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[Congressional Record: October 10, 2000 (House)]
[Page H9541-H9545]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr10oc00-77]                         



 
                   VISA WAIVER PERMANENT PROGRAM ACT

  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
concur in the Senate amendments to the bill (H.R. 3767) to amend the 
Immigration and Nationality Act to make improvements to, and 
permanently authorize, the visa waiver pilot program under section 217 
of such Act.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Senate amendments:
       Page 5, line 12, strike out ``2006'' and insert ``2007''.
       Page 7, line 11, strike out all after ``(g)'' down to and 
     including ``System'' in line 13 and insert ``Visa Application 
     Sole Method To Dispute Denial of Waiver Based on a Ground of 
     Inadmissibility
       Page 7, line 13, strike out all after ``alien'' down to and 
     including ``use'' in line 16 and insert'' denied a waiver 
     under the program by reason of a ground of inadmissibility 
     described in section 212(a) that is discovered at the time of 
     the alien's application for the waiver or through the use''.
       Page 7, strike out all after line 22 over to and including 
     line 15 on page 8
       Page 9, line 6, strike out ``United States);'' and insert 
     ``United States and the existence and effectiveness of its 
     agreements and procedures for extraditing to the United 
     States individuals, including its own nationals, who commit 
     crimes that violate United States law);''.
       Page 9, line 11, strike out all after ``Judiciary'' down to 
     and including ``and'' in line 12 and insert ``and the 
     Committee on International Relations of the House of 
     Representatives and the Committee on the Judiciary and the 
     Committee on Foreign Relations''.
       Page 10, line 7, strike out ``United States);'' and insert 
     ``United States and the existence and effectiveness of its 
     agreements and procedures for extraditing to the United 
     States individuals, including its own nationals, who commit 
     crimes that violate United States law);''.
       Page 10, line 8, after ``determine'' insert ``, based upon 
     the evaluation in subclause (I),''.
       Page 10, line 14, strike out all after ``ary'' down to and 
     including ``and'' in line 15 and insert ``and the Committee 
     on International Relations of the House of Representatives 
     and the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on 
     Foreign Relations''.
       Page 10, line 25, strike out all after ``General,'' over to 
     and including ``Register'' in line 3 on page 11 and insert 
     ``in consultation with the Secretary of State''.
       Page 11, strike out all after line 12 over to and including 
     line 9 on page 12
       Page 12, line 10, strike out ``(C)'' and insert ``(B)''.
       Page 13, line 3, after ``ity)'' insert ``on the territory 
     of the program country''.
       Page 13, strike out all after line 3 down to and including 
     line 6 and insert:

       ``(III) a severe breakdown in law and order affecting a 
     significant portion of the program country's territory;
       ``(IV) a severe economic collapse in the program country; 
     or''.

       Page 13, line 8, after ``event'' insert ``in the program 
     country''.
       Page 13, line 12, after ``States)'' insert ``and where the 
     country's participation in the program could contribute to 
     that threat''.
       Page 13, line 17, after ``General'' insert ``, in 
     consultation with the Secretary of State,''.
       Page 14, line 7, strike out ``(D)'' and insert ``(C)''.
       Page 14, line 12, strike out ``, (B), or (C)'' and insert 
     ``or (B)''.
       Page 14, line 18, strike out ``a designation''
       Page 15, line 11, after ``arrives'' insert ``and departs''.
       Page 16, line 25, strike out all after ``record.--'' over 
     to and including ``Senate'' in line 6 on page 17 and insert 
     ``As part of the annual report required to be submitted under 
     section 110(e)(1) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and 
     Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, the Attorney General 
     shall include a section''.
       Page 17, line 8, after ``year'' insert ``, together with an 
     analysis of that information''.
       Page 17, line 10, strike out ``October 1'' and insert 
     ``December 31''.
       Page 18, after line 2 insert:
     ``The report required by this clause may be combined with the 
     annual report required to be submitted on that date under 
     section 110(e)(1) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and 
     Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.''
       Page 19, line 21, after ``name'' insert ``or Service 
     identification number''.
       Page 20, strike out all after line 21 over to and including 
     line 4 on page 21 and insert:
       ``(6) Computation of visa refusal rates.--For purposes of 
     determining the eligibility of a country to be designated as 
     a program country, the calculation of visa refusal rates 
     shall not include any visa refusals which incorporate any 
     procedures based on, or are otherwise based on, race, sex, or 
     disability, unless otherwise specifically authorized by law 
     or regulation. No court shall have jurisdiction under this 
     paragraph to review any visa refusal, the denial of admission 
     to the United States of any alien by the Attorney General, 
     the Secretary's computation of the visa refusal rate, or the 
     designation or nondesignation of any country.''.
       Page 21, after line 4 insert:

     ``SEC. 207. VISA WAIVER INFORMATION.

