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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Congressional Record: May 10, 2002 (Senate)]
[Page S4199-S4205]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr10my02-132]                         



 
          STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

      By Mr. CAMPBELL:
  S. 2503. A bill to amend title 49, United States Code, to permit an 
individual to operate a commercial motor vehicle solely within the 
borders of a State if the individual meets certain minimum standards 
prescribed by the State, and for other purposes; to the Committee on 
Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
  Mr. CAMPBELL. Mr. President, today I am introducing companion 
legislation to H.R. 2466, the Commercial Driver's License Devolution 
Act of 2001, which was originally brought to the floor of the House of 
Representatives last July by my friend from North Carolina, 
Representative Howard Coble.
  I believe it is no secret to my colleagues here in the Senate, that I 
support small business and returning power to the States. The 
traditional, one-size-fits-all approach to governing has done more harm 
than good, and this bill is an attempt to remedy some of that.
  This legislation will give States the option to establish their own 
commercial driver's license, CDL, requirements for intrastate drivers. 
It will return power to the States by giving

[[Page S4200]]

them the option to license intrastate drivers of commercial motor 
vehicles based upon testing standards determined by the individual 
States. And I stress, it will be an ``option.''
  I want to emphasize that this legislation is not a Federal mandate 
imposed on States. States that choose not to participate would remain 
under Federal guidelines. A State that chooses to exercise this option 
would in no way diminish the role of the CDL in the long-haul trucking 
industry. Additionally, this legislation effectively precludes two or 
more States from using this option as the basis for an interstate 
compact.
  As I am sure my colleagues are aware, the Commercial Motor Vehicle 
Safety Act of 1986, CMVSA, required States to establish a new and 
uniform program of testing and licensure for all operators of 
commercial vehicles both intra and interstate. The principal objectives 
of the Act have been met, and would not be harmed by this legislation 
I'm introducing here today.
  I have no issue with the CMVSA. It is a good law, and at the time the 
provisions it contained were necessary and timely for improving the 
standards of performance for long-haul truck drivers in this country. 
However, I, like my counterpart in the House, believe the CMVSA was 
imposed upon intrastate commerce where the operation of trucks may be a 
small but necessary part of an individual's job. Therefore, the reality 
was that Washington imposed its will on thousands of small businesses 
across this country who aren't involved in long-haul trucking and we 
expected them to adjust to any circumstance that might arise. That's 
unfair and not what government is supposed to be about.
  When you have conditions such as these, I believe it should be within 
a State's discretion to determine what kind of commercial vehicle 
licensure and testing is required for commerce taking place solely 
within its borders.
  This legislation is important to our Nation's small businesses, 
especially those dependent upon commercial truck travel, which means 
it's important to the consumers. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to 
support it.
                                 ______
                                 
      By Mr. HATCH:
  S. 2504. A bill to extend eligibility for refugees status of 
unmarried sons and daughters of certain Vietnamese refugees; to the 
Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce a Senate 
companion to H.R. 1840, a bill to extend the eligibility for refugee 
status of immigrants who are the unmarried children of qualified 
Vietnamese nationals. This bill would extend the authority to process 
such individuals through fiscal year 2003, as it was set to expire 
earlier this year. The House and Senate have been in communication 
regarding this bill for some time, and given that the Senate Judiciary 
Committee approved the House version of this bill by unanimous consent 
this morning, I have little doubt that the entire Senate will extend 
their support.
  This is a very important piece of legislation and one that will 
provide crucial relief to a small, yet deserving group of people, the 
children of those Vietnamese nationals who were placed in internment 
camps by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and are now in the United 
States as refugees. We simply cannot expect the sons and daughters of 
these Vietnamese nationals to be forgotten. It is our duty to support 
the sacrifices that these families made for freedom and democracy and I 
find it most appropriate that we prevent further persecution by 
welcoming their children.
  I want to commend Congressman Tom Davis on his introduction of this 
legislation in the House. I urge my Senate colleagues' support.
                                 ______
                                 
      By Mr. KENNEDY (for himself, Mr. Lugar, Mr. Chafee, Mr. Leahy, 
        Mr. Dodd, Mr. Hagel, Mr. Smith of Oregon, Mr. Cochran, Mr. 
        Brownback, Mr. Jeffords, Mr. Durbin, and Mr. Feingold):
  S. 2505. A bill to promote the national security of the United States 
through international educational and cultural exchange programs 
between the United States and the Islamic world, and for other 
purposes; to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, today, Senators Lugar, Leahy, Chafee, 
Dodd, Hagel, Gordon Smith, Cochran, Brownback, Jeffords, Durbin, 
Feingold and I are introducing legislation to increase the level of 
student and other exchanges between Americans and visitors from the 
Islamic world.
  Our legislation, the Cultural Bridges Act, would authorize $75 
million above current appropriations in fiscal years 2003 through 2007 
to expand the activities of the State Department's existing educational 
and cultural programs in the Islamic world. It would also authorize $20 
million in fiscal years 2003 through 2007 for the Department of State 
to establish a new high school student exchange program to enable a 
small number of competitively selected students from the Islamic world 
to study in the United States at a public high school for an academic 
year.
  There are no better ambassadors for American values than Americans 
themselves, and student exchange programs have proven to be an 
effective tool in reaching out to the next generation of leaders. As 
Secretary Powell said in his August 2001 Statement on International 
Education Week, ``I can think of no more valuable asset to our country 
than the friendship of future world leaders who have been educated 
here.''
  One of the clear lessons of September 11 is that our government needs 
to do more to ensure that future generations in the Islamic world 
understand more about American values and culture. A recent Gallup poll 
in nine predominantly Muslim countries revealed strong anti-American 
attitudes. Nearly 1.5 billion people live in the Islamic world, and if 
we ignore these sentiments, we do so at our own peril. If we try to 
address the problem directly, by teaching American values to students 
from the Islamic world, we have a chance, in the long run, of changing 
negative attitudes. It's a long process, which September 11 has taught 
us we must begin now.
  The State Department currently manages outstanding international 
student educational and cultural exchange programs that have helped 
foster mutual respect and understanding in many countries worldwide. 
These programs, which enable approximately 5,000 Americans to travel 
abroad and 20,000 foreign visitors to travel to the United States 
annually to study, teach, engage in people-to-people programs, have 
been enormously successful in promoting American values and cultural 
tolerance.
  Unfortunately, visitors and students from the Islamic world are 
significantly underrepresented in many of these programs. Individuals 
in the Islamic world represent approximately 25 percent of the world's 
6.2 billion people. However, in fiscal year 2000, less than 10 percent 
of the participants in State Department cultural and educational 
exchange programs were from the Islamic countries covered under our 
legislation, and less than 12 percent of the budget was spent on these 
countries. Additionally, according to the State Department's Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs, direct appropriated funding for 
exchanges has fallen by almost a third since 1993 which adjusted for 
inflation.
  The additional $75 million our legislation authorizes for existing 
programs to be expanded in the Islamic world is essential to our 
nation's objective of promoting greater understanding of American 
values and ideals. Existing programs provide the essential building 
blocks our nation needs for an expanded and sustained effort to reach 
more broadly into these societies, to foster mutual respect, and to 
counter the ignorance and hatred that can lead to acts of terrorism.
  In October of last year, President Bush spoke eloquently about the 
need to reach out in friendship to children and the Islamic world. In a 
speech to students at Thurgood Marshall Extended Elementary School, the 
President said that America is ``determined to build ties of trust and 
friendship with people all around the world, particularly with children 
and people in the Islamic world.
  To facilitate the President's goal of reaching children, our 
legislation would create a new program for high school students from 
the United States. No Federal program currently exists to facilitate 
such student exchanges with ever-increasing numbers of youth in the 
Islamic world.

