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

[Congressional Record: October 9, 2001 (Senate)]
[Page S10390-S10397]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr09oc01-138]                         

          STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS
......................................
      By Mr. BOND (for himself, Mr. Conrad, and Ms. Snowe):
    S. 1518. A bill to improve procedures with respect to the admission 
to, and departure from, the United States of aliens; to the Committee 
on the Judiciary.
  Mr. BOND. Madam President, among the many things that makes our 
country great is the freedom we possess to move about the country and 
exit and return to our country as we desire. Being a great Nation that 
believes strongly in that freedom and that has paid a tremendous price 
in defending that freedom, we like it to be on display to the rest of 
the world and we continually and generously open our doors to others. 
We as a Nation benefit from foreign visitors coming to the United 
States and other countries benefit when their citizens visit this 
country, whether it be to study at our schools and universities, learn 
at our institutions, use our medical facilities, do business with our 
dynamic private sector or visit our great cities and parks.
  However, on September 11, this great Nation endured a terrible 
tragedy, perpetrated by individuals who entered this country legally, 
as guests, on a visa. Nineteen people who were in this country on 
travel, work and student visas carried out the most deadly attack ever 
on our soil. Three of those people had stayed beyond the expiration of 
their visa. As the investigation of the Attorney General proceeds, many 
others have been detained. Initial reports indicated that a large 
number of these people were in this country on expired visas and I 
suspect we will find that a large number of those involved in the 
planning of the attack

[[Page S10394]]

were in the United States on expired visas.
  At this time, the only system in place to track the entry and exit of 
visa holders is antiquated and completely inadequate. The government 
has little ability to track those who have entered the United States 
and to be notified if they violate the terms of their visa. As there 
are approximately 300 million immigrants and visitors that enter this 
country every year, getting a handle on this problem will not be 
simple. However, we must know if those who enter the United States to 
study arrive and attend school, if those who come her to work are at 
their jobs, if those who come here to do business do their business and 
return home and if those who we admit into the United States to 
vacation return home at the end of their time in the United States. We 
should strive to keep our borders open, to keep commerce flowing freely 
and not let the terrorist attack disrupt our relations with our good 
neighbors and other friends. But at the same time, we must have a 
better idea of who is entering this country, catch and screen out those 
who may pose a threat and know who has violated the terms of their visa 
and remained in the United States beyond the expiration date.
  I would like to acknowledge and thank my colleagues Kent Conrad and 
Olympia Snowe for their assistance and valuable input on this 
legislation.
  Specifically, this bill calls for the improvement of the information 
received by the Department of State for checking the backgrounds of 
visa applicants. It calls on law enforcement and intelligence agencies 
to share regularly information that will be useful to the State 
Department in identifying those who pose any type of threat to the 
security or people of this country.
  This bill calls for the improvement and implementation of the system 
to track foreign students. Including a requirement that universities 
notify the INS when foreign students do not show up for school, as Hani 
Hanjour failed to do before participating in the attack on the World 
Trade Center.
  It is time to begin the roll of the Integrated Entry and Exit 
Tracking system called for in legislation passed five years ago to 
record the entry of visa holders, record their exit and notify the INS 
and law enforcement agencies of the identity of anyone overstaying 
their visa. This system should also utilize the latest technology, 
including biometrics, to ensure that visas cannot be tampered with or 
stolen. Finally, it is time for the members of the task force to be 
appointed, including the Director of Homeland Security, so that the 
issues surrounding this system can be settled.
  The bill also calls for the tightening of the Visa Waiver Pilot 
program to ensure that passports for participating countries are not 
stolen or defaced by those trying to sneak into the country. It also 
calls for those employing work visa holders to report to the INS if 
that person leaves or is terminated from their job.
  These are all reasonable proposals that will not impact commerce, 
travel and relationships with friendly countries. It will also begin 
the process of having an accurate picture of who has entered the 
country and who has departed. It is one of many steps that needs to be 
taken to avoid further terrorist attacks. I look forward to working 
with my colleagues to implement this legislation.
  I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the 
Record.
  There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the 
Record, as follows:

                                S. 1518

       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 ``Visa Integrity and Security 
     Act of 2001''.