         ``Section 217(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act 
     (8 U.S.C. 1187(c)), as amended by sections 204(b) and 206 of 
     this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the 
     following:
       ``(7) Visa waiver information.--
       ``(A) In general.--In refusing the application of nationals 
     of a program country for United States visas, or the 
     applications of nationals of a country seeking entry into the 
     visa waiver program, a consular officer shall not knowingly 
     or intentionally classify the refusal of the visa under a 
     category that is not included in the calculation of the visa 
     refusal rate only so that the percentage of that country's 
     visa refusals is less than the percentage limitation 
     applicable to qualification for participation in the visa 
     waiver program.
       ``(B) Reporting requirement.--On May 1 of each year, for 
     each country under consideration for inclusion in the visa 
     waiver program, the Secretary of State shall provide to the 
     appropriate congressional committees--
       ``(i) the total number of nationals of that country that 
     applied for United States visas in that country during the 
     previous calendar year;
       ``(ii) the total number of such nationals who received 
     United States visas during the previous calendar year;
       ``(iii) the total number of such nationals who were refused 
     United States visas during the previous calendar year;
       ``(iv) the total number of such nationals who were refused 
     United States visas during the previous calendar year under 
     each provision of this Act under which the visas were 
     refused; and
       ``(v) the number of such nationals that were refused under 
     section 214(b) as a percentage of the visas that were issued 
     to such nationals.
       ``(C) Certification.--Not later than May 1 of each year, 
     the United States chief of mission, acting or permanent, to 
     each country under consideration for inclusion in the visa 
     waiver program shall certify to the appropriate congressional 
     committees that the information described in subparagraph (B) 
     is accurate and provide a copy of that certification to those 
     committees.
       ``(D) Consideration of countries in the visa waiver 
     program.--Upon notification to the Attorney General that a 
     country is under consideration for inclusion in the visa 
     waiver program, the Secretary of State shall provide all of 
     the information described in subparagraph (B) to the Attorney 
     General.
       ``(E) Definition.--In this paragraph, the term `appropriate 
     congressional committees' means the Committee on the 
     Judiciary and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the 
     Senate and the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee 
     on International Relations of the House of 
     Representatives.''.

 ``TITLE III--IMMIGRATION STATUS OF ALIEN EMPLOYEES OF INTELSAT AFTER 
                             PRIVATIZATION

     ``SEC. 301. MAINTENANCE OF NONIMMIGRANT AND SPECIAL IMMIGRANT 
                   STATUS NOTWITHSTANDING INTELSAT PRIVATIZATION.

       ``(a) Officers and Employees.--
       ``(1) After privatization.--In the case of an alien who, 
     during the 6-month period ending on the day before the date 
     of privatization, was continuously an officer or employee of 
     INTELSAT, and pursuant to such position continuously 
     maintained, during such period, the status of a lawful 
     nonimmigrant described in section 101(a)(15)(G)(iv) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1101(a)(15)(G)(iv)), the alien shall be considered as 
     maintaining such nonimmigrant status on and after the date of 
     privatization, but only during the period in which the alien 
     is an officer or employee of INTELSAT or any successor or 
     separated entity of INTELSAT.
       ``(2) Precursory employment with successor before 
     privatization completion.--In the case of an alien who 
     commences service as an officer or employee of a successor or 
     separated entity of INTELSAT before the date of 
     privatization, but after the date of the enactment of the 
     ORBIT Act (Public Law 106-180; 114 Stat. 48) and in 
     anticipation of

[[Page H9542]]

