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[Congressional Record: November 15, 2002 (Extensions)]
[Page E2074]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

                      HONORING THOMAS J. SCHILTGEN


                        HON. GRACE F. NAPOLITANO

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, November 14, 2002

  Mr. NAPOLITANO. Mr. Speaker, I am extremely proud to rise today to 
honor Mr. Thomas J. Schiltgen, District Director of the U.S. 
Immigration & Naturalization Service Office in Los Angeles, who will be 
retiring in December 2002 after 27 years of service to America's 
immigrant community.
  Mr. Schiltgen is a very special individual, and my district is 
indebted to his unwavering passion and dedication for the immigrant 
community endeavoring to become U.S. citizens. The 605 Citizenship 
Project, a video series designed to help educate immigrants to become 
U.S. citizens, would not have been so successful if it were not for his 
willingness to personally work in our communities and go beyond the 
call of duty to provide comfort and patience to families often 
intimidated by the intricacies of the naturalization process. His 
willingness to educate and reach out to underserved communities puts 
him in a league of his own. He has responded to last minute calls of 
assistance to matters vital to my community's well being, and each time 
he has cooperated and provided much needed help.
  In addition to his community involvement, Mr. Schiltgen has exercised 
outstanding management skills in the Los Angeles district I.N.S. 
office. He has achieved a dramatic reduction in the huge backlog of 
pending applications for naturalization. Today, citizenship cases in 
Los Angeles are processed in six to eight months, compared to an 
average of 24 months prior to his arrival. His energy and vision have 
made him one of the agency's most respected and valued leaders.
  Mr. Speaker, I invite my colleagues to join me in saluting Mr. Thomas 
J. Schiltgen for his understanding leadership and devotion to his work. 
His devoted commitment to others has earned him praise from the 
immigrant community, I.N.S. employees, community leaders and advocates 
who have benefited from his commitment to public service. On the 
occasion of his retirement, we heartedly congratulate him on his 
extremely successful career, wish him much success on his future 
endeavors and thank him greatly for his outstanding efforts to make a 
difference in the lives and futures of many America's new citizens.