Employees of the Department of Homeland Security, including the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary’s counselors, the Assistant Secretary for the Private Sector, the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, counselors to such Director, and the Chief of the Immigrant Investor Programs Office (or any successor to such Office) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, shall act impartially and may not give preferential treatment to any entity, organization, or individual in connection with any aspect of the immigrant visa program described in section 1153(b)(5) of this title.
Employees of the Department of Homeland Security, including the officials listed in subsection (a), shall include, in the record of proceeding for a case under section 1153(b)(5) of this title, actual or electronic copies of all case-specific written communication, including emails from government and private accounts, with non-Department persons or entities advocating for regional center applications or individual petitions under such section that are pending on or after March 15, 2022 (other than routine communications with other agencies of the Federal Government regarding the case, including communications involving background checks and litigation defense).
Evidence received from law enforcement or intelligence agencies may not be made part of the record of proceeding without the consent of the relevant agency or law enforcement entity.
Evidence received from whistleblowers, other confidential sources, or the intelligence community that is included in the record of proceeding and considered in adjudicative proceedings shall be handled in a manner that does not reveal the identity of the whistleblower or confidential source, or reveal classified information.
No case-specific communication with persons or entities that are not part of the Department of Homeland Security may be considered in the adjudication of an application or petition under section 1153(b)(5) of this title unless the communication is included in the record of proceeding of the case.
The Secretary of Homeland Security may waive the requirement under paragraph (1) only in the interests of national security or for investigative or law enforcement purposes.
Employees of the Department of Homeland Security shall direct communications described in subparagraph (A) to the channels of communication or offices listed in clauses (i) through (iii) of subparagraph (A).
Not later than 30 days after a person or entity inquiring about a specific case or generally about the immigrant visa program described in section 1153(b)(5) of this title receives, as a result of a communication with an official of the Department of Homeland Security, generally applicable information that is not case-specific about program requirements or administration that has not been made publicly available by the Department, the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services shall publish such information on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website as an update to the relevant Frequently Asked Questions page or by some other comparable mechanism.
Any person who intentionally violates the prohibition on preferential treatment under this section or intentionally violates the reporting requirements under subsection (c) shall be disciplined in accordance with paragraph (2).
Not later than 90 days after March 15, 2022, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish a graduated set of sanctions based on the severity of the violation referred to in paragraph (1), which may include, in addition to any criminal or civil penalties that may be imposed, written reprimand, suspension, demotion, or removal.
Nothing in this section may be construed to modify any law, regulation, or policy regarding the handling or disclosure of classified information.
Nothing in this section may be construed to create or authorize a private right of action to challenge a decision of an employee of the Department of Homeland Security.
This section, and the amendments made by this section, shall take effect on March 15, 2022.