[Congressional Record: January 23, 2003 (Senate)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
MAKING FURTHER CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2003
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
[ ... ]
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