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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Congressional Record: July 31, 2001 (Senate)]
[Page S8429-S8431]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr31jy01-68]                         
 
                           EXECUTIVE SESSION
                                 ______                                 

 NOMINATION OF JAMES W. ZIGLAR, OF MISSISSIPPI, TO BE COMMISSIONER OF 
                     IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION

  Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
proceed to executive session to consider Calendar No. 286, the 
nomination of James Ziglar to be Commissioner of Immigration and 
Naturalization; that the nomination be confirmed, the motion to 
reconsider be laid upon the table, any statements thereon be printed in 
the Record, the President be immediately notified of the Senate's 
action, and the Senate return to legislative session.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. LEAHY. Reserving the right to object, and I shall not, may I be 
recognized for 2 minutes as soon as the Senate has completed this 
action?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Without objection, the foregoing request is agreed to.
  The clerk will report the nomination.
  The legislative clerk read the nomination of James W. Ziglar, of 
Mississippi, to be Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization.
  The nomination was considered and confirmed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I thank my colleagues.
  We have all come to know and, I would say, have a great deal of 
affection for Jim Ziglar. He has been an extraordinary Sergeant at 
Arms. This afternoon there is a reception. I hope our colleagues will 
wish Mr. Ziglar well.
  I have come to admire his work and have said already on the floor how 
much I appreciate his commitment to the Senate, to this institution, to 
public service.
  In an effort to accelerate his nomination and confirmation, we wanted 
to have the opportunity to take this matter up prior to the time his 
reception is held this afternoon.
  I think on behalf of the entire Senate, we wish Jim Ziglar well in 
his new role and new responsibilities. I can think of no one who could 
serve more ably. I am grateful to my colleagues for the consideration 
and ultimately for the adoption of this confirmation.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The minority leader.
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I thank Senator Daschle for moving this 
nomination. I have been very proud of the job that Jim Ziglar from 
Pascagoula, MS, has done as the Senate Sergeant at Arms.
  When he came, I asked him to make sure the office was run efficiently 
and fairly, certainly in a bipartisan way, a nonpartisan way. He 
certainly did that. Sometimes I think maybe he got a little carried 
away doing that. But he did a great job. I know he has friends on both 
sides of the aisle. When he came to me to talk about the possibility of 
becoming Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, I 
questioned him about his desire to do that, but he assured me he was 
prepared for that challenge and that he wished to do so.
  I am glad he has been confirmed. I hope my colleagues will join him 
at the reception this afternoon. Certainly we all wish him well in this 
very important job that is going to take a lot of administrative 
ability and a lot of willingness to make changes to make sure that 
agency is run more efficiently.
  I also hope this is a sign that this is the first of many nominations 
that will follow very shortly that will move as quickly and easily as 
this one, that this is the opening in the floodgates.
  I thank Senator Daschle for bringing up the nomination.
  Mr. COCHRAN. Mr. President, I'm pleased the Senate has confirmed the 
nomination of Jim Zigler to the Commissioner of the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service. He is well suited for this job, and I am sure 
he will discharge the responsibilities he is undertaking with a high 
level of competence and dedication.
  Jim once served on the staff of Senator James O. Eastland of 
Mississippi whom I succeeded when he retired from the Senate in 1978. 
One of Senator Eastland's interests and responsibilities when he was 
Chairman of the Judiciary Committee was the work of INS. I can recall 
his very close supervision of the work of his agency when I was a 
Member of the House.
  I know Jim Eastland would be very proud indeed that his former 
protege, Jim Zigler, has been confirmed today as Commissioner. I'm 
proud of Jim, too, and wish for him much success and satisfaction in 
this important new job.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I am pleased that we have the opportunity 
to consider today the confirmation of the Honorable James Ziglar for 
Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. While there 
is little doubt that Mr. Ziglar faces tremendous challenges as 
commissioner of the INS, I also believe that there is little doubt that 
Mr. Ziglar has the ability to take on those challenges. I therefore 
join my colleagues in support of his confirmation and look forward to 
great things from Mr. Ziglar and the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service in the future.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I am glad this has gone through as quickly 
as it has. After hearing the minority leader's comments, he is 
obviously not aware of how fast the Judiciary Committee is moving.
  By the end of this week I hope that a few more nominations will reach 
the Senate floor from the Judiciary Committee. If they do, I will 
request a roll call vote on them in order to demonstrate to all the 
Members how quickly we are moving nominations. The Ziglar nomination 
received a hearing before the Judiciary Committee within two weeks of 
the time that the other side of the aisle allowed the Senate to 
reorganize. We also held hearings for Asa Hutchinson, the President's 
choice to head the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with four 
judicial nominees and two additional Justice Department nominees. This 
pace was probably the fastest the Judiciary Committee has moved on 
nominations in the last six years.
  In addition, we completed confirmation hearings on Robert Mueller's 
nomination for FBI director this morning. I am pleased that we were 
able to begin his hearing within days of receiving the papers from the 
White House. If he is not blocked by the other side, we will bring him 
up Thursday before the Judiciary Committee.
  I am particularly pleased that we were able to move quickly to 
consider James Ziglar's nomination. I think he is extraordinarily 
qualified to head the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and I 
applaud President Bush for choosing him. Mr. Ziglar will work with both 
Republicans and Democrats. He will not seek partisan advantage but will 
rather act in the Nation's best interest, just as he has as Sergeant at 
Arms here.
  It was a very good move when Senator Lott first appointed him to this 
position. I am very impressed with him. I am pleased to be his friend, 
and I am happy to vote for his nomination.
  He has a distinguished background as a lawyer, investment banker, and 
government official. As Sergeant at Arms, he worked behind the scenes 
to ensure that the business of the Senate went smoothly even in 
stressful times such as the impeachment trial of President Clinton. We 
here all owe him a debt of gratitude for his hard and effective work.
  These next few years will be a pivotal time for the INS and for 
immigration policy in the United States. The Administration has 
expressed interest in reorganizing the INS and having the new 
Commissioner implement the reorganization plan. The Administration is 
also apparently considering proposing numerous changes in immigration 
law as part of bilateral discussions with Mexico. I trust that Mr. 
Ziglar will play a role in the Administration's consideration of these 
matters, and will encourage a fair approach to the problems faced by 
undocumented workers from both Mexico and the rest of the world.
  In addition to the new proposals the Administration is considering, 
there is significant unfinished business in the immigration area. The 
new Commissioner will inherit a number of questionable immigration 
policies that Congress enacted five years ago in the