     privatization, if the alien, during the 6-month period ending 
     on the day before such commencement date, was continuously an 
     officer or employee of INTELSAT, and pursuant to such 
     position continuously maintained, during such period, the 
     status of a lawful nonimmigrant described in section 
     101(a)(15)(G)(iv) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
     U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(G)(iv)), the alien shall be considered as 
     maintaining such nonimmigrant status on and after such 
     commencement date, but only during the period in which the 
     alien is an officer or employee of any successor or separated 
     entity of INTELSAT.
       ``(b) Immediate Family Members.--
       ``(1) Aliens maintaining status.--
       ``(A) After privatization.--An alien who, on the day before 
     the date of privatization, was a member of the immediate 
     family of an alien described in subsection (a)(1), and had 
     the status of a lawful nonimmigrant described in section 
     101(a)(15)(G)(iv) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
     U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(G)(iv)) on such day, shall be considered 
     as maintaining such nonimmigrant status on and after the date 
     of privatization, but, only during the period in which the 
     alien described in subsection (a)(1) is an officer or 
     employee of INTELSAT or any successor or separated entity of 
     INTELSAT.
       ``(B) After precursory employment.--An alien who, on the 
     day before a commencement date described in subsection 
     (a)(2), was a member of the immediate family of the 
     commencing alien, and had the status of a lawful nonimmigrant 
     described in section 101(a)(15)(G)(iv) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(G)(iv)) on such day, 
     shall be considered as maintaining such nonimmigrant status 
     on and after such commencement date, but only during the 
     period in which the commencing alien is an officer or 
     employee of any successor or separated entity of INTELSAT.
       ``(2) Aliens changing status.--In the case of an alien who 
     is a member of the immediate family of an alien described in 
     paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a), the alien may be 
     granted and may maintain status as a nonimmigrant described 
     in section 101(a)(15)(G)(iv) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(G)(iv)) on the same 
     terms as an alien described in subparagraph (A) or (B), 
     respectively, of paragraph (1).
       ``(c) Special Immigrants.--For purposes of section 
     101(a)(27)(I) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)(I)) of the Immigration 
     and Nationality Act, the term ``international organization'' 
     includes INTELSAT or any successor or separated entity of 
     INTELSAT.

     ``SEC. 302. TREATMENT OF EMPLOYMENT FOR PURPOSES OF OBTAINING 
                   IMMIGRANT STATUS AS A MULTINATIONAL EXECUTIVE 
                   OR MANAGER.

       ``(a) In General.--Notwithstanding section 212(e) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(e)), in the 
     case of an alien described in subsection (b)--
       ``(1) any services performed by the alien in the United 
     States as an officer or employee of INTELSAT or any successor 
     or separated entity of INTELSAT, and in a capacity that is 
     managerial or executive, shall be considered employment 
     outside the United States by an employer described in section 
     203(b)(1)(C) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(b)(1)(C)), if the 
     alien has the status of a lawful nonimmigrant described in 
     section 101(a)(15)(G)(iv) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1101(a)(15)(G)(iv)) during such period of service; and
       ``(2) the alien shall be considered as seeking to enter the 
     United States in order to continue to render services to the 
     same employer.
       ``(b) Aliens Described.--An alien described in this 
     subsection is an alien--
       ``(1) whose nonimmigrant status is maintained pursuant to 
     section 301(a); and
       ``(2) who seeks adjustment of status after the date of 
     privatization to that of an alien lawfully admitted for 
     permanent residence under section 245 of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1255) based on section 203(b)(1)(C) 
     of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(b)(1)(C)) during the period in 
     which the alien is--
       ``(A) an officer or employee of INTELSAT or any successor 
     or separated entity of INTELSAT; and
       ``(B) rendering services as such an officer or employee in 
     a capacity that is managerial or executive.

     ``SEC. 303. DEFINITIONS.

       ``For purposes of this title--
       ``(1) the terms ``INTELSAT'', ``separated entity'', and 
     ``successor entity'' shall have the meaning given such terms 
     in the ORBIT Act (Public Law 106-180; 114 Stat. 48);
       `(2) the term ``date of privatization'' means the date on 
     which all or substantially all of the then existing assets of 
     INTELSAT are legally transferred to one or more stock 
     corporations or other similar commercial entities; and
       ``(3) all other terms shall have the meaning given such 
     terms in section 101(a) of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)).

                  ``TITLE IV--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

     ``SEC. 401. AMENDMENT TO SECTION 214 OF THE IMMIGRATION AND 
                   NATIONALITY ACT.

       ``Section 214(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
     U.S.C. 1184(c)) is amended by adding the following new 
     paragraph:
       ``(10) An amended H-1B petition shall not be required where 
     the petitioning employer is involved in a corporate 
     restructuring, including but not limited to a merger, 
     acquisition, or consolidation, where a new corporate entity 
     succeeds to the interests and obligations of the original 
     petitioning employer and where the terms and conditions of 
     employment remain the same but for the identity of the 
     petitioner.''.

     ``SEC. 402. THE IMMIGRANT INVESTOR PILOT PROGRAM.

       ``(a) Extension of Program.--Section 610(b) of the 
     Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, 
     and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (8 U.S.C. 1153 
     note) is amended by striking ``seven years'' and inserting 
     ``ten years''.
       ``(b) Determinations of Job Creation.--Section 610(c) of 
     such Act is amended by inserting ``, improved regional 
     productivity, job creation, or increased domestic capital 
     investment'' after ``increased exports''.

     ``SEC. 403. PARTICIPATION OF BUSINESS AIRCRAFT IN THE VISA 
                   WAIVER PROGRAM.

