[Congressional Record: December 20, 2001 (Senate)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
AMENDING THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION REFORM AND IMMIGRANT RESPONSIBILITY
ACT OF 1996
Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Judiciary
Committee be discharged from further consideration of S. 1400, and the
Senate proceed to its immediate consideration.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered. The
clerk will state the bill by title.
The legislative clerk read as follows:
A bill (S. 1400) to amend the Illegal Immigration Reform
and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to extend the
deadline for aliens to present a border crossing card that
contains a biometric identifier matching the appropriate
biometric characteristic of the alien.
There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the bill.
Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, today we will pass an important piece of
legislation dealing with America's borders. This bill, S. 1400, has
bipartisan support for extending the deadline requiring aliens to
present a border passing card with a biometric identifier to enter the
United States from Mexico. This deadline expired earlier this year. The
bill would extend the requirement by one year to allow the State
Department to finish the difficult job of converting the old border
crossing cards used by Mexicans entering the United States.
This is a major task, and the State Department has already
accomplished a great deal, issuing millions of new biometric border
crossing cards. As our State Department continues to work to finish
this task, however, we should not punish lawful Mexican workers who are
still waiting for new cards, or the American businesses that depend
upon them as customers and employees.
This bill is one piece of major border security introduced by
Senators Kennedy and Brownback. I am a proud cosponsor of their bill,
S. 1749, the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act. We
should pass that bill in its entirety, and I hope that we do so before
the end of this session. In the meantime, we should pass S. 1400
without delay. This measure's original sponsors were Senator Kyl of
Arizona and Senator Brownback, the Ranking Republican on the
Immigration Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee. It is cosponsored
by Senator Gramm, Senator Kennedy, Senator Bingaman, and Senator
Domenici. I am glad to be able to accommodate them and urge prompt
action by the Senate on this measure.
Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the bill be
read a third time, passed, and the motion to reconsider be laid upon
the table, with no intervening action or debate, and that any
statements related to the bill be printed in the Record.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The bill (S. 1400) was read the third time and passed, as follows:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of
the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. EXTENSION OF DEADLINE FOR PRESENTATION OF CERTAIN
BORDER CROSSING IDENTIFICATION CARDS.
Section 104(b)(2) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and
Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1101 note) is
amended by striking ``5 years'' and inserting ``6 years''.
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