Immigration-Related Provisions of Selected Bills on Religious Persecution [Updated June 4, 1998] [open pdf - 23KB]
"On May 14, 1998, the House passed H.R. 2431, the 'Freedom From Religious Persecution Act' by a vote of 375-41. As a result of amendments by the House Judiciary Committee, the immigration-related provisions of the House-passed bill are narrower than those in previous versions. The leading religious persecution bill in the Senate appears to be S. 1868, the 'International Religious Freedom Act.' A hearing was held on it by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 12. The asylum and training provisions of H.R. 2431 now more closely resemble those of S. 1868, but the refugee proposals in the two bills continue to differ significantly. Unlike earlier versions of H.R. 2431, the House-passed bill would not revise procedures for considering asylum claims made by aliens who allege membership in certain religious minorities. Instead, the asylum proposals now focus on enhanced training about religious persecution and on addressing potential biases and inaccuracies within the asylum process. Unlike S. 1868, however, H.R. 2431 retains provisions intended to ensure that members of persecuted religious groups are considered for admission as refugees on an equal basis with members of other groups of special humanitarian concern to the U.S. At the same time, the House-passed bill emphasizes its intent to give persecuted religious communities parity, rather than preference, in the refugee admission process."
CRS Report for Congress, 97-978