[[Page S4201]]

  There are many benefits to reaching out to students while they are 
young and open-minded to enhance mutual cultural understanding and 
tolerance. Today's high school students are tomorrow's leaders, and we 
need to begin working with them now to inform their attitudes about our 
country.
  In a January 20, 2002 op-ed in the Washington Post, a former 
Fulbright scholarship recipient from Egypt expressed concern that his 
university in Egypt was and continues to be fertile ground for 
recruiters from terrorist or extremist organizations. Our challenge is 
to provide young students with the opportunity to learn about America, 
participate in all aspects of American family life, and understand our 
values before they reach that stage.
  The high school student exchange program authorized in our 
legislation is modeled on the State Department's highly successful 
Future Leaders Exchange Program, FLEX, which brings approximately 1,000 
students ages 15-17 from the Newly Independent States to the United 
States each year to attend an American high school for a year and live 
with an American family.
  The FLEX program has been extremely effective in shaping attitudes 
among the students selected to participate from the Newly Independent 
States. A 1998 U.S. government study, which compared Russian FLEX 
alumni with other Russian youth of the same age, indicated that the 
FLEX alumni are more open to and accepting of Western values and 
democratic ideals. They are more likely to want to become leaders in 
and to make a contribution to their society. They tend to be more 
optimistic about the future of their country, especially its evolution 
to a more democratic, rule-of-law society, than other Russian youths.
  Importantly, the FLEX program has been successful in the six 
predominantly Islamic countries from the Newly Independent States, 
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and 
Uzbekistan. More than 1,500 students from those Muslim countries have 
studied and lived in the United States since the program began. FLEX 
alumni in Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are teaching English in their 
home countries, and alumni in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have been 
involved in activities to develop democratic practices. Given the track 
record in these countries, there is every reason to believe that a high 
school student exchange program would succeed throughout the Islamic 
world.
  Like the existing student exchange program for the Newly Independent 
States, our legislation requires participating students in high school 
exchanges form the Islamic world to be selected competitively and in a 
manner that ensures geographic, gender, and socio-economic diversity. 
To quality, students must be tested extensively and interviewed under 
State Department guidelines. As with the FLEX program, the State 
Department will work with experienced American non-governmental 
organizations to recruit, select, and place students and will remain in 
close contact with the public high school, American host family, and 
American non-governmental organizations while the students are in the 
United States.
  Importantly, all students and visitors participating in programs 
authorized in this legislation must be admissible under all immigration 
laws and procedures. Furthermore, legislation recently passed by the 
Senate would improve our ability to screen foreign students by 
requiring increased communication among the State Department, the INS, 
and the schools enrolling foreign students and closing gaps in the 
existing foreign student monitoring program.
  Our legislation has been endorsed by the Alliance for International 
Education and Cultural Exchange, AMIDEAST, AFS, the Academy for 
Educational Development, the American Councils for International 
Education, the American Institute for Foreign Study, the Institute of 
International Education, the National Council for International 
Visitors, Sister Cities International, World Learning, and World Study 
Group.
  About the Cultural Bridges Act, the Director of the Alliance for 
International Educational and Cultural Exchange, a coalition of 65 
organizations with chapters in all 50 states, former Ambassador Kenton 
Keith, wrote: ``Winning the war on terrorism will demand more than just 
our military prowess. It will require us to engage the peoples of the 
Islamic world about our society and values if we are to forge the 
mutual understanding and respect that will be the basis of peaceful 
productive relationships. The exchanges authorized in your bill are the 
most cost-effective way to encourage the positive personal and 
institutional relationships that will enhance our long-term national 
security.'' I ask unanimous consent that copies of this and other 
endorsement letters be included in the Congressional Record at the end 
of my statement along with the text of the legislation.
  America must respond to the terrorist threat on many levels. We need 
to ensure that our defenses are strong, our borders are secure, and our 
relationships with allies are vibrant. We also need to do more in the 
area of public diplomacy.
  It is clearly in America's national security interest to promote more 
people-to-people contacts throughout the Muslim world. Indeed, in a May 
3rd speech to the World Affairs Council in California, Deputy Secretary 
of Defense Paul Wolfowitz spoke about the need to reach out and 
strengthen voices of moderation in the Islamic world and to bridge the 
``dangerous gap'' between the West and the Muslim world. He said 
America must ``begin now . . . the gap is wide and there is no time for 
delay.''
  After September 11, many of the Muslim countries condemned those acts 
and pledged to help the United States fight terrorism. As we have seen 
in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere in the Muslim world, some 
individuals and factions within a country can support terrorists and 
terrorist organizations, while others seek to resolve issues 
peacefully. America must reach out in friendship to all individuals in 
the Islamic world who share our worldview.
  The Koran says, ``O Mankind! We created you from a single pair of a 
male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may 
know each other.'' These words speak eloquently of the need for this 
legislation. Building bridges of understanding and tolerance across 
cultures will help ensure that Americans and people of the Islamic 
world will truly understand and know each other. I urge my colleagues 
to support this legislation.
  I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the 
Record.
  There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the 
Record, as follows:

                                S. 2505

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Cultural Bridges Act of 
     2002''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       Congress makes the following findings:
       (1) Educating international students is an important way to 
     impart cross-cultural understanding and create goodwill for 
     the United States throughout the world.
       (2) Students from the Islamic world are significantly 
     underrepresented among the approximately 500,000 
     international students who study in the United States 
     annually.
       (3) The volume of professional and cultural exchanges 
     between the United States and the Islamic world is extremely 
     low compared to other regions, and these exchanges have 
     proven extremely effective worldwide in building productive 
     people-to-people ties.
       (4) The Federally-funded Future Leaders Exchange Program 
     for high school students from the former Soviet Union, 
     administered by the Department of State, has demonstrated the 
     positive impact of reaching out to international students at 
     the secondary school level, introducing them to American 
     culture, and strengthening their commitment to democratic 
     values and ideals.
       (5) A critical element in the war against terrorism will be 
     increasing mutual understanding and respect between the 
     peoples of the United States and peoples around the world, 
     particularly those of the Islamic faith.

     SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act:
       (1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term 
     ``appropriate congressional committees'' means the Committee 
     on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of 
     the Senate and the Committee on International Relations and 
     the Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
     Representatives.
       (2) From the islamic world.--The term ``from the Islamic 
     world'', when used with respect to a person, means that the 
     person is

[[Page S4202]]

     a national of a country in the Islamic world or has as the 
     person's residence or place of birth the West Bank or Gaza.
       (3) Islamic world.--The term ``Islamic world'' means--
       (A) the member countries of the Organization of the Islamic 
     Conference and does not include any country having observer 
     status in the Organization; and
       (B) the areas consisting of the West Bank and Gaza.
       (4) Secondary school.--The term ``secondary school'' means 
     a school that serves students in any of the grades 9 through 
     12 or equivalent grades in a foreign education system, as 
     determined by the Secretary, in consultation with the 
     Secretary of Education.
       (5) Secretary.--Except as otherwise provided, the term 
     ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of State.
       (6) United states sponsoring organization.--The term 
     ``United States sponsoring organization'' means a 
     nongovernmental organization having United States citizenship 
     that is designated by the Secretary to carry out the program 
     authorized under section 5(a).

     SEC. 4. PURPOSE.

       The purpose of this Act is to promote the national security 
     of the United States through international educational and 
     cultural exchange programs between the United States and the 
     Islamic world that would--
       (1) afford additional opportunities for eligible 
     participants from the Islamic world to study in the United 
     States;
       (2) foster mutual respect for American and Islamic values 
     and culture through people-to-people contacts; and
       (3) build bridges to a more peaceful world through programs 
     aimed at enhancing mutual understanding.

     SEC. 5. NEW EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL 
                   STUDENTS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD.

       (a) In General.--To carry out the purpose of section 4, and 
     to redress the underrepresentation in United States 
     international exchange visitor programs of persons from the 
     Islamic world, the Secretary, acting under the authority, 
     direction, and control of the President, is authorized to 
     establish an international exchange visitor program under 
     which eligible secondary school students from the Islamic 
     world would--
       (1) attend a public secondary school in the United States;
       (2) live with an American host family and experience life 
     in a United States host community; and
       (3) participate in activities designed to promote a greater 
     understanding of American and Islamic values and culture.
       (b) Implementation.--The Secretary shall utilize the 
     authorities of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange 
     Act of 1961 to carry out the program authorized by subsection 
     (a) by grant, contract, or otherwise with United States 
     sponsoring organizations.
       (c) Eligibility Criteria.--
       (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2) and 
     section 7, a foreign student is eligible for participation in 
     the program authorized by subsection (a), if the student--
       (A) is from the Islamic world;
       (B) is at least 15 years of age but not more than 18 and 6 
     months years of age at the time of initial school enrollment;
       (C) is enrolled in secondary school in the student's 
     country of nationality or in the West Bank or Gaza;
       (D) has completed not more than 11 years of primary and 
     secondary education, exclusive of kindergarten;
       (E) demonstrates maturity, good character, and scholastic 
     aptitude; and
       (F) has not previously participated in an academic year or 
     semester secondary school student exchange program in the 
     United States.
       (2) Exception.--An alien is not eligible for participation 
     in the program authorized by subsection (a) if the alien is 
     otherwise inadmissible to the United States under section 
     212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1182(a)).
       (d) Program Requirements.--The program authorized by 
     subsection (a) shall satisfy the following requirements:
       (1) Recruitment and selection.--Each United States 
     sponsoring organization shall recruit and select eligible 
     secondary school students on a competitive basis under 
     guidelines developed by the Secretary and in a manner that 
     ensures geographic, gender, and socio-economic diversity.
       (2) English language proficiency.--The Secretary or the 
     United States sponsoring organization shall establish the 
     English language proficiency of eligible secondary school 
     students through standardized testing. For selected secondary 
     school students found in need of additional English language 
     training, the Secretary shall provide for not to exceed three 
     months of such training, depending on the need of the 
     student, prior to the commencement of the student's course of 
     academic study in the United States.
       (3) Preference for full academic year of study.--The 
     program shall emphasize educational exchanges consisting of a 
     full academic year of study.
       (4) Compliance with ``j'' visa requirements.--Participants 
     in the program shall satisfy all requirements applicable to 
     the admission of nonimmigrant aliens described in section 
     101(a)(15)(J) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
     U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(J)). The program shall be considered a 
     designated exchange visitor program for purposes of the 
     application of section 641 of the Illegal Immigration Reform 
     and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.
       (5) Regular reporting to the secretary.--Each United States 
     sponsoring organization shall report regularly to the 
     Secretary the information that the organization has obtained 
     during regular contacts with the sponsored student, the host 
     family, and the host secondary school.