       ``(a) Entry of Business Aircraft.--Section 217(a)(5) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (as redesignated by this Act) 
     is amended by striking all after ``carrier'' and inserting 
     the following: ``, including any carrier conducting 
     operations under part 135 of title 14, Code of Federal 
     Regulations, or a noncommercial aircraft that is owned or 
     operated by a domestic corporation conducting operations 
     under part 91 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations which 
     has entered into an agreement with the Attorney General 
     pursuant to subsection (e). The Attorney General is 
     authorized to require a carrier conducting operations under 
     part 135 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, or a 
     domestic corporation conducting operations under part 91 of 
     that title, to give suitable and proper bond, in such 
     reasonable amount and containing such conditions as the 
     Attorney General may deem sufficient to ensure compliance 
     with the indemnification requirements of this section, as a 
     term of such an agreement.''.
       ``(b) Round-Trip Ticket.--Section 217(a)(8) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (as redesignated by this Act) 
     is amended by inserting ``or the alien is arriving at the 
     port of entry on an aircraft operated under part 135 of title 
     14, Code of Federal Regulations, or a noncommercial aircraft 
     that is owned or operated by a domestic corporation 
     conducting operations under part 91 of title 14, Code of 
     Federal Regulations'' after ``regulations''.
       ``(c) Automated System Check.--Section 217(a) (8 U.S.C. 
     1187(a)) of the Immigration and Nationality Act is amended by 
     adding at the end the following: ``Operators of aircraft 
     under part 135 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, or 
     operators of noncommercial aircraft that are owned or 
     operated by a domestic corporation conducting operations 
     under part 91 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, 
     carrying any alien passenger who will apply for admission 
     under this section shall furnish such information as the 
     Attorney General by regulation shall prescribe as necessary 
     for the identification of any alien passenger being 
     transported and for the enforcement of the immigration laws. 
     Such information shall be electronically transmitted not less 
     than one hour prior to arrival at the port of entry for 
     purposes of checking for inadmissibility using the automated 
     electronic database.''.
       ``(d) Carrier Agreement Requirements To Include Business 
     Aircraft.--
       ``(1) In general.--Section 217(e) (8 U.S.C. 1187(e)) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act is amended--
       ``(A) by striking ``carrier'' each place it appears and 
     inserting ``carrier (including any carrier conducting 
     operations under part 135 of title 14, Code of Federal 
     Regulations) or a domestic corporation conducting operations 
     under part 91 of that title''; and
       ``(B) in paragraph (2), by striking ``carrier's failure'' 
     and inserting ``failure by a carrier (including any carrier 
     conducting operations under part 135 of title 14, Code of 
     Federal Regulations) or a domestic corporation conducting 
     operations under part 91 of that title''.
       ``(2) Business aircraft requirements.--Section 217(e) (8 
     U.S.C. 1187(e)) of the Immigration and Nationality Act is 
     amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
       ``(3) Business aircraft requirements.--
       ``(A) In general.--For purposes of this section, a domestic 
     corporation conducting operations under part 91 of title 14, 
     Code of Federal Regulations that owns or operates a 
     noncommercial aircraft is a corporation that is organized 
     under the laws of any of the States of the United States or 
     the District of Columbia and is accredited by or a member of 
     a national organization that sets business aviation 
     standards. The Attorney General shall prescribe by regulation 
     the provision of such information as the Attorney General 
     deems necessary to identify the domestic corporation, its 
     officers, employees, shareholders, its place of business, and 
     its business activities.
       ``(B) Collections.--In addition to any other fee authorized 
     by law, the Attorney General is authorized to charge and 
     collect, on a periodic basis, an amount from each domestic 
     corporation conducting operations under part 91 of title 14, 
     Code of Federal Regulations, for nonimmigrant visa waiver 
     admissions on noncommercial aircraft owned or operated by 
     such domestic corporation equal to the total amount of fees 
     assessed for issuance of nonimmigrant visa waiver arrival/
     departure forms at land border ports of

[[Page H9543]]

     entry. All fees collected under this paragraph shall be 
     deposited into the Immigration User Fee Account established 
     under section 286(h).''.
       ``(e) Report Required.--Not later than two years after the 
     date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall 
     submit a report to the Committees on the Judiciary of the 
     House of Representatives and the Senate assessing the 
     effectiveness of the program implemented under the amendments 
     made by this section for simplifying the admission of 
     business travelers from visa waiver program  countries and 
     compliance with the Immigration and Nationality Act by 
     such travelers under that program.

     SEC. 404. MORE EFFICIENT COLLECTION OF INFORMATION FEE.

