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April 24, 2002
(House Rules)

H.R. 3231 - Barbara Jordan Immigration Reform

and Accountability Act of 2002

(Rep. Sensenbrenner (R) Wisconsin and 46 cosponsors)

The Administration supports House passage of H.R. 3231, which would reform and restructure the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). However, as noted below, the Administration believes the bill needs to be improved in certain important respects. The Administration is actively pursuing fundamental reform of the INS and H.R. 3231 shares the common goal of separating enforcement and services to address competing priorities and problematic chains of command. The Administration will continue to work with the Congress to effectively address key Congressional and Administration concerns with INS operations and at the same time give the Attorney General and the Department of Justice the flexibility to adjust to ever-changing needs and circumstances with respect to the enforcement of immigration laws and the provision of immigration services.

The Administration is concerned with provisions of the bill that weaken the authority of the new Associate Attorney General for Immigration Affairs position in comparison to the authority of the existing INS Commissioner position. The Administration is also concerned with provisions in the bill relating to internal review of documents, qualifications for nominations, and legislative recommendations that are inconsistent with the President's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and with his authority under the Appointments Clause and the Recommendations Clause of the Constitution. The Administration will continue to work in the legislative process to address these and other concerns.