (1).
``(3) The Attorney General shall submit an annual report to
the Committees on the Judiciary of the House of
Representatives and the Senate setting forth--
``(A) for the most recent fiscal year for which data are
available the number of sponsors under this section and the
number of sponsors in compliance with the financial
obligations of this section; and
``(B) a comparison of such numbers with the numbers of such
sponsors for the preceding fiscal year.''.
(b) Conforming Amendments.--
(1) Section 421(a)(1) and section 422(a)(1) of the Personal
Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of
1996 (8 U.S.C. 1631(a)(1), 1632(a)(1)) are each amended by
inserting ``and as amended by section 551(a) of the Illegal
Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996''
after ``section 423''.
(2) Section 423 of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1138a note) is
amended by striking subsection (c).
(c) Effective Date; Promulgation of Form.--
(1) In general.--The amendments made by this section shall
apply to affidavits of support executed on or after a date
specified by the Attorney General, which date shall be not
earlier than 60 days (and not later than 90 days) after the
date the Attorney General formulates the form for such
affidavits under paragraph (2).
(2) Promulgation of form.--Not later than 90 days after the
date of the enactment of this Act, the Attorney General, in
consultation with the heads of other appropriate agencies,
shall promulgate a standard form for an affidavit of support
consistent with the provisions of section 213A of the
Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended by subsection
(a).

SEC. 552. INDIGENCE AND BATTERED SPOUSE AND CHILD EXCEPTIONS
TO FEDERAL ATTRIBUTION OF INCOME RULE.

Section 421 of the Personal Responsibility and Work
Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1631) is
amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
``(e) Indigence Exception.--
``(1) In general.--For an alien for whom an affidavit of
support under section 213A of the Immigration and Nationality
Act has been executed, if a determination described in
paragraph (2) is made, the amount of income and resources of
the sponsor or the sponsor's spouse which shall be attributed
to the sponsored alien shall not exceed the amount actually
provided for a period beginning on the date of such
determination and ending 12 months after such date.
``(2) Determination described.--A determination described
in this paragraph is a determination by an agency that a
sponsored alien would, in the absence of the assistance
provided by the agency, be unable to obtain food and shelter,
taking into account the alien's own income, plus any cash,
food, housing, or other assistance provided by other
individuals, including the sponsor. The agency shall notify
the Attorney General of each such determination, including
the names of the sponsor and the sponsored alien involved.
``(f) Special Rule for Battered Spouse and Child.--
``(1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2) and
notwithstanding any other provision of this section,
subsection (a) shall not apply to benefits--
``(A) during a 12 month period if the alien demonstrates
that (i) the alien has been battered or subjected to extreme
cruelty in the United States by a spouse or a parent, or by a
member of the spouse or parent's family residing in the same
household as the alien and the spouse or parent consented to
or acquiesced to such battery or cruelty, or (ii) the alien's
child has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty in
the United States by the spouse or parent of the alien
(without the active participation of the alien in the battery
or cruelty), or by a member of the spouse's or parent's
family residing in the same household as the alien when the
spouse or parent consented or acquiesced to and the alien did
not actively participate in such battery or cruelty, and the
battery or cruelty described in clause (i) or (ii) (in the
opinion of the agency providing such public benefits, which
opinion is not subject to review by any court) has a
substantial connection to the need for the public benefits
applied for; and
``(B) after a 12 month period (regarding the batterer's
income and resources only) if the alien demonstrates that
such battery or cruelty under subparagraph (A) has been
recognized in an order of a judge or administrative law judge
or a prior determination of the Immigration and
Naturalization Service, and that such battery or cruelty (in
the opinion of the agency providing such public benefits,
which opinion is not subject to review by any court) has a
substantial connection to the need for the benefits.
``(2) Limitation.--The exception under paragraph (1) shall
not apply to benefits for an alien during any period in which
the individual responsible for such battery or cruelty
resides in the same household or family eligibility unit as
the individual who was subjected to such battery or
cruelty.''.

SEC. 553. AUTHORITY OF STATES AND POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS OF
STATES TO LIMIT ASSISTANCE TO ALIENS AND TO
DISTINGUISH AMONG CLASSES OF ALIENS IN
PROVIDING GENERAL CASH PUBLIC ASSISTANCE.

(a) In General.--Subject to subsection (b) and
notwithstanding any other provision of law, a State or
political subdivision of a State is authorized to prohibit or
otherwise limit or restrict the eligibility of aliens or
classes of aliens for programs of general cash public
assistance furnished under the law of the State or a
political subdivision of a State.
(b) Limitation.--The authority provided for under
subsection (a) may be exercised only to the extent that any
prohibitions, limitations, or restrictions imposed by a State
or political subdivision of a State are not more restrictive
than the prohibitions, limitations, or restrictions imposed
under comparable Federal programs. For purposes of this
section, attribution to an alien of a sponsor's income and
resources (as described in section 421 of the Personal
Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of
1996 (8 U.S.C. 1631)) for purposes of determining eligibility
for, and the amount of, benefits shall be considered less
restrictive than a prohibition of eligibility for such
benefits.