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[Congressional Record: November 8, 2001 (Senate)]
[Page S11604-S11605]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


  Mr. DeWINE. Madam President, as a member of the Judiciary Committee 
Subcommittee on Immigration; the Select Committee on Intelligence; and 
the Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and 
Government Information, I am committed to improving the integrity of 
our immigration system. My positions on these committees also have 
given me an understanding of the unique interrelationship between 
immigration, national security, and law enforcement.
  I am especially interested in border security issues. The tragic 
September 11 bombings have made it clear that we must improve our law 
enforcement and intelligence systems to enhance public safety and 
national security, particularly at our borders. I am pleased that two 
bills have been introduced to revise our immigration and visa system to 
enhance our border security. The chair and ranking member of the 
Immigration Subcommittee, Senators Kennedy and Brownback, introduced S. 
1618, the ``Enhanced Border Security Act.'' The chair and ranking 
member of the Technology and Terrorism Subcommittee, Senators Feinstein 
and Kyl, introduced S. 1627, the ``Visa Entry Reform Act.''

[[Page S11605]]

  The Kennedy-Brownback bill emphasizes an immigration approach, while 
the Feinstein-Kyl bill reflects a keen understanding of the needs of 
law enforcement. While there are a few overlapping, even conflicting, 
provisions in these bills, I think that the sponsors have some 
excellent ideas and are clearly headed in the right direction. Both 
bills seek to improve data sharing between agencies that are 
responsible for protecting our borders.
  At the same time, I think it is very important that we do not 
``reinvent the wheel.'' In the recently passed counter-terrorism law, 
``Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools 
Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001'', USA PATRIOT 
ACT, Congress passed a provision of mine to demonstrate how we can 
expand the Integrated Automated Identification System to help secure 
our borders. We already have the technology available to pre-screen, 
identify, verify individuals, and share information through the FBI's 
fingerprint database. We ought to leverage our previous investment in 
this system.
  Specifically, if someone is on an international ``watch list'' or 
``wanted'' in connection with a criminal or intelligence investigation 
in the United States, we need to know this information. I believe our 
decisions as to whom we allow to enter and stay in our country are only 
as good as the information upon which we base our decisions. My 
provision in our new counter-terrorism law requires the FBI to report 
to Congress on how its fingerprint database and other systems can be 
used to address this problem.
  Again, I anticipate that these bills will be reconciled into a 
comprehensive border security bill. I hope to work with the sponsors of 
both bills and help bridge the gaps.


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