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Khashoggi Act


Steven Andrews
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Longer Title: International Documentation Requirement Waiver Act

This Act:
(1)(a) Allows the Secretary of State (or their designee) the ability to issue a waiver against any law from another nation which would require the presence of an American citizen or lawful permanent resident on the soil of that nation (including an embassy) for a function that would otherwise wholly be carried out outside of that nation where the person can credibly claim concern for their health or welfare.  For example, this won't affect asylum or visa applications, but it restricts the ability to compel presence for divorce papers.
(1)(b) Explicitly bars US courts from hearing claims or granting or enforcing judgments, and US corporations from complying with said judgments, where a foreign court tries to sanction someone for using this exception. Permits US courts to issue an injunction barring further action.  Allows claimants trying to use repetitive claims disallowed under this section to be sanctioned for contempt.
(1)(c) Allows US courts, subject to an order under (1)(a), to compel the provision of relevant documentation by order.  Permits the courts, in "extraordinary circumstances" where an international court or body is not cooperating (and being more than just bureaucratically obtuse), to "insert a statement in lieu of the presentation of that documentation" in a civil proceeding, with a presumption against the interests of the non-cooperating party.
(2) Directs that the Department of State, and other relevant intelligence agencies, monitor diplomatic immigration/emigration traffic for unusual patterns and issue public warnings if it has credible evidence that the country may be sending teams to an embassy for "non-diplomatic purposes".
(3)(a) States (in the form of a non-binding resolution) that the policy of the United States will be to recall its ambassadors and expel a "proportionate number of diplomatic staff" in the case of an American citizen/lawful permanent resident being killed at a foreign embassy, or killed as part of state action by a holder of a foreign country's diplomatic credential at the time.
(3)(b) Extends a more limited version of the (3)(a) policy to cover cases of it happening in allied countries and directing that such actions should occur in concert or solidarity with similarly-violated allies.


[PES: (1), (1b) and (1c) basically plug the loophole that allowed the Saudis to demand that Jamal Khashoggi appear at the embassy.  In his case it was divorce paperwork, but this is [by design] a bit more sweeping to handle other loopholes.  (2) deals with cases where a country is pretty blatantly using diplomatic cover to send in non-diplomatic personnel.  The aim is more "hit squads" than "garden-variety spies".  (3) is basically a finger-wag at what the Saudis did.  Both parts are non-binding by nature (this is an executive function), but it gives the executive a bit of cover to throw the occasional book at a country that has behaved badly.]

Edited by Steven Andrews

Andrew Byrd (and family), Virginia

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