       ``Section 641(e) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and 
     Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (division C of Public 
     Law 104-208) is amended--
       ``(1) in paragraph (1)--
       ``(A) by striking ``an approved institution of higher 
     education and a designated exchange visitor program'' and 
     inserting ``the Attorney General'';
       ``(B) by striking ``the time--'' and inserting the 
     following: ``a time prior to the alien being classified under 
     subparagraph (F), (J), or (M) of section 101(a)(15) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act.''; and
       ``(C) by striking subparagraphs (A) and (B);
       ``(2) by amending paragraph (2) to read as follows:
       ``(2) Remittance.--The fees collected under paragraph (1) 
     shall be remitted by the alien pursuant to a schedule 
     established by the Attorney General for immediate deposit and 
     availability as described under section 286(m) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act.'';
       ``(3) in paragraph (3)--
       ``(A) by striking ``has'' the first place it appears and 
     inserting ``seeks''; and
       ``(B) by striking ``has'' the second place it appears and 
     inserting ``seeks to'';
       ``(4) in paragraph (4)--
       ``(A) by inserting before the period at the end of the 
     second sentence of subparagraph (A) the following: ``, except 
     that, in the case of an alien admitted under section 
     101(a)(15)(J) of the Immigration and Nationality Act as an au 
     pair, camp counselor, or participant in a summer work travel 
     program, the fee shall not exceed $40''; and
       ``(B) by adding at the end of subparagraph (B) the 
     following new sentence: ``Such expenses include, but are not 
     necessarily limited to, those incurred by the Secretary of 
     State in connection with the program under subsection (a).''; 
     and
       ``(5) by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:
       ``(5) Proof of payment.--The alien shall present proof of 
     payment of the fee before the granting of--
       ``(A) a visa under section 222 of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act or, in the case of an alien who is exempt 
     from the visa requirement described in section 212(d)(4) of 
     the Immigration and Nationality Act, admission to the United 
     States; or
       ``(B) change of nonimmigrant classification under section 
     248 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to a 
     classification described in paragraph (3).
       ``(6) Implementation.--The provisions of section 553 of 
     title 5, United States Code (relating to rule-making) shall 
     not apply to the extent the Attorney General determines 
     necessary to ensure the expeditious, initial implementation 
     of this section.''.

     ``SEC. 405. NEW TIME-FRAME FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF DATA 
                   COLLECTION PROGRAM.

       ``Section 641(g)(1) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and 
     Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (division C of Public 
     Law 104-208) is amended to read as follows:
       ``(1) Expansion of program.--Not later than 12 months after 
     the submission of the report required by subsection (f), the 
     Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of State 
     and the Secretary of Education, shall commence expansion of 
     the program to cover the nationals of all countries.''.

     ``SEC. 406. TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS.

       ``Section 641 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and 
     Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (division C of Public 
     Law 104-208) is amended--
       ``(1) in subsection (h)(2)(A), by striking ``Director of 
     the United States Information Agency'' and inserting 
     ``Secretary of State''; and
       ``(2) in subsection (d)(1), by inserting ``institutions of 
     higher education or exchange visitor programs'' after ``by''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Smith) and the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Smith).


                             General Leave

  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend 
their remarks and include extraneous matter on the legislation under 
consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the visa waiver pilot program allows aliens traveling 
from certain designated countries to come to the United States as 
temporary visitors for business or pleasure without having to obtain 
the nonimmigrant visa normally required to enter the United States. 
There are currently 29 countries participating in this program.
  H.R. 3767 is a bipartisan bill. It was passed unanimously by the 
Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims in the Committee on the 
Judiciary. The Senate modifications to the House-passed language were 
worked out on a bipartisan basis with the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Since its initial enactment as a temporary program in 1986, the Visa 
Waiver Pilot Program has been regularly extended by Congress. However, 
the latest extension expired on April 30.
  Fourteen years is a long time for a pilot program. H.R. 3767, The 
Visa Waiver Permanent Program Act, makes the visa waiver program more 
secure and by ending the need to periodically reauthorize it, makes the 
program.
  H.R. 3767 is a bipartisan bill. It was passed unanimously by the 
Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims and the Judiciary Committee. The 
Senate modifications to the House-passed language were worked out on a 
bipartisan basis with the Judiciary Committee.
  The tourism and travel industry strongly supports this legislation. 
Visa-free travel under the program has stimulated tourism in the United 
States from participating countries. More than 17 million visitors 
enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program each year. A 
permanent program will be a long term benefit to the tourism industry 
and remove the uncertainty caused by the periodic expiration of the 
program.
  A permanent program should not be authorized if the program poses a 
threat to the safety and well-being of the United States or allows 
large numbers of aliens to use the program to circumvent immigration 
laws. Thus, H.R. 3767 contains several provisions that are needed to 
strengthen the program.
  First, the current requirement that participating countries have a 
machine readable passport has been strengthened by establishing a date 
certain for all countries in the program to implement a machine 
readable passport.
  Second, H.R. 3767 requires the INS to develop a fully automated 
system for tracking the entry and departure of visa waiver travelers 
entering by air and sea.
  Third, H.R. 3767 establishes procedures for periodic reviews of 
countries already in the program and for suspending a country's 
participation in the program during emergency situations such as war, 
economic collapse, or a breakdown in law and order. Such procedures 
ensure that a permanent visa waiver program does not pose a threat to 
the law enforcement and security interests of the United States.
  Finally, H.R. 3767 requires the INS and the Department of State to 
upgrade their automated lookout systems for screening visa waiver 
travelers.
  H.R. 3767, as passed by the Senate, includes a number of new 
provisions that are agreeable to the Judiciary Committee. The first two 
modify the visa waiver program. The first would allow corporate 
aircraft to utilize the visa waiver program under the same conditions 
and with the same safeguards as may commercial air carriers. This 
provision will facilitate travel for those large number American 
businesses utilizing non-commercial air transport and will promote the 
economic health of the business aviation industry.
  The second new measure requires the Secretary of State to provide 
Congress with information regarding countries under consideration for 
inclusion in the visa waiver program. It requires that visa refusal 
data not be manipulated by consular officers so as to favor a country's 
qualification for the visa waiver program.
  The bill also includes new provisions not relating to the visa waiver 
program. The first deals with the immigration law consequences of the 
privatization of INTELSAT, the International Telecommunications 
Satellite Organization.
  Prior to privatization, foreign INTELSAT employees in the United 
States received ``G-4'' nonimmigrant visas which are available to 
officers and employees (and their family members) of international 
organizations. Such employees (and their family members) are eligible 
for permanent residence upon retirement (and under certain other 
circumstances) pursuant to the special immigrant visa program.

