[Congressional Record: January 22, 2003 (Senate)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
MAKING FURTHER CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2003--
[ ... ]
Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading
of the amendment be dispensed with.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The amendment is as follows:
Amendment No. 40
(Purpose: To make funds available for the Entry Exit System)
On page 95, line 7, strike ``$3,076,509,000'' and insert
the following: ``$3,241,787,000: Provided, That of the amount
appropriated under this heading $80,200,000 shall be
available only for the Entry Exit System, to be managed by
the Justice Management Division: Provided further, That, of
the amounts made available in the preceding proviso,
$42,400,000 shall only be available for planning, program
support, environmental analysis and mitigation, real estate
acquisition, design and construction: Provided further, That
$25,500,000 shall only be available for an entry-exit system
pilot, including demonstration projects on the southern and
northern border, and $12,300,000 shall only be available for
system development: Provided further, That none of the funds
appropriated in this Act, or in Public Law 107-117, for the
Immigration and Naturalization Service's Entry Exit System
may be obligated until the INS submits a plan for expenditure
that: (1) meets the capital planning and investment control
review requirements established by the Office of Management
and Budget, including OMB Circular A-11, part 3; (2) complies
with the acquisition rules, requirements, guidelines, and
systems acquisition management practices of the Federal
Government; (3) is reviewed by the General Accounting Office;
and (4) has been approved by the Committees on
Appropriations: Provided further, That funds provided under
this heading shall only be available for obligation and
expenditure in accordance with the procedures applicable to
reprogramming notifications set forth in section 605 of
Public Law 107-77: Provided further, That none of the funds
made available by this Act shall be available for any
expenses relating to the National Security Entry-Exit
Registration System (NSEERS), and that the Attorney General
shall provide to the Committee on Appropriations all
documents and materials: (1) used in the creation of the
NSEERS program, including any predecessor programs; (2)
assessing the effectiveness of the NSEERS program as a tool
to enhance national security; (3) used to determine the scope
of the NSEERS program, including countries selected for the
program, and the gender, age, and immigration status of the
persons required to register under the program; (4) regarding
future plans to expand the NSEERS program to additional
countries, age groups, women, and persons holding other
immigration statuses not already covered; (5) explaining of
whether the Department of Justice consulted with other
federal agencies in the development of the NSEERS programs,
and if so, all documents and materials relating to those
consultations; (6) concerning policy directives or guidance
issued to officials about implementation of NSEERS, including
the role of the FBI in conducting national security
background checks of registrants; (7) explaining why certain
INS District Offices detained persons with pending status-
adjustment applications; and (8) explaining how information
gathered during interviews of registrants will be stored,
used, or transmitted to other Federal, State, or local
Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I join my friend, Senator Kyl, and thank
him, Senator Kennedy, Senator Feinstein, and Senator Feingold. I also
thank Senator Stevens for his agreement to this amendment which we
think is a very important amendment.
I understand that under the previous order, I have 10 minutes and the
other Senator from Arizona has 10 minutes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.
Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, this amendment restores $165 million,
which was the level of funding requested by the President, to the INS
for development and implementation of the exit-entry systems to be used
at ports of entry across the United States.
Before any of my colleagues might have an impression that somehow I
am breaking some of my iron rules, the fact is this amount of money was
requested by the President in the President's budget, so what Senator
I are achieving here is the restoration of at least some of those funds
for this very important program.
This morning, on the front page of the Wall Street Journal:
A Ranger's Death Shows New Hazards Of a Venerable Job. Law
Enforcement Has Become A Bigger Part of Duties; Some Bridle
at the Change. A Gunfight on the Border.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Ariz.
In the ovenlike afternoon heat last Aug. 9, Kris Eggle got
a call for help.
Mexican police were chasing a truck that was about to cross
the poorly marked national border into this desert park. Mr.
Eggle, a 28-year-old park ranger, raced to the scene and
found the truck stuck in a dust-filled pothole on the U.S.
side. Several men spilled out and ran.
Mr. Eggle spotted one of them trying to hide behind a bush.