     SEC. 6. AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH NEW EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL 
                   EXCHANGE PROGRAMS AND EXPAND EXISTING PROGRAMS.

       Under the authority, direction, and control of the 
     President, the Secretary is authorized to use the authorities 
     of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 
     to establish new programs under that Act, and expand the 
     coverage of existing programs under that Act, to increase the 
     number of educational and cultural exchange activities 
     involving persons from the Islamic world, except as provided 
     in section 7.

     SEC. 7. EXCEPTION FOR ISLAMIC WORLD COUNTRIES COVERED BY THE 
                   FREEDOM SUPPORT ACT.

       An individual who is a national of any of the following 
     countries shall not be eligible for participation in any new 
     program authorized under section 5 or 6 or for participation 
     in an existing program expanded under the authority of 
     section 6: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, 
     Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

     SEC. 8. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

       (a) Initial Report.--Not later than 3 months after the date 
     of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the 
     appropriate congressional committees a report setting forth 
     the plans to implement this Act. The report shall include--
       (1) with respect to the program authorized by section 
     5(a)--
       (A) a plan indicating priority countries and areas in the 
     Islamic world for participation in the program;
       (B) an estimate of the number of participating students 
     from each country or area;
       (C) an identification of United States sponsoring 
     organizations; and
       (D) a schedule for implementation of the program; and
       (2) with respect to fiscal year 2003, an allocation of 
     funds by country or area in the Islamic world for the program 
     authorized by section 5(a), and by program and country or 
     area in the Islamic world for the exercise of authority under 
     section 6.
       (b) Annual Report.--Not later than January 31 of each year, 
     the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional 
     committees a report on the progress and effectiveness of 
     activities carried out under this Act.

     SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATIONS OF APPROPRIATIONS.

       (a) New Program Funding.--
       (1) In general.--In addition to funds otherwise available 
     for such purpose, there is authorized to be appropriated for 
     the Department of State $20,000,000 for each of the fiscal 
     years 2003 through 2007 to carry out the program authorized 
     by section 5(a).
       (2) Availability of appropriations.--Amounts appropriated 
     pursuant to paragraph (1) are authorized to remain available 
     until expended.
       (b) Funding of Expansion of Existing Programs.--
       (1) In general.--In addition to funds otherwise available 
     for such purpose, there is authorized to be appropriated for 
     the Department of State $75,000,000 for each of the fiscal 
     years 2003 through 2007 to carry out any new international 
     educational or cultural exchange programs under section 6 or 
     the expansion under section 6 of any existing such programs.
       (2) Availability of appropriations.--Amounts appropriated 
     pursuant to paragraph (1) are authorized to remain available 
     until expended.
       (c) Limitations.--
       (1) Single country limitation.--Of the amount authorized to 
     be appropriated by subsection (a), and of the amount 
     authorized to be appropriated by subsection (b), not more 
     than 10 percent of each such amount is authorized to be 
     available for any single country.
       (2) Single program limitation.--Of the amount authorized to 
     be appropriated by subsection (b), not more than 25 percent 
     is authorized to be available to carry out, or expand, any 
     single international educational or cultural exchange 
     program.

  Mr. LUGAR. Mr. President, I am pleased to join Senators Kennedy, 
Chafee, Leahy, Hagel, Gordon Smith, Cochran, Brownback, and Jeffords in 
introducing the Cultural Bridges Act of 2002. Put simply, our bill 
authorizes funding for international student exchange programs between 
the United States and countries of the Islamic world.
  The bill authorizes $20 million to establish a secondary school level 
student exchange program that would bring students from the Islamic 
world to America in order to foster greater understanding and 
tolerance. It also authorizes an additional $75 million to existing 
student and foreign-exchange programs such as the Congress-Bundestag 
Program, Fulbright Scholarships, etc. The purpose is to foster mutual 
respect between our peoples and a greater understanding of the 
differences and similarities between the cultures.
  One of the lessons learned in recent months is that the United States 
needs

[[Page S4203]]

