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[Congressional Record: March 29, 2001 (Senate)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
STATEMENTS OF INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS
By Mr. HUTCHINSON:
A bill to authorize the establishment of a suboffice of the
Immigration and Naturalization Service in Fort Smith, Arkansas; to the
Committee on the Judiciary.
Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that a copy of
the ``Fort Smith INS Suboffice Act'' be printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the
Record, as follows:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of
the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Fort Smith INS Suboffice
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) The Immigration and Naturalization Service office in
Fort Smith, Arkansas, is an office within the jurisdiction of
the district office in New Orleans, Louisiana.
(2) During the past 10 years, the foreign national
population has grown substantially in the jurisdictional area
of the Fort Smith office.
(3) According to the 2000 census, Arkansas' Hispanic
population grew by 337 percent over the Hispanic population
in the 1990 census. This rate of growth is believed to be the
fastest in the United States.
(4) Hispanics now comprise 3.2 percent of Arkansas'
population and 5.7 percent of the Third Congressional
District of Arkansas' population.
(5) This dramatic increase in immigration will continue as
the growing industries and excellent quality of life of
Northwest Arkansas are strong attractions.
(6) Interstates 540 and 40 intersect in Fort Smith and air
transportation is readily available there.
(7) In the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the
Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001,
Congress directed the Immigration and Naturalization Service
to review the staffing needs of the Fort Smith office.
(8) A preliminary review shows that the Fort Smith office
is indeed understaffed. The office currently needs an
additional adjudication officer, an additional information
officer, a part-time ``jack-of-all-trades'' employee, 2 full-
time clerks, and 1 additional enforcement officer.
(9) A suboffice designation would enable the Fort Smith,
Arkansas, office to obtain additional staff as well as an
Officer-in-Charge who would have the authority to sign
documents and take actions related to cases which now must be
forwarded to the New Orleans District Office for approval.
(10) The additional staff, authority, and autonomy that the
suboffice designation would provide the Fort Smith office
would result in a reduction in backlogs and waiting periods,
a significant improvement in customer service, and a
significant improvement in the enforcement of the immigration
laws of the United States.
(11) The designation of the Fort Smith office as a
suboffice would show that the Immigration and Naturalization
(A) committed to facilitating the legal immigration process
for those persons acting in good faith; and
(B) likewise committed to enforcing the immigration laws of
the United States.
SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be
necessary for each fiscal year to establish and operate an
Immigration and Naturalization Service suboffice in Fort
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