[[Page S8430]]

Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. There are 
also a number of unresolved issues from the last Congress that we must 
address in this one.
  Mr. Ziglar promised at his confirmation hearing to be an advocate for 
the many fine men and women who work for the INS, and I was glad to 
hear him say that. I know that in my State there are many hardworking 
men and women who work for the Law Enforcement Support Center, the 
Vermont Service Center and Sub-Office, the Debt Management Center, the 
Eastern Regional Office, and the Swanton Border Patrol Sector. These 
are employees Mr. Ziglar can rely on in his attempt to improve the 
agency.

  One of the bigger issues facing the next Commissioner will be 
restructuring the INS. I strongly support improving the agency and 
giving it the resources it needs. The tasks we ask the INS to do range 
from processing citizenship applications to protecting our borders, and 
I agree that there are some internal tensions in the INS' mission that 
might be resolved. I also believe, however, that we must ensure that 
the INS does not lose its strengths, which I think are well represented 
by the great efficiency of the INS offices in Vermont. I intend to play 
an active role in the development and consideration of any INS 
reorganization plan.
  I am also heartened that Mr. Ziglar questioned our nation's use of 
expedited removal and detention at his confirmation hearing. Later this 
week I will join with Senator Brownback and others to introduce the 
Refugee Protection Act, which would sharply limit the use of expedited 
removal and reduce the use of detention against asylum seekers. I think 
I can speak for Senator Brownback in saying we look forward to working 
with Mr. Ziglar to move this legislation.
  The use of expedited removal, the process under which aliens arriving 
in the United States can be returned immediately to their native lands 
at the say-so of a low-level INS officer, calls the United States' 
commitment to refugees into serious question. Since Congress adopted 
expedited removal in 1996, we have had a system where we are removing 
people who arrive here either without proper documentation or with 
facially valid documentation that an INS officer simply suspects is 
invalid. This policy ignores the fact that people fleeing despotic 
regimes are quite often unable to obtain travel documents before 
leaving--they must move quickly and cannot depend upon the government 
that is persecuting them to provide them with the proper paperwork for 
departure. In the limited time that expedited removal has been in 
operation, we already have received reliable reports that valid asylum 
seekers have been denied admission to our country without the 
opportunity to convince an immigration judge that they faced 
persecution in their native lands. To provide just one example, as 
Archbishop Theodore McCarrick described in an op-ed in the July 22 
Washington Post, a Kosovar Albanian was summarily removed from the U.S. 
after the civil war in Kosovo had already made the front pages of 
America's newspapers. I believe we must address this issue in this 
Congress.
  In addition to questioning expedited removal and detention, I hope 
that Mr. Ziglar will work with us to address some of the other serious 
due process concerns created by passage of the Antiterrorism and 
Effective Death Penalty Act and the Illegal Immigration Reform and 
Immigrant Responsibility Act in 1996. Through those laws, Congress 
expanded the pool of people who could be deported, denied those people 
the chance for due process before deportation, and made these changes 
retroactive, so that legal permanent residents who had committed 
offenses so minor that they did not even serve jail time suddenly faced 
removal from the United States. The Supreme Court has recently limited 
some of the retroactive effects of those laws, in INS v. St. Cyr, but 
we must do more to bring these laws into line with our historic 
commitment to immigration. Many of us have attempted throughout the 
last five years to undo the legislation we passed in 1996--it remains a 
high priority and I hope we can find areas of agreement with Mr. Ziglar 
and the Administration.
