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[Congressional Record: March 29, 2001 (Senate)]
[Page S3154-S3174]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

[[Page S3154]]

      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:

                                 S. 644

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       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 
     Service is--
       (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.


       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 
     Smith, Arkansas.

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