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[Congressional Record: January 23, 2003 (Senate)]
[Page S1379-S1419]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will now 
resume consideration of H.J. Res. 2, which the clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

[ ... ]

Mr. CORZINE. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce an amendment along with Senator Clinton that would prevent the Immigration and Naturalization Service from deporting the spouses of children of the victims of the September 11 attacks. This simple legislation would allow some 300 people who are still grieving the loss of their loved ones to remain in the United States to sort out their affairs. The Patriot Act responsibly included a provision that allowed nonimmigrant survivors of victims of the September 11 attacks to remain in the United States until September 11, 2002. That length of time, however, was not sufficient for those families to sort out their affairs before returning to their countries of origin. I remain steadfast in my belief that these families should be permitted to stay in the United States indefinitely as legal permanent residents. I intend to raise that issue in the future. This amendment, however, is crafted narrowly as a stopgap humanitarian response to the everyday challenges these families face before being able to return to their native countries. Tough in mourning for well over a year, many widows and children have not recovered the remains of their loved ones. Instead, they are awaiting DNA analyses of the samples collected from the attack site. The children of these widows and widowers are enrolled in American schools. In fact, some are native-born American citizens and would have to return to a country they don't know or face the prospect of separating from their one surviving parent. The great majority of these families is still awaiting awards from the victims' compensation fund. They have homes that will need to be sold and other unfamiliar financial matters to settle before returning to their native countries. And many are participating in support groups with other survivors, groups that simply will not exist in their birth country. It would be inhumane to deport them at this time. This amendment will provide these brave families with additional time to attend to their affairs and undertake the unenviable task of dismantling their lives in the United States. I urge my colleagues to support this simple but important legislation.

[ ... ]