to create more effective tools of public diplomacy. The most striking 
example of this was a December 2000-January 2001 Gallup Poll in nine 
predominantly Muslim states that revealed very strong anti-American 
attitudes in a majority of the countries. There are no more effective 
means to spread American values and influence and to create goodwill 
than international student exchanges. As a result, I have concluded it 
is in U.S. national security interests to create an exchange program 
focused on Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.
  Last year only 10 percent of participants in various State Department 
student and cultural exchange programs came from Islamic countries 
outside the former Soviet Union. Our new program will bring students 
aged 15 to 17 to attend high school and live with an American family 
for a year. Recruitment and selection of participants will be conducted 
on a competitive basis designed to ensure geographic, gender, and 
socio-economic diversity.
  The legislation is based on the successful Future Leaders Exchange 
Program, FLEX, for high school students in the former Soviet Union. The 
new exchange program with Islamic states would be administered by the 
Department of State and will utilize similar guidelines and regulations 
established for the FLEX Program and utilize organizations experienced 
in such exchanges. A study of Russian FLEX alumni concluded that they 
are more open to and accepting of Western values, democratic ideals and 
foreign interaction than other students of the same age.
  In addition to the importance of increasing understanding between the 
United States and Islamic countries, we must also appreciate and 
address the continuing threat of terrorism. Our bill requires all 
students and visitors participating in programs authorized in this 
legislation to comply with the immigration procedures in the USA 
PATRIOT Act. Students will travel to the United States under J-visas.
  I am pleased our legislation has garnered the support of so many non-
governmental organizations involved in the implementation and 
management of student and cultural exchanges. As the Alliance for 
International Educational and Cultural Exchange wrote in their letter 
of April 2: ``Winning the war on terrorism will demand more than just 
military prowess. It will require us to engage the peoples of the 
Islamic world about our society and values if we are to forge the 
mutual understanding and respect that will be the basis of peaceful, 
productive relationships. As September 11 and its aftermath makes 
clear, our public diplomacy has fallen short.'' The Alliance concludes 
by saying that the ``. . . legislation is the right bill at the right 
time.''
  In addition to the Alliance, we have also received letters of support 
from: the AFS Intercultural Programs USA, the Academy for Educational 
Development, the American Councils for International Education, the 
American Institute for Foreign Study, the Institute of International 
Education, the National Council for International Visitors, Sister 
Cities International, World Learning, the World Study Group, and the 
America-Mideast Educational and Training Services.
  I understand the administration has reviewed our legislation and 
indicated that they would support its passage, pending the allocation 
of necessary resources. I am hopeful that my colleagues will join 
Senator Kennedy, our cosponsors and I in ensuring swift passage of this 
timely and important bill.
  I ask unanimous consent that letters of support be printed in the 
Record.
  There being no objection, the letters were ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                       America-Mideast Educational


                                  and Training Services, Inc.,

                                    Washington, DC, April 4, 2002.
     Hon. Edward M. Kennedy, Richard Lugar, and Lincoln Chafee.
       Dear Senators Kennedy, Lugar, and Chafee: AMIDEAST is the 
     largest American NGO promoting educational and cultural 
     exchanges between the United States and the Arab world, where 
     we have worked for over 50 years to strengthen mutual 
     understanding and cooperation between Arabs and Americans. I 
     am writing today to thank you for introducing the Cultural 
     Bridges Act of 2002.
       The Middle East is experiencing its most severe crisis 
     since 1948. The chasm of misunderstanding between Arabs and 
     Americans has never been wider. As I write to you today, 
     demonstrations are taking place on high school and university 
     campuses throughout the Middle East and North Africa 
     denouncing what they perceive to be America's unfair support 
     for Israeli's actions in the Occupied Territories. To win the 
     war on terrorism, we need to find new ways to reach the youth 
     of the Arab world, to quell their hostility towards us, and 
     to engage them in constructive dialogue.
       The Cultural Bridges Act of 2002 will afford us that 
     opportunity. It will promote educational exchanges between 
     the United States and the Islamic world, enabling Muslim 
     youth to learn about our society and values first-hand and 
     then serving as ambassadors of peace upon their return home, 
     while affording American students first-hand experience 
     abroad providing them with valuable insight and understanding 
     about the Arab and Islamic worlds.
       Your legislation is important and timely. We thank you for 
     championing this bold initiative.
           Sincerely,

                                              William A. Rugh,

                                        U.S. Ambassador (retired),
     President and CEO.
                                  ____

                                        Alliance for International


                            Educational and Cultural Exchange,

                                    Washington, DC, April 2, 2002.
     Hon. Edward M. Kennedy, Richard Lugar, and Lincoln Chafee,
     U.S. Senate.
       Dear Senators Kennedy, Lugar, and Chafee: On behalf of the 
     65 member NGOs of the Alliance for International Educational 
     and Cultural Exchange, I write to thank you for your 
     leadership in introducing the Cultural Bridges Act of 2002.
       Winning the war on terrorism will demand more than just our 
     military prowess. It will require us to engage the peoples of 
     the Islamic world about our society and values if we are to 
     forge the mutual understanding and respect that will be the 
     basis of peaceful, productive relationships. As September 11 
     and its aftermath make clear, our public diplomacy has fallen 
     short.
       Building productive ties will require a sustained and 
     serious commitment that reaches well beyond our current 
     efforts. The exchanges authorized in your bill are the most 
     cost-effective way to encourage the positive personal and 
     institutional relationships that will enhance our long-term 
     national security.
       Congressional leadership will be crucial to this endeavor. 
     Student and exchange flows from the Muslim world are among 
     the lowest of any region, and significant new resources will 
     be required to jump-start this effort. Moreover, a clear 
     federal commitment will leverage private sector support from 
     universities, schools, businesses, and communities across the 
     U.S. This initiative will engage the American people directly 
     in the conduct of the highest priority foreign policy.
       Your legislation is the right bill at the right time. You 
     have the gratitude and support of members of the exchange 
     community throughout the United States.
           Sincerely,

                                              Kenton w. Keith,

                                        U.S. Ambassador (retired),
                                        Chair, Board of Directors.
       Enclosure: List of Alliance member organizations.
       The Alliance for International Educational and Cultural 
     Exchange is a coalition of 65 organizations with chapters and 
     grassroots networks in all 50 states. Alliance member 
     organizations administer or facilitate exchange programs that 
     put a human face on American foreign policy, transmit 
     America's democratic values, foster economic ties with 
     overseas markets, engage millions of Americans in our foreign 
     affairs, and develop foreign language, cross-cultural, and 
     area studies expertise of American citizens.