  Mr. Ziglar did not present himself at his confirmation hearing as an 
expert on immigration and immigration law--he said frankly that he has 
much to learn. He did offer his expertise in management and promised to 
work hard to solve some of the problems the INS has faced over recent 
years. We in Congress want to be partners in this effort, and I hope 
that the excellent working relationship we have had with Mr. Ziglar 
over the years will continue in his new capacity.
  James Ziglar is the President's choice to be the Commissioner of the 
Immigration and Naturalization Service, and I am happy to vote for his 
nomination. He has a distinguished background as a lawyer, investment 
banker, and government official. Furthermore, he was a distinguished 
Sergeant at Arms of the Senate, serving the needs of every Senator in a 
time of great partisanship. He worked behind the scenes to ensure that 
the business of the Senate went smoothly even in stressful times such 
as the impeachment trial of President Clinton. We here all owe him a 
debt of gratitude for his hard and effective work.
  These next few years will be a pivotal time for the INS and for 
immigration policy in the United States. The Administration has 
expressed interest in reorganizing the INS and having the new 
Commissioner implement the reorganization plan. The Administration is 
also apparently considering proposing numerous changes in immigration 
law as part of bilateral discussions with Mexico. I trust that Mr. 
Ziglar will play a role in the Administration's consideration of these 
matters, and will encourage a fair approach to the problems faced by 
undocumented workers from both Mexico and the rest of the world.
  In addition to the new proposals the Administration is considering, 
there is significant unfinished business in the immigration area. The 
new Commissioner will inherit a number of questionable immigration 
policies that Congress enacted five years ago in the Illegal 
Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. There are also a 
number of unresolved issues from the last Congress that we must address 
in this one.
  Mr. Ziglar promised at his confirmation hearing to be an advocate for 
the many fine men and women who work for the INS, and I was glad to 
hear him say that. I know that in my State there are many hardworking 
men and women who work for the Law Enforcement Support Center, the 
Vermont Service Center and Sub-Office, the Debt Management Center, the 
Eastern Regional Office, and the Swanton Border Patrol Sector. These 
are employees Mr. Ziglar can rely on in his attempt to improve the 
agency.
  One of the bigger issues facing the next Commissioner will be 
restructuring the INS. I strongly support improving the agency and 
giving it the resources it needs. The tasks we ask the INS to do range 
from processing citizenship applications to protecting our borders, and 
I agree that there are some internal tensions in the INS' mission that 
might be resolved. I also believe, however, that we must ensure that 
the INS does not lose its strengths, which I think are well represented 
by the great efficiency of the INS offices in Vermont. I intend to play 
an active role in the development and consideration of any INS 
reorganization plan.
  I am also heartened that Mr. Ziglar questioned our nation's use of 
expedited removal and detention at his confirmation hearing. Later this 
week I will join with Senator Brownback and others to introduce the 
Refugee Protection Act, which would sharply limit the use of expedited 
removal and reduce the use of detention against asylum seekers. I think 
I can speak for Senator Brownback in saying we look forward to working 
with Mr. Ziglar to move this legislation.
  The use of expedited removal, the process under which aliens arriving 
in the United States can be returned immediately to their native lands 
at the say-so of a low-level INS officer, calls the United States' 
commitment to refugees into serious question. Since Congress adopted 
expedited removal in 1996, we have had a system where we are removing 
people who arrive here either without proper documentation or with 
facially valid documentation that an INS officer simply suspects is 
invalid. This policy ignores the fact that

