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

[Congressional Record: October 9, 2001 (Extensions)]
[Page E1835]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr09oc01-26]                         

                                SAFE ACT
                                 ______
                                
                             HON. RON PAUL

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                        Tuesday, October 9, 2001

  Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Securing American 
Families Effectively (SAFE) Act. The SAFE Act makes common-sense 
changes to federal law that will enhance the government's ability to 
prevent terrorist incidents. Unlike other proposals, my legislation in 
no way threatens the constitutional liberties of the American people. 
In fact, the only people threatened under the SAFE Act are terrorists.
  The SAFE Act repeals regulations preventing agencies who deal with 
terrorism from sharing information among themselves. Currently, there 
are limits on sharing data with policy makers and there is a nearly 
unanimous agreement on lifting these restrictions. Removing the 
restrictions on data sharing is a good step which provides more--not 
less--openness and governmnent transparency.
  Hard as it may be to believe, there are actually existing directives 
in the law enforcement and intelligence communities which grant 
suspects ``extra-legal'' rights. These ``special'' rights could, and 
should, be clarified without changing existing law. This is why the 
SAFE Act adopts several of the administration's proposals to change the 
procedures regarding prosecutions of terrorism, such as eliminating the 
statute of limitations for terrorist offenses.
  Perhaps the most significant change made to procedures is codifying 
that probable cause is the maximum standard for an investigation of 
terrorism. According to information received by my office some federal 
agencies actually have to meet a higher standard than the 
constitutional standard of probable cause in order to launch an 
investigation of suspected terrorists. It is absurd to make the FBI 
meet a higher standard to initiate an investigation of a terrorist than 
to initiate an investigation of an insider trader!
  Finally, the SAFE Act drastically reduces immigration from countries 
on the State Department's terrorist list and countries which refuse to 
provide assistance in the battle against terrorists. Whatever one's 
feelings on other questions connected with immigration, I would hope we 
all could agree that the United States has an obligation to keep those 
who may be threats to the security of United States citizens outside 
the country. This is especially true considering that the programs I 
proposed limiting allow immigrants to take advance of taxpayer-funded 
educational programs and provide other special privileges for 
immigrants from terrorist countries. It is the height of absurdity to 
allow immigrants from countries involved in terrorist activities 
against American citizens special preferences denied to immigrants from 
America's closest allies.
  I would also hope that we could all agree that this is far preferable 
to systems of nationwide ``surveillance,'' which could threaten the 
liberty of all immigrants and eventually all citizens. This is an 
instance where the interests of liberty and security coincide entirely.
  In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in taking 
these common-sense steps to protecting the liberty and the security of 
the American people from terrorists by cosponsoring the Securing 
American Families Effectively (SAFE) Act.

                          ____________________



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