                          member organizations

       Academy for Educational Development.
       Africa-America Institute.
       AFS Intercultural Programs.
       AIESEC, Inc.
       *Alliances Abroad [corporate associate member].
       American Association of Community Colleges.
       American Association of Intensive English Programs.
       American Council of Young Political Leaders.
       American Council on Education.
       American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS.
       American Institute for Foreign Study Foundation.
       American Intercultural Student Exchange.
       American-Scandinavian Foundation.
       Aemrican Secondary Schools for International Students and 
     Teachers.
       AMIDEAST.
       Amity Institute.
       Association of International Education Administrators.
       Association for International Practical Training.
       Association of Professional Schools of International 
     Affairs.
       AYUSA International.
       BUNAC.
       CDS International.
       Children's International Summer Villages, Inc.
       CEC International Partners.
       The College Board.
       Communicating for Agriculture.
       Concordia Language Villages.
       Council of Graduate Schools.

[[Page S4204]]

       Council of International Programs USA.
       Council on International Educational Exchange.
       Council on Standards for International Educational Travel.
       Educational Testing Service.
       EF Foundation for Foreign Study.
       French-American Chamber of Commerce.
       The Fulbright Association.
       The German Marshall Fund of the United States.
       Girl Scouts of the USA.
       Institute of International Education.
       International Cultural Exchange Services.
       InterExchange.
       International Internship Programs.
       International Research and Exchanges Board.
       Japan-America Student Conference.
       LASPAU: Academic and Professional Programs for the 
     Americas.
       The Laurasian Institution.
       Minnesota Agriculture Student Trainee/Practical 
     Agricultural Reciprocal Training.
       Meridian International Center.
       NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
       National 4-H/Japanese Exchange Program.
       National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant 
     Colleges.
       National Council for Eurasian and East European Research.
       National Council for International Visitors.
       North Carolina Center for International Understanding.
       Ohio Agricultural Intern Program.
       Pacific Intercultural Exchange.
       People to People International.
       Program of Academic Exchange.
       Sister Cities International.
       University and College Intensive English Program.
       World Education Services.
       World Exchange, Ltd.
       World Heritage.
       World Learning.
       YMCA International Program Services.
       Youth Exchange Services.
       Yourth For Understanding.
                                  ____



                                                AFS-USA, Inc.,

                                      New York, NY, April 1, 2002.
     Hon. Edward M. Kennedy, Richard Lugar, and Lincoln Chafee,
     U.S. Senate.
       Dear Senators Kennedy, Lugar, and Chafee: I am writing on 
     behalf of our staff, volunteers, and board members located in 
     all 50 States to express our pleasure and thanks for 
     initiating the cultural Bridges Act of 2002.
       AFS is the oldest, largest, and most diverse high school 
     exchange program in the United States and in the world. We 
     understand and appreciate the leadership you have 
     demonstrated in sponsoring this bill. Public diplomacy in the 
     Islamic world requires the focus and funding contained in 
     your bill. Our 54 years of experience in the field of 
     exchange tells us that a serious commitment, sustained over a 
     number of years, will be needed to defeat terrorism at its 
     roots by increasing understanding and tolerance among people 
     of different countries, beliefs and values. AFS exchanged 
     students from Germany and Japan with the U.S. almost 
     immediately after World War II. Today those countries are our 
     allies. Democratic principles, respect for others, and 
     individual freedom are our values, and they can be powerful 
     when seen through daily interaction with our families and 
     students.
       You are doing the right thing. We stand ready to support 
     you in any way we can.
       Thank you for your pursuit of peace and freedom.
           Sincerely,
                                                   Alex J. Plinio,
     President.
                                  ____

                                                       Academy for


                                      Educational Development,

                                    Washington, DC, April 2, 2002.
     Hon. Edward M. Kennedy, Richard Lugar, and Lincoln Chafee,
     U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
       Dear Senators Kennedy, Lugar and Chafee: On behalf of the 
     Academy for Educational Development, a non-profit 
     organization serving people in more than 160 countries, I 
     want to thank you for your leadership in introducing the 
     Cultural Bridges Act of 2002.
       International exchange programs are a critical component of 
     the war on terrorism. Exchange programs enhance mutual 
     understanding and build long-term bridges with individuals in 
     other countries. Expanding the flow of people, ideas and 
     information will promote greater understanding of the United 
     States and will advance our foreign policy objectives.
       The International Visitor Program has been particularly 
     effective at reaching future foreign leaders and at advancing 
     key foreign policy objectives. For example, a recent 
     leadership development program brought student leaders from 
     the Middle East and North Africa for exchanges with student 
     leaders across the United States. Another program on the role 
     of religion in the United States brought administrators from 
     religious educational institutions, or ``madrassahs,'' in 
     Pakistan to meet with civic and religious leaders in several 
     cities. Programs such as these that target key issues and 
     leaders should be significantly expanded in the Islamic 
     world.
       Although the world's attention has been focused on the 
     Muslim world, exchange programs from countries with large 
     Islamic populations are underrepresented in U.S. government-
     sponsored exchange programs. Your bill will significantly 
     enhance the capacity to reach out to individuals in these 
     countries through people-to-people exchanges that are among 
     our best tools of diplomacy.
       We thank you for your leadership, vision and commitment in 
     introducing this critical piece of legislation.
           Sincerely,
                                               Stephen F. Moseley,
     President and Chief Executive Officer.
                                  ____