  Without legislative action, INTELSAT's foreign employees would be 
forced to leave the United States upon the entity's privatization.
  The bill provides that foreign employees (and their family members) 
who worked for INTELSAT in the United States for at least 6

[[Page H9544]]

months prior to privatization can continue to use their G-4 visas for 
as long as they work for INTELSAT or a successor or separated entity. 
The bill further provides that these foreign employees (and their 
families) can continue to make use of the special immigrant visa 
program despite INTELSAT's privatization.
  Finally, the bill provides that those qualifying foreign employees of 
INTELSAT who work in a managerial or executive capacity may seek 
permanent residence under the multinational executive and manager green 
card program.
  The bill extends the length of the regional center pilot program of 
the employment creation immigrant visa program through October 1, 2003. 
This pilot program sets aside 3,000 visas a year for aliens investing 
in regional centers that promote economic growth. Under the pilot as 
amended by this bill, qualifying regional centers may create jobs 
indirectly through revenues generated from increased exports, improved 
regional productivity, job creation, or increased domestic capital 
investment.
  The bill modifies the program set up under the Illegal Immigration 
Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to collect information 
on alien post-secondary students and exchange visitors. In 1995, the 
Immigration and Naturalization Service issued a report which found that 
``Americans have a fundamental, basic expectation that their Government 
is effectively monitoring and controlling foreign students. . . . 
Because there have been high profile instances where terrorists and 
criminal aliens have been linked to student visas, there is a growing 
degree of public concern about this issue.''
  Section 641 of IIRIRA required the implementation (first as a pilot 
program) of a system which would collect electronically information 
from schools on foreign students including identity and address, 
current academic status and any disciplinary action taken by a school 
against a student as a result of the commission of a crime. The system 
is soon to go into effect nationwide.
  This bill clarifies that the fee funding this program shall be 
collected by the Attorney General prior to the issuance of a visa, and 
not by the institution of higher education or exchange visitor program 
when the alien registers or first commences activities.
  In addition, the bill provides that aliens subject to the program who 
are admitted under ``J'' exchange visas as au pairs, camp counselors, 
or participants in summer work travel programs shall pay a fee of no 
more than $40.
  Finally, the bill provides that employers utilizing the H-1B program 
do not have to file amended petitions for alien workers as a result of 
their being involved in corporate restructurings, including but not 
limited to mergers, acquisitions, or consolidations, where new 
corporate entities succeed to the interest and obligations of the 
original employers and where the terms and conditions of employment 
remain the same.
  I urge my colleagues to vote for the Visa Waiver Permanent Program 
Act.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  (Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend her remarks.)
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, let me add my appreciation to 
the chairman of the subcommittee, and, as well, to all of those who 
worked to move this legislation along.
  Mr. Speaker, I support H.R. 3767. It is an important vehicle to 
improve the ability for tourism in the United States. Many entities 
worked to ensure that the visa waiver program became permanent.
  This is, of course, to allow short-term visitors to travel to the 
United States without having to obtain a non-immigrant visa, thereby 
encouraging and facilitating international tourism to the United 
States. This will help all of our States, and particularly my State of 
Texas, that ranks number four in the Nation in overall visitor spending 
and travel.
  Mr. Speaker, let me conclude by simply saying that I would hope that 
we would have the opportunity to look at countries in the continent of 
Africa, particularly South Africa, to include in this program, and that 
this program will continue to grow in a positive way so we can continue 
to have the important exchange that is so very important in the United 
States of America to promote cooperation and exchange.
  Mr. FARR of California. Mr. Speaker, as cochair of the House Travel 
and Tourism Caucus, I express my strong support for passage of the Visa 
Waiver Permanent Program Act (H.R. 3767) to permanently reauthorize the 
Visa Waiver Pilot Program.
  The Visa Waiver Program facilitates and streamlines international 
travel by allowing visitors from 29 low-risk countries to enter the 
