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[Congressional Record: March 14, 2002 (House)]
[Page H928-H929]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Gekas) is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. GEKAS. Madam Speaker, I say to the Speaker and to the Members 
that the ghost of Mohamad Atta has attacked our Nation. Following the 
real Mohamad Atta and his crash into the World Trade Center, his ghost, 
like ashes left at Ground Zero, has arisen and entered the public 
consciousness again.
  This time, as everyone knows by now, we learned from the aviation 
school in Florida that the visa for Mohamad Atta has been approved, 6 
months to the day after the real Mohamad Atta crashed into our Twin 
  This, of course, is unacceptable, and the President of the United 
States has said so, and the President immediately took action to start 
the investigation into the matters that led to this unseemly 
development in the school in Florida.
  But it brings to mind that the President of the United States, as 
candidate George W. Bush in the Year 2000, noted that his observation 
of the Immigration and Naturalization Service was such that it could 
not go on in the structure that was extant at that time, that we must 
separate the law enforcement segment of INS from that of the process of 
visas and naturalization and citizenship.
  This is a theme which members of the Committee on the Judiciary took 
to heart, and we have introduced legislation and worked on legislation 
for bifurcation of the INS so that we can home in on student visas, 
like the kind that Mohamad Atta abused, so we can home in on those who 
overstay their visas, like the Mohamad Attas of the world, so that we 
can keep track of the attendance of students in our country and note 
the end of their scholarship at a particular institution and then take 
steps, when necessary, to make sure they leave the country at the 
expiration of the visas.
  All those are problems that are anticipated to be solved when we 
proceed with the bifurcation, the new structure, of the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service.
  One giant step that we have already taken to get to the bottom of 
this is that I have instructed our Subcommittee on Immigration and 
Naturalization to formulate a hearing on this very same subject, and 
next week, or as soon as possible, we are going to look into how this 
incident occurred. We are going to determine from the INS internal 
workings how this large hole in the process appeared, and we are going 
to take steps to cover that hole forever, probably with a new structure 
that we anticipate under the legislation that we have in front of us.
  The important thing to recognize here is that we know, and we knew 
before September 11, and so did Candidate Bush know in the Year 2000, 
that we must do something about the INS. It had grown, in agonizing 
detail, uncomfortable in so many respects, not only to the people who 
are subject to its process, who had to wait such long periods of time 
for validation of their particular applications, but also on the 
question of border control and the large question of illegal aliens and 
how many of them should be deported on the spot. All these are problems 
that we anticipate will be alleviated, if not removed entirely, by the 
new structure that we envision.
  Now, to his credit, the President, together with the Attorney 
General, has

[[Page H929]]

made some movements internally to do exactly that, but it is not enough 
to guarantee that this restructuring will take place. It will take a 
statute, and I encourage all Members, Democrat and Republican, to join 
in cosponsoring our legislation to bring about this great idea of 
restructuring the INS.
  What we are pronouncing here today, Madam Speaker, is the death of 
the Immigration and Naturalization Service as we know it. For whom the 
bell tolls? It tolls for the INS.
  The new structure will meet these problems head on and accord the 
American public a new sense of security at the borders and deal with 
the problem of the internal machinations of the student visas and other 
visas. We aim to tighten up the process so that we can guarantee the 
security of the American people.

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