                                                 American Councils


                                  for International Education,

                                    Washington, DC, April 2, 2002.
     Hon. Edward M. Kennedy, Richard Lugar, and Lincoln Chafee,
     U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
       Dear Senators Kennedy, Lugar, and Chafee: I write to 
     commend you for your leadership in introducing the Cultural 
     Bridges Act of 2002, a legislative initiative designed to 
     engage the diverse Islamic populations around the world 
     through international exchange programs. I particular want to 
     thank you for focusing on high school exchanges as a highly 
     effective mechanism for introducing the United States to this 
     audience, and them to our fellow Americans.
       While our country's public diplomacy efforts--which include 
     exchange programs--have earned us many friends in parts of 
     the world, the dramatic events of September 11th and our 
     examination of our standing with key populations in the 
     Islamic world since those terrorist attacks have revealed 
     that we have neglected a critical world population stretching 
     from West Africa to Southeast Asia. This arc crosses the Arab 
     Middle East, through Southeastern Europe and Central Asia to 
     Indochina; approximately 1.4 billion people populate the 
     countries along this arc. Your initiative would make it our 
     national policy to reach out to the peoples of these 
     countries to build mutual understanding.
       The Cultural Bridges Act of 2002 would capitalize on our 
     nation's capacity to educate and inform by bringing 
     individuals to the United States to learn about our culture, 
     language, and aspirations--all while studying in school, 
     mastering their chosen profession, or doing research. It 
     provides a highly effective (and low cost) way to positively 
     influence foreign populations through citizen diplomacy, 
     something we've done well with post-war Europe and Japan, 
     Latin America, and most recently with the countries of the 
     former Warsaw Pact.
       My own organization has utilized academic and youth 
     exchanges for more than 25 years with the former Soviet 
     Union. Among our many successes in fostering understanding of 
     the United States in that region, some of the most impressive 
     results result from exchange programs involving youth, like 
     the Future Leaders Exchange Program, and secondary school 
     teachers, like the Excellence in Teaching Awards Exchange 
     Program--both funded through an earlier congressional 
     initiative, the FREEDOM Support Act. The Cultural Bridges Act 
     that you are introducing in the Senate would facilitate 
     similar successes in the Islamic World.
       The American Councils has experience with working in the 
     Muslim communities of the NIS--communities that exist 
     throughout the 12 countries of the old Soviet Union. Some of 
     the most dynamic needs for expanded exchange opportunities in 
     the NIS are apparent in the predominately Islamic countries 
     of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, 
     Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan--countries that are critical to 
     addressing our urgent security concerns in Central Asia and 
     all of which would be eligible to benefit from your 
     legislation.
       Your exchanges initiative is both an effective bulwark 
     against ignorance of the United States and a proactive 
     measure for securing the peace we hope to achieve through our 
     current military campaign. I applaud your leadership in 
     introducing this bill, and look forward to its enactment.
           Sincerely,
                                                  Dan E. Davidson,
     President.
                                  ____

                                                American Institute


                                            for Foreign Study,

                                      Stamford, CT, April 2, 2002.
     Hon. Edward M. Kennedy, Richard Lugar, and Lincoln Chafee,
     U.S. Senate.
       Dear Senators: As a member of the Alliance for 
     International Educational and Cultural Exchange, I write to 
     thank you for your leadership in introducing the Cultural 
     Bridges Act of 2002.
       Winning the war on terrorism will demand more than just our 
     military prowess. It will require us to engage the peoples of 
     the Islamic world about our society and values if we are to 
     forge the mutual understanding and respect that will be the 
     basic of peaceful, productive relationships. As September 11 
     and its aftermath make clear, our public diplomacy has fallen 
     short.
       Building productive ties will require a sustained and 
     serious commitment that reaches well beyond our current 
     efforts. The exchanges authorized in your bill are the most 
     cost-effective way to encourage the positive personal and 
     institutional relationships that will enhance our long-term 
     national security.
       Congressional leadership will be crucial to this endeavor. 
     Student and exchange flows from the Muslim world are among 
     the lowest of any region, and significant new resources

[[Page S4205]]

     will be required to jump-start this effort. Moreover, a clear 
     federal commitment will leverage private sector support from 
     universities, schools, businesses, and communities across the 
     U.S. This initiative will engage the American people directly 
     in the conduct of the highest priority foreign policy.
       Your legislation is the right bill at the right time. You 
     have the gratitude and support of members of the exchange 
     community throughout the United States.
           Sincerely,
                                                Robert J. Brennan,
     President.
                                  ____

                                                      Institute of


                                      International Education,

                                       New York, NY April 2, 2002.
     Hon. Edward M. Kennedy, Richard G. Lugar, and Lincoln D. 
       Chafee,
     U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
       Dear Senators: On behalf of the Institute of International 
     Education, including our Trustees and volunteers across the 
     country, please accept IIE's thanks and appreciation for the 
     leadership you are showing by introducing the Cultural 
     Bridges Act of 2002. Your initiative could not be more 
     relevant and timely.
       As always, the leadership of Congress in international 
     educational exchange is critical. Now, in vulnerable areas of 
     the world where peace, understanding and progress through 
     education are vitally needed to insure that terrorism and 
     intolerance are eliminated, your legislation addresses key 
     areas where we can work to build shared values.
       Exchanges of high school and college students, graduate 
     students and young professionals, as well as others, who can 
     help create the climate we need where progressive democratic 
     developments flourish are sorely needed in Africa, the Near 
     East, Central and South Asia, and Southeast Asia. The focus 
     of your Cultural Bridges Act of 2002 on members of the 
     Organization of Islamic Conference includes virtually every 
     nation we need to reach if we are serious about making people 
     to people diplomacy work for youth. As you know, the 
     Institute has always regarded the Mutual Educational and 
     Cultural Exchanges Act of 1961 as one of the most important 
     of all this nation's foreign policy documents. By directing 
     the Department of State to establish new initiatives through 
     the authority of the 1961 Act you will assure that the 
     philanthropic and higher education sectors not only support 
     your efforts but help you leverage government resources for 
     important common purposes.
       Please let me know if there is anything the Institute can 
     do to assist you in this critically important endeavor at a 
     time of great national need.
           Sincerely yours,