He approached the suspect and prepared to arrest him, when
the man whipped out an AK-47 automatic rifle and fired.
Mr. Eggle, a dedicated member of the U.S. Park Service, was killed in
that encounter. He is the fourth park ranger to be killed in recent
times as we are experiencing an increasing level of violence on our
We are in a crisis on our southern border--not just Arizona, but
Arizona, unfortunately, is experiencing a majority of these problems
because there have been crackdowns in California and in Texas, which
has then funneled people up through Arizona.
This is a tragedy--a tragedy. Last year, 320 illegal immigrants died
in the desert of Arizona trying to get across, usually exploited by
unscrupulous coyotes, as they are called, who brought them across the
border and said, ``Tucson is right over the next hill,'' and left them
to die in the desert of Arizona.
By the way, the motivation of those who died, I am sure, was simply
to get a job so they could feed their families. The ones with the drug
smugglers and the coyotes and the bad people, they don't starve in the
desert because they know how to survive and they know where to go.
Innocent people are dying every day in the deserts of Arizona and
across this Nation. These innocent people, very frankly, are coming
here because they want a better life in the United States. That is the
same reason my ancestors came here and any of us who are not Native
There is a crisis in health care in Arizona. Emergency rooms are
being shut down. Over $100 million in medical expenses was incurred by
the State of Arizona last year because of medical services paid for by
illegal immigrants. Senator Kyl will talk about the fact that it is the
INS people who are waving medical emergencies across the border. That
is a Federal responsibility. It is not a State responsibility. It is a
Federal responsibility. Enforcement of our border is a Federal
Do you know what else is happening? An interesting and very alarming
thing is happening. People, believing--correctly--that the Federal
Government won't take care of its responsibilities, are beginning to
want to take these responsibilities in their own hands in the form of
The Arizona Daily Star, January 3, 2003:
Bisbee militia leader Chris Simcox says he is set today to
launch the first patrols along the border with members of his
Civil Homeland Defense group.
Simcox has said he plans to have groups of armed citizens
patrolling three areas of the Arizona-Mexico line, though he
wouldn't specify the sites.
Do you know what vigilantism leads to, Mr. President? There is no
doubt what it leads to; that is the death of innocent people. Our
border is uncontrolled. If we are going to win a war on terrorism, how
do we know who those 1,000 people a day are? A thousand people a day
who are coming across the Arizona border into our country are not just
people who are seeking a job, not even just drug smugglers, but could
be terrorists, as well.
This amendment is attacking a small part of a major problem that we
have in this Nation. I don't think it is a parochial attitude toward my
own State when the facts are that three out of every five illegal
aliens who are coming into the United States of America are apprehended
in the State of Arizona. There are miles and miles and miles of border.
What separates the United States of America from Mexico is seven
strands of barbed wire. The latest tactic--I don't mean to take too
much of my colleagues' time--is to take an SUV, put something in front
of it, and bust right through the barbed-wire fence and bring in the
drugs and bring in the illegals and everybody else who wants to get in.
Senator Kyl went down and talked to a rancher--11 times in 1 week SUVs
have driven right across his property, a couple of them armed. Our
citizens deserve better than that; those who live along the border,
those who run health care facilities along the border, deserve better
than that and certainly the citizens of this country deserve a better
enforcement of our national borders than they are receiving today.
I say in closing that Senator Kyl and I, along with other border
State Senators, intend to make this an issue this year because it has
to be addressed. It has to be addressed.
If we are going to preserve the security of this Nation, we have to
have protection of our borders. It may cost money. It may be a
difficult task to achieve. But the consequences of a failure to act are
I yield the remainder of my time and again I thank Senator Stevens
for helping us with this amendment.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, we are prepared to accept the amendment,
and I ask it be adopted.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is time remaining.
Mr. KYL. I would like to speak on it as well.