[[Page S8431]]

people fleeing despotic regimes are quite often unable to obtain travel 
documents before leaving--they must move quickly and cannot depend upon 
the government that is persecuting them to provide them with the proper 
paperwork for departure. In the limited time that expedited removal has 
been in operation, we already have received reliable reports that valid 
asylum seekers have been denied admission to our country without the 
opportunity to convince an immigration judge that they faced 
persecution in their native lands. To provide just one example, as 
Archbishop Theodore McCarrick described in an op-ed in the July 22 
Washington Post, a Kosovar Albanian was summarily removed from the U.S. 
after the civil war in Kosovo had already made the front pages of 
America's newspapers. I believe we must address this issue in this 
Congress.
  In addition to questioning expedited removal and detention, I hope 
that Mr. Ziglar will work with us to address some of the other serious 
due process concerns created by passage of the Antiterrorism and 
Effective Death Penalty Act and the Illegal Immigration Reform and 
Immigrant Responsibility Act in 1996. Through those laws, Congress 
expanded the pool of people who could be deported, denied those people 
the chance for due process before deportation, and made these changes 
retroactive, so that legal permanent residents who had committed 
offenses so minor that they did not even serve jail time suddenly faced 
removal from the United States. The Supreme Court has recently limited 
some of the retroactive effects of those laws, in INS v. St. Cyr, but 
we must do more to bring these laws into line with our historic 
commitment to immigration. Many of us have attempted throughout the 
last five years to undo the legislation we passed in 1996--it remains a 
high priority and I hope we can find areas of agreement with Mr. Ziglar 
and the Administration.
  Mr. Ziglar did not present himself at his confirmation hearing as an 
expert on immigration and immigration law--he said frankly that he has 
much to learn. He did offer his expertise in management and promised to 
work hard to solve some of the problems the INS has faced over recent 
years. We in Congress want to be partners in this effort, and I hope 
that the excellent working relationship we have had with Mr. Ziglar 
over the years will continue in his new capacity.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I note that Jim Ziglar is on the floor. I 
want to be the first among all of our colleagues to congratulate him 
publicly.
  (Applause, Senators rising.)

                          ____________________



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