     SEC. 2. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS REGARDING THE NEED TO EXPEDITE 
                   IMPLEMENTATION OF INTEGRATED ENTRY AND EXIT 
                   DATA SYSTEM.

       (a) Sense of Congress.--In light of the terrorist attacks 
     perpetrated against the United States on September 11, 2001, 
     it is the sense of the Congress that--
       (1) the Attorney General should fully implement the 
     integrated entry and exit data system for airports, seaports, 
     and land border ports of entry, as specified in section 110 
     of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant 
     Responsibility Act of 1996, as amended by the Immigration and 
     Naturalization Service Data Management Improvement Act of 
     2000 (Public Law 106-215), with all deliberate speed and as 
     expeditiously as practicable; and
       (2) the Attorney General, in consultation with the 
     Secretary of State, the Secretary of Commerce, and the 
     Secretary of the Treasury, should immediately begin 
     establishing the Integrated Entry and Exit Data System Task 
     Force, as described in section 3 of the Immigration and 
     Naturalization Service Data Management Improvement Act of 
     2000 (Public Law 106-215).

     SEC. 3. ENTRY-EXIT TRACKING SYSTEM.

       (a) Development of the System.--In the development of the 
     entry-exit tracking system, as described in the preceeding 
     section, the Attorney General shall particularly focus--
       (1) on the utilization of biometric technology, including, 
     but not limited to, electronic fingerprinting, face 
     recognition, and retinal scan technology; and
       (2) on developing a tamper-proof identification, readable 
     at ports of entry as a part of any nonimmigrant visa issued 
     by the Secretary of State.
       (b) Integration With Law Enforcement Databases.--The entry 
     and exit data system described in this section shall be able 
     to be integrated with law enforcement databases for use by 
     State and Federal law enforcement to identify and detain 
     individuals in the United States after the expiration of 
     their visa.

     SEC. 4. ACCESS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE TO CERTAIN 
                   IDENTIFYING INFORMATION IN THE CRIMINAL HISTORY 
                   RECORDS OF VISA APPLICANTS AND APPLICANTS FOR 
                   ADMISSION TO THE UNITED STATES.

       (a) Amendment of the Immigration and Nationality Act.--
     Section 105 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1105) is amended--
       (1) in the section heading, by inserting ``; data 
     exchange'' after ``security officers'';
       (2) by inserting ``(a)'' after ``Sec. 105.'';
       (3) in subsection (a), by inserting ``and border'' after 
     ``internal'' the second place it appears; and
       (4) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(b) The Attorney General and the Director of the Federal 
     Bureau of Investigation shall provide the Department of State 
     access to the criminal history record information contained 
     in the National Crime Information Center's Interstate 
     Identification Index (NCIC-III), Wanted Persons File, and to 
     any other files maintained by the National Crime Information 
     Center that may be mutually agreed upon by the Attorney 
     General and the Department of State, for the purpose of 
     determining whether or not a visa applicant or applicant for 
     admission has a criminal history record indexed in any such 
     file. The Department of State shall merge the information 
     obtained under this subsection with the information in the 
     system currently accessed by consular officers to determine 
     the criminal history records of aliens applying for visas.''.
       (c) Regular Reporting.--The Director of Central 
     Intelligence, the Secretary of Defense, the Commissioner of 
     Immigration and Naturalization, and the Director of the 
     Federal Bureau of Investigation shall provide information to 
     the Secretary of State on a regular basis as agreed by the 
     Secretary and the head of each of these agencies that will 
     assist the Secretary in determining if an applicant for a 
     visa has a criminal background or poses a threat to the 
     national security of the United States or is affiliated with 
     a group that poses such a threat.
       (d) Report on Screening Information.--Not later than 6 
     months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary 
     of State shall submit a report to Congress on the information 
     that is needed from any United States agency to best screen 
     visa applicants to identify those affiliated with terrorist 
     organizations or those that pose any threat to the safety or 
     security of the United States, including the type of 
     information currently received by United States agencies and 
     the regularity with which such information is transmitted to 
     the Secretary.

