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U.S. House of Representatives

Committee on the Judiciary

F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., Chairman



News Advisory

For immediate release                                                            Contact: Jeff Lungren/Terry Shawn

April 10, 2002                                                                                    202-225-2492

Committee Passes INS Overhaul Legislation by 32-2 Margin


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee today by a 32-2 margin passed legislation dismantling the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and creating two new agencies: one focused solely on immigration enforcement and the other responsible for citizenship and immigration services.

The Committee adopted a substitute amendment to H.R. 3231 that reflected the agreement (see Press Release for March 21, 2002) reached March 21st by House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis.), Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), Immigration and Claims Subcommittee Chairman George W. Gekas (R-Pa.), and Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.).

“This bill will provide a solid framework for our new immigration system to keep terrorists out while providing a fair and efficient process for those adhering to our immigration laws. It creates clear chains of command, separates the agency into its two equally important, but more manageable, missions, and requires more accountability,” said Chairman Sensenbrenner.

“The current INS’ administrative plan keeps the INS intact as a consolidated agency when what needs to be created are two new bureaus in the Justice Department. As we saw yesterday, the INS has reorganized itself numerous times in the past two decades, but the agency is still in a deep quagmire. I don’t think any additional attempt at internal reorganizing can pull the INS out of this morass in which it finds itself. Dramatic change must be made to our immigration system and that is what this legislation brings,” added Chairman Sensenbrenner.

H.R. 3231, the Barbara Jordan Immigration Reform and Accountability Act, now moves to the full House, where it is expected to be debated later this month.