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house Bill H.R. 3431

Do Families Who Have Been Split By Immigration Law Deserve A Second Chance?

Argument in favor

Immigration reform that embraces the concepts of family and wellness.

Mariel's Opinion
Separating children from their parents is a a human rights violation. This is not what our country stands for.
Like (3)
Stephanie's Opinion
Yes. Stop separating parent from their children.

Argument opposed

Makes it easier for criminals to re-enter the country.

Michael's Opinion
Illegal entry to the US carries criminal penalties, in addition to civil penalties and immigration consequences.
Like (1)
jrs333's Opinion
I f they were thrown out we don't want them back.
Like (1)

What is House Bill H.R. 3431?

H.R. 3431 expands the discretionary authority of government officials to waive minor violations of law when reviewing cases in which families have been split by immigration laws. It does not create new mechanisms for legalizing undocumented individuals.  

The American Families United Act (AFUA) focuses those who if not for certain legal obstacles might be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence. These "inadmissibility waivers" could be granted to:
  • People who entered the U.S. before age 16 and now have a bachelor's degree;
  • Those who made false claims of U.S. citizenship when they were under 18 years old, or because they lacked the mental competence to knowingly misrepresent a claim; 
  • Individuals who made a false claim of U.S. citizenship if inadmissibility would create "family separation hardship for the alien or for a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member."

The bill also expands the waiver of "3 and 10 year bars," which prevent immigrants from obtaining lawful permanent residence or re-entering the U.S. if they have previously been in the country illegally for at least a year. The waiver currently applies to immigrants with spouses who are U.S. citizens; this bill would expand the waiver to parents of a U.S. citizen if the parent would suffer "hardship" without by not being in the U.S. 

H.R. 3431 bill creates a three-year statute of limitations on inadmissibility extending from fraud or misrepresentation tied to trying to obtain a visa or other immigration benefit. 

Finally, the bill states that separation from family would be enough to obtain a waiver of inadmissibility in cases related to fraud or misrepresentation from trying to obtain a visa or other immigration benefit. 


The bill most directly impacts those seeking to immigrate to the U.S. who have family members that are U.S. citizens.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3431

A CBO cost estimate is currently unavailable.

More Information

Of Note:

The application fee for the 9-page inadmissibility waiver is $585. 


Sponsoring Reps. Steve Pearce (R-NM) and Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) Press Release

El Paso Times


(Photo Credit: Flickr user Elvert Barnes)


American Families United Act

Official Title

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to promote family unity, and for other purposes.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Immigration and Citizenship
    IntroducedOctober 30th, 2013