U.S. visa-free for up to 90 days. A permanent program will encourage 
international travel to the United States at a time when we should be 
promoting the U.S. travel and tourism industry. As the fastest growing 
industry in the United States, the third-largest retail industry, and 
one of the Nation's largest employers, tourism is one of our most 
vibrant economic industries.
  More than 46 million international visitors come to the United States 
each year, and the numbers keep on increasing. These tourists spend 
more than $90 billion in the United States, supporting directly and 
indirectly 16.9 million American jobs, and creating a tourism trade 
surplus of $14.2 billion. More than 94 percent of these jobs are 
created by small businesses located in communities in every corner of 
the United States. In fact, the travel industry provides jobs for more 
than 800,000 people in California and 20,000 in my district alone. As 
the second largest economic engine on the central coast, bringing in 
$1.5 billion a year, tourism is absolutely integral to my district's 
economic success story.
  Nearly half of all overseas visitors currently arrive under the Visa 
Waiver Program. Without this program, the number of international 
tourists will decrease substantially--which will be felt on Main 
Street, USA nationwide.
  This success of the Visa Waiver Program has been an integral 
component in our increased international tourism, which has in turn 
provided substantial economic benefits to the United States. Therefore, 
on behalf of bed and breakfasts, retail shop owners, taxi drivers and 
tour operators across the Nation, I urge your support for making the 
Visa Waiver Pilot Program permanent.
  Mr. UNDERWOOD. Mr. Speaker, thank you for allowing me the opportunity 
to comment in support of H.R. 3767, a bill which will make permanent 
the Visa Waiver Program Act. The original program allowed visitors from 
certain foreign countries to enter the United States and the 
Territories without having to apply for a visa.
  Since the program expired on April 30 of this year, visitors to Guam 
from Japan and other countries covered under the program, have entered 
the island under INS paroling rules. This has created a burden of 
additional paperwork for INS agents to process; and, as a consequence, 
visitors are enduring longer lines in immigration. The average waiting 
period for processing ballooned from 45 minutes to up to 4 hours. 
Imagine yourself as a visitor traveling from Japan for 3 hours then 
waiting in line for an additional 4 hours to process through 
immigration before your able to leave the airport and begin your 
vacation. This is a reality that some visitors to Guam have had to 
endure.
  This program is crucial to the success of American communities that 
rely on tourism as their main source of revenue. For 14 years the 
program has soundly demonstrated its ability to expand our travel and 
tourism base and aid our country's economic growth. Indeed, Guam has 
itself reaped the benefits of this program, alleviating the process for 
applying for a visa to certain visitors traveling to the United States 
for business or pleasure.
  Since 1988, travel to the United States from foreign countries has 
consistently risen each year. International travel has given our 
country a trade surplus within the tourism industry totaling as much as 
$26 billion in 1996. It is clear that with revenues like this, we 
should make the Visit Waiver Program permanent.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge the passage today of H.R. 3767, the Visa Waiver 
Permanent Program Act, which is instrumental to continuing the 
prosperity of our nations' economy, including my home island of Guam.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, on April 11, 2000, the House passed H.R. 
3767, the Visa Waiver Permanent Program Act, which included an 
amendment I offered during the Judiciary Committee markup. My amendment 
prohibits the use of visa refusal rates to disqualify countries from 
the visa waiver program when visa refusals are based on the 
discriminatory practices of the adjudicating Consulate. The amendment 
as passed by both the committee and the House ensures that Consulates 
and Embassies abroad adjudicate visa applications based on the merits 
of the applications, and not on the basis of ``race, sex, sexual 
orientation, or disability.'' Unfortunately, this bill's Senate 
counterpart has been held up in large part because of opposition to my 
amendment by the senior Senator from North Carolina and others in the 
Senate majority.
  In an effort to reach a compromise, the Senate bill retains my 
amendment, except for the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of 
sexual orientation. In addition, the Senate amendment provides that:

       No court shall have jurisdiction under [the Conyers' 
     amendment] to review any visa refusal or the Secretary's 
     computation of the visa refusal rate.

