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[Congressional Record: January 24, 2002 (Extensions)]
[Page E27]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

                           HON. DOUG BEREUTER

                              of nebraska

                    in the house of representatives

                       Thursday, January 24, 2002

  Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Speaker, this Member wishes to commend to his 
colleagues the January 3, 2002, editorial from the Norfolk Daily News 
entitled ``Rights of aliens more limited.''
  As the editorial correctly notes, people who have overstayed their 
visas or illegally entered the United States are in direct violation of 
U.S. immigration laws, and therefore their detention is well within the 
bounds of U.S. law. Whether the United States is fighting a war on 
terrorism or is at peace, this is the case.

                  [From the Daily News, Jan. 3, 2002]

                     Rights of Aliens More Limited

    Investigators within bounds to detain those with doubtful status

       The war against terrorism has unearthed some not-so-
     innocent immigrants. They are not yet accused of being part 
     of Osama bin Laden's network, or proven to have been involved 
     in terrorist activities. Rather, they have overstayed their 
     visas or entered the country illegally. Now some of their 
     American friends join civil rights activists in believing 
     these individuals are being mistreated by longer-than-usual 
       Some 1,100 men (no women) in this category, having been 
     detained as possible material witnesses. But so far, only one 
     has been charged with a terror-related crime.
       In the view of some critics of the Federal Bureau of 
     Investigation and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 
     that one in 1,100 ratio proves overzealous federal 
     authorities are acting improperly.
       Overlooked is the fact that the individuals being held for 
     further questioning violated the terms of their entry into 
     the United States. Those who maintain that immigration 
     charges are being used because it is not now possible to 
     charge the detainees with more serious crimes may be 
     accurate. But the point they fail to acknowledge is that 
     breaking the immigration laws should have consequences 
     whether one is a terrorist or simply a more benign violator.
       Failure to meet conditions of entry is a crime. That Uncle 
     Sam has been slow to enforce immigration laws and forgiving 
     of the sins of illegal aliens in the past is no excuse for 
     softness now.
       Using immigration law violations to hold those who might be 
     considered suspects, and fit a profile similar to those known 
     to be guilty of terrorism, is a sensible way to conduct 
     investigations. Fortunately, it is also legal.
       America may be moved by this war on terrorism to get better 
     control of its borders. Entry into the United States by 
     foreigners is nothing guaranteed in the Constitution. 
     Immigrants and visitors are to be welcomed, but the terms 
     have been dictated by Congress and should be enforced. One of 
     those terms must be to cooperate with law enforcement 

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