     SEC. 5. STUDENT TRACKING SYSTEM.

       (a) Integration With Port of Entry Information.--For each 
     alien with respect to whom information is collected under 
     this section, the Attorney General shall include information 
     on the date of entry, port of entry, and nonimmigrant 
     classification.
       (b) Expansion of System to Include Other Approved 
     Educational Institutions.--Section 641 of the Illegal 
     Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 
     (8 U.S.C.1372) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (a)(1), subsection (c)(4)(A), and 
     subsection (d)(1) (in the text above subparagraph (A)), by 
     inserting ``, other approved educational institutions,'' 
     after ``higher education'' each place it appears;
       (2) in subsections (c)(1)(C), (c)(1)(D), and (d)(1)(A), by 
     inserting ``, or other approved educational institution,'' 
     after ``higher education'' each place it appears;
       (3) in subsections (d)(2), (e)(1), and (e)(2), by inserting 
     ``, other approved educational institution,'' after ``higher 
     education'' each place it appears; and
       (4) in subsection (h), by adding at the end the following 
     new paragraph:
       ``(3) Other approved educational institution.--The term 
     `other approved educational institution' includes any air 
     flight school, language training school, vocational school, 
     or other school, approved by the Attorney

[[Page S10395]]

     General, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, 
     under subparagraph (F), (J), or (M) of section 101(a)(15) of 
     the Immigration and Nationality Act.''.
       (c) Expansion of System to Include Additional 
     Information.--Section 641(b) of the Illegal Immigration 
     Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 
     U.S.C.1372(b)), as amended by subsection (a), is further 
     amended--
       (1) by redesignating subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D) of 
     paragraph (1) as subparagraphs (C), (D), and (E), 
     respectively;
       (2) by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following:
       ``(B) the name of any dependent spouse, child, or other 
     family member accompanying the alien student to the United 
     States;''; and
       (3) in paragraph (1)(D) (as so redesignated), by inserting 
     after ``maintaining status as a full-time student'' the 
     following: ``and, if the alien is not maintaining such 
     status, the date on which the alien has concluded the alien's 
     course of study and the reason therefor''; and
       (4) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
       ``(5) Information on failure to commence studies.--Each 
     approved institution of higher education, other approved 
     educational institution, or designated exchange visitor 
     program shall inform the Attorney General within 30 days if 
     an alien described in subsection (a)(1) who is scheduled to 
     attend the institution or program fails to do so. The 
     Attorney General shall ensure that information received under 
     this paragraph is included in the National Crime Information 
     Center's Interstate Identification Index.''.

     SEC. 6. STRENGTHENING VISA WAIVER PILOT PROGRAM.

       Section 217(c)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
     U.S.C. 1187(c)(2)) is amended by adding at the end the 
     following:
       ``(D) Tamper proof passport.--The country employs a tamper-
     proof passport, has established a program to reduce the theft 
     of passports, and has experienced during the preceding two-
     year period a low rate of theft of passports, as determined 
     by the Secretary of State.''.

     SEC. 7. REPORTING REQUIREMENT REGARDING H-1B NONIMMIGRANT 
                   ALIENS.

       (a) Requirement.--Not later than 14 days after the 
     employment of a nonimmigrant alien described in section 
     101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act is 
     terminated by an employer, the employer shall so report to 
     the Attorney General, together with the reasons for the 
     termination.
       (b) Penalty.--Any employer who fails to make a report 
     required under subsection (a) shall be ineligible to employ 
     any nonimmigrant alien described in that subsection for a 
     period of one year.
                                 ______
                                 


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