  I would have preferred that these changes not have been made, but, 
given the lateness

[[Page H9545]]

in the session and the importance of the visa waiver program being 
extended, I am willing to support the legislation before us.
  The impetus for the amendment was U.S. District Court Judge Stanley 
Sporkin's decisive findings in the case of Olden versus Albright in 
December 1997 that the U.S. Consulate General in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 
based its nonimmigrant visa determinations in large part on the 
applicants' race, ethnicity or national origin. For example, Korean and 
Chinese nationals were rarely issued visas unless they were older and 
had previously received a visa. According to the Consular Section Head, 
``Filipinos and Nigerians have high fraud rates, and their applications 
should be viewed with extreme suspicion, while British and Japanese 
citizens rarely overstay, and generally require less scrutiny.'' 
Further, identifying cities ``known for fraud'' (most with 
predominantly black populations), the Consulate's manual stated that 
``anyone born in these locations is suspect unless older, well-
traveled, etc.''
  Judge Sporkin correctly stated:

       The principle that government must not discriminate against 
     particular individuals because of the color of their skin or 
     the place of their birth means that the use of 
     generalizations based on these factors is unfair and 
     unjustified.

  When, as in the Olsen case, that discriminatory profiling is 
occurring and where it occurs at the Federal level, it is particularly 
important that Congress act to prevent further discrimination.
  Notwithstanding the Senate's revision to the bill, the final language 
makes it clear to the U.S. Consulates and Embassies abroad that it is a 
violation of U.S. law for visa refusals to occur based on 
generalizations that by their very nature are not applicable to the 
individual application. The revised language continues to ensure that 
Embassies and Consulates adjudicate visas based on the merits of the 
applications, and not on the basis of irrelevant and harmful 
discriminatory stereotypes. Further, the Olson decision continues to 
stand for the legal proposition that the use of generalizations based 
on race, sex, and disability (as well as sexual orientation, 
nationality, place of birth, and place of residence) is unfair, 
unjustified, and contrary to law.
  The amendment added in the Senate will have no practical legal effect 
and I understand from my Senate colleagues that it is merely a symbolic 
gesture. Nonetheless, court stripping provisions, whether symbolic or 
not, is contrary to our democratic principles. I hesitate before 
supporting another bill out of this Congress that removes the ability 
of immigrants to have administrative determinations reviewed by a 
court. It seems to me ironic that our Republican friends demanded only 
a short while ago that Elian Gonzalez be afforded the right of judicial 
review. These demands must also have been only symbolic.
  The bill passed by the Senate also includes a new title III to permit 
INTELSAT's foreign employees to maintain their nonimmigrant status 
notwithstanding the organization's privatization. At the present time, 
INTELSAT's foreign employees are in a visa status based on their 
employment by an international organization. After INTELSAT privatizes, 
its current employees will no longer be eligible to maintain their 
current visa status without this change in the law. the purpose of 
title III is not to give INTELSAT an unfair advantage with regard to 
its hiring practices as compared with its competitors. Let me just 
clarify my understanding of two references within Title III.
  First, in sections 301(a)(1) and (a)(2), the phrase ``separate entity 
of INTELSAT'' is intended to address the situation in which, between 
passage of this bill and privatization, INTELSAT establishes a new 
separated entity as a shell company in anticipation of privatization. 
It is not our intent for an employee of INTELSAT who, post-
privatization, becomes an employee of a separated entity that pre-dates 
this legislation (e.g., New Skies Satellites N.V.) to retain his or her 
nonimmigrant status.
  Second, in sections 301(a)(1) and (a)(2), the phrase ``the date of 
privatization'' means either the date that INTELSAT privatizes or April 
1, 2001, whichever is earlier. The ORBIT Act specifies April 1, 2001 as 
the date by which INTELSAT must privatize, without regard to whether 
INTELSAT is granted an extension, pursuant to Section 621(5) of the 
ORBIT Act, to conduct an initial public offering.
  Finally, I would like to thank the Travel Industry Association, and 
in particular its president, Bill Norman, for their exemplary work on 
ensuring the final passage of this bill.
  The Visa Waiver Permanent Program Act is too important to our 
business and tourism industries to delay it any longer. I therefore 
urge my colleagues to support this bill.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this 
bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Smith) that the House suspend the rules and 
concur in the Senate amendments to the bill, H.R. 3767.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds having voted in favor 
thereof) the rules were suspended and the Senate amendments were 
concurred in.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________





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