     ------ ------
                                  ____


                                              National Council for


                                       International Visitors,

                                    Washington, DC, April 2, 2002.
     Hon. Edward M. Kennedy, Richard Lugar, and Lincoln Chafee,
     U.S. Senate.
       Dear Senators Kennedy, Lugar, and Chafee: On behalf of the 
     Board and members of the National Council for International 
     Visitors (NCIV), we thank you for your initiative in 
     introducing the Cultural Bridges Act of 2002. NCIV members--
     nonprofit program agencies and 95 community organizations 
     across the United States--organize professional programs, 
     home visits, and cultural activities for participants in the 
     State Department's International Visitor Program and other 
     exchanges. More than 80,000 volunteers are involved in NCIV 
     member activities each year, including WorldBoston, 
     International Center of Indianapolis, and the World Affairs 
     Council of Rhode Island.
       NCIV members promote citizen diplomacy--the idea that the 
     individual citizen has the right, even the responsibility, to 
     help shape U.S. foreign relations ``one handshake at a time'' 
     through exchanges. We are grateful for your leadership in 
     introducing this legislation that will make more of these 
     handshakes possible with participants from underserved areas 
     of the world.
           Sincerely,
     Alan Kumamoto,
       Chair, Board of Directors.
     Sherry L. Mueller,
       President.
                                  ____



                                  Sister Cities International,

                                    Washington, DC, April 1, 2002.
     Hon. Edward M. Kennedy, Richard Lugar, and Lincoln Chafee,
     U.S. Senate.
       Dear Senators Kennedy, Lugar, and Chafee: On behalf of 
     Sister Cities International and the 700 U.S. cities joined in 
     cooperative sister city partnerships with 1,500 international 
     cities in 121 countries, I applaud your leadership in 
     introducing the Cultural Bridges Act of 2002. The Cultural 
     Bridges Act of 2002 will be a vital tool in the conduct of 
     U.S. foreign policy and public diplomacy in response to new 
     challenges facing the United States.
       The need for increased international understanding and 
     cooperation has never been more imperative than in the 
     aftermath of September 11. International education and 
     exchange programs are critical elements in advancing U.S. 
     foreign policy and national security, as they build 
     understanding and cooperation between Americans and future 
     foreign leaders. Nearly 150 present and past foreign heads of 
     state made their first visits to the United States on 
     exchange programs. This powerful tool for building 
     productive, positive relationships has served the United 
     States extraordinarily well over the years, and has included 
     visits from world leaders such as Anwar Sadat and Indira 
     Gandhi, French Premier Lionel Jospin and British Prime 
     Minister Tony Blair.
       Perhaps most importantly, the Cultural Bridges Act boldly 
     leads the way for the federal government to encourage 
     sustainable, cooperative relationships between the United 
     States and the Islamic world. In the fight against terrorism 
     and efforts to improve our national security, there can be no 
     doubt that fostering international exchanges will help 
     diminish negative stereotypes and build an environment of 
     mutual understanding and respect for differences. 
     Furthermore, the Cultural Bridges Act will help foster 
     citizen diplomacy initiatives that will promote the 
     involvement of local citizens in international engagement. 
     Now more than ever, the federal government must invest in 
     capacity building at the community level to promote citizen 
     diplomacy, particularly with regard to the Islamic world. As 
     we know, resources allotted for these activities are 
     drastically insufficient in the current climate, and we hope 
     the introduction of the Cultural Bridges Act will move our 
     nation in the right direction of enhanced cooperation.
       Thank you for your leadership on this pressing issue.
           Sincerely,
                                                        Tim Honey,
     Executive Director.
                                  ____



                                               World Learning,

                                    Washington, DC, April 1, 2002.
     Hon. Edward M. Kennedy, Richard Lugar, and Lincoln Chafee,
     U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
       Dear Senators Kennedy, Lugar, and Chafee: Thank you for 
     your leadership in introducing the Cultural Bridges Act of 
     2002. Enactment of this legislation will make possible 
     increase opportunities to bring current and future leaders 
     from the Islamic world to the United States and to send 
     Americans to Muslim counties to teach and study.
       Expanded opportunities for citizen exchange between the 
     United States and the Islamic world will help to engender 
     increased respect, understanding and trust between our 
     peoples. building this mutual understanding will enhance our 
     national security by broadening the range of productive 
     interactions between the United States and Muslim countries.
       Currently, student and other exchange flows with Muslim 
     countries are lower than with regions of the world. The 
     programs which the Cultural Bridges Act authorizes would 
     provide for significant increases at this crucial time for 
     our nation. Thank you again for your leadership in working to 
     strengthen these important programs.
           Sincerely yours,
                                                     Robert Chase,
     Vice President.
                                  ____



                                            World Study Group,

                                 San Francisco, CA, April 2, 2002.
     Hon. Edward M. Kennedy, Richard Lugar, and Lincoln Chafee,
     U.S. Senate.
       Dear Senators Kennedy, Lugar, and Chafee: On behalf of the 
     World Study Group, I write to thank you for your leadership 
     in introducing the Cultural Bridges Act of 2002. The World 
     Study Group and its affiliated J-1 visa programs are 
     dedicated to increasing understanding and trust between 
     people through international cultural exchange.
       Building productive ties with Muslim world will require a 
     sustained and serious commitment that reaches well beyond our 
     current efforts. The exchanges authorized in your bill are 
     the most cost-effective way to encourage the positive 
     personal and institutional relationships that will enhance 
     our long-term national security goals. Breaking down 
     misunderstanding requires that our peoples know each other 
     better.
       Congressional leadership will be crucial to this endeavor. 
     Student exchanges from the Muslim world are among the lowest 
     of any region, and significant new resources will be required 
     to jump start this effort. Moreover, a clear federal 
     commitment will leverage private sector support and will 
     immediately engage the American people directly in the 
     conduct of this high priority foreign policy initiative.
       Your legislation is the right bill at the right time. On 
     behalf of AYUSA, AuPairCare, and Intrax Inc., we thank you. 
     You have the gratitude and support of our staff and field 
     representatives throughout the United States.
           Sincerely,
                                                     John Wilhelm,
     President.

                          ____________________





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