Mr. STEVENS. I am sorry, I thought the Senator had already spoken. I
withhold my motion.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
Mr. KYL. Mr. President, let me take a couple of minutes to amplify a
couple of points my colleague, Senator McCain, made and also I ask
unanimous consent Senator Domenici of New Mexico be added as a
cosponsor of the amendment.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. KYL. Mr. President, as Senator McCain just noted, we have a
crisis on the southern border with Mexico. We have drug and human
smuggling daily. There are over 500,000 illegal immigrants a year
crossing into the United States; 320 people died last year crossing
into the desert area of Arizona. There is a significant degradation of
the environment that has occurred because of the large number of people
and vehicles coming across. The ranchers' operations are disrupted,
their cattle are sent scurrying, their fences are cut, their water is
taken. We have hundreds of millions of dollars of medical costs that
are unreimbursed because of the emergency care that is being provided
to illegal immigrants. We have the vigilantes that Senator McCain
talked about springing up now, an understandable reaction to a problem
but not an appropriate one. We have attacks on the Border Patrol every
day, and even park rangers are being killed.
This is a crisis and it has to be dealt with. I thank Senator Stevens
and the other Senators who were helpful, for helping us to restore some
of the funding the President had requested, and for their willingness
to accept this amendment to begin to deal with at least one aspect of
We have not only, however, a problem of controlling the border at the
border, but we also have a problem of dealing with the people who come
to the United States legally but stay here illegally. That is one of
the specific focuses of this amendment. I would like to take just a
second to talk about it.
Did you know that half of the approximately 10 million people who are
here in the United States illegally today came here legally and they
overstayed their visas? The problem is, we don't have an effective
system in our country that can track the people who are here illegally.
We have mandated it three times in the law now. It is called an Entry
Exit System. One of the things this amendment will do is to restore
about $80 million to help fund this Entry Exit System.
This was originally left out of the Senate version of the bill, but
as I said, thanks to the work of Senator Gregg and Senator Hollings,
Senator Byrd and Senator Stevens, we were able to get this funding back
into the bill.
The Entry Exit System was originally authorized in 1996 through the
Illegal Immigrant and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, and then it
strengthened again in the U.S.A. Patriot Act after September 11, and
again in the Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act. In all three
cases we need to basically mandate the Federal Government to institute
and administer this program.
Finally, Congress has gotten the attention of the appropriate
officials, and we are beginning to get this done. It makes no sense to
spend all of the resources we spend to control the border and then
totally ignore the fact that half of the people who are here illegally
got here legally, but we have no way of tracking them and determining
where they are at a given time.
There are a lot of reasons this is important, but just think about
the terrorism aspect for just a moment. This will help us identify
terrorists, someone who arrived on a valid visa but hasn't exited the
country because they want to stay here and engage in some nefarious
activity. Just imagine if we had an effective system working at the
time the September 11 hijackers came here. All of them came legally but
of course they weren't all remaining in the country legally after they
It will also obviously help in a lot of other ways. As a matter of
fact, when someone exits the country, if our law enforcement officials
need to question them for any reason, they can be stopped and therefore
they can be questioned because of the effectiveness of this system.
I want to make a final comment for the benefit of the administration
because Congress is now acting to begin the funding of this program.
Senator Gregg, the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee, has
made the point in the past it always has not been a wise expenditure of
money by Congress to fund INS systems because the money doesn't seem to
be spent very wisely. What we are saying is, as a result of this
amendment, we are willing to put confidence in the INS, in the new
Homeland Security Department, Justice Department, Border Patrol, and
the other agencies that have this responsibility. But we expect them to
follow through on the laws that we pass so when we mandate a system, it
is implemented, and we expect it to be implemented on time.
We are going to be restoring the funding so they can do that. We
expect them to do their part of the job and put these systems into
effect. Not only is it important to help us with the problems of
illegal drug smuggling and illegal immigration and general crime
control, but it is now very important to deal with the problem of
terrorism and the terrorist threat to our country.
I thank Senators Stevens, Gregg, and Hollings. I thank the cosponsors
of this legislation. I am very much looking forward to working with
them on the problems that Senator McCain and I have identified in many
other areas that we are going to have to deal with this year to deal
with this crisis
[ ... ]
[ End ]
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