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[Congressional Record: October 3, 2002 (Senate)]
[Page S9870-S9892]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

                           CONFERENCE REPORT

[ ... ]

[[Page S9872]]

[ ... ]

  Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, we are on the judicial reauthorization 
bill that just received cloture. I was happy to see that taking place. 
I draw attention to the body to one particular provision that is 
important. It is J-1 visas. These visas are granted to people who were 
born in another country, other than the United States, but trained 
according to medical standards in the United States, in passing medical 
boards in the United States, and then able to serve throughout the 
United States. I know the Presiding Officer's State and my State are 
dependent on people born in foreign countries being able to provide 
medical services in Kansas.
  We have 105 counties and 20 that would be medically underserved if 
not for this feature called J-1 visas for medically underserved 
counties to have medical personnel, as I previously described.
  Within the provision of the judicial reauthorization bill, it allows 
for 30 J-1 visas on a per State, per year basis to work with 
recruitment of medical personnel. My State of Kansas is dependent on 
this feature. Twenty of our 105 counties would be medically underserved 
if not for J-1 visas. There was a problem within the old program that 
the oversight was not sufficient.
  After September 11, a number of people were concerned about who was 
getting into the United States under these J-1 visas: Are they properly 
supervised and properly observed, or is there potential for untoward 
elements that would come in this way that might seek to do harm to the 
United States? That was an area of concern. We were concerned about 
everyone coming to the United States at that point. This was another 
area where people had deep concerns.
  This program, as we have revised it, has supervision in place to 
watch this program and to meet the needs of States like Kansas where we 
have significant areas of medically underserved populations and at the 
same time meet the security needs of the United States so we do not 
allow in an individual who seeks to do harm to the rest of the United 

  I worked in the Judiciary Committee. We worked on the Immigration 
Subcommittee. This bill got through the House of Representatives. 
Congressman Jerry Moran from my State worked over there. We have met 
everyone's concerns to get this passed through the needs of States such 
as my own, particularly for rural States because this is a chronic 
issue, with significantly underserved areas, aging population in some 
counties that need more and more services and have more and more 
difficulty getting medical personnel into the areas. This is working 
under the J-1 category for medical doctors. We are using it for medical 
technologists. In the future we will need it for broader categories 
within health care as well, potentially for physical therapists and 
nurses, to get adequate personnel in places that are needed. It will be 
a valuable feature, looking into the future.
  Overall, the judicial reauthorization is a good bill, one that we 
should pass. It is significant. We have not had one of these 
reauthorizations for some period of time. It is certainly the time to 
be doing this, to bring this issue forward. I commend the chairman and 
ranking member and those who have worked very hard in the conference 
committee to move this issue forward.


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