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[Congressional Record: May 1, 2003 (Extensions)]
[Page E846]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []



                         HON. GARY L. ACKERMAN

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 1, 2003

  Mr. ACKERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I'd like to call to the attention of the 
House Mr. Edward J. McElroy, an extraordinary federal employee--a 
person who would typically be referred to in this chamber as a 
bureaucrat. Indeed, he is one, the interim director of the Department 
of Justice's new Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New 
York. But in my community in New York, we don't think of him as a 
bureaucrat, or as a cog in the impersonal and vast machinery of the 
federal government. In Queens, Ed McElroy is a hero.
  About 3 weeks ago I called him after discovering that a young man in 
my community, Mohammad Sarfaraz Hussain, was on the verge of being 
deported. Now eighteen, this young man came to New York from Pakistan 
when he was a seven year old little boy, to be with his mother as she 
died in the hospital. Only a few short years later, his father died of 
a heart attack leaving him an orphan.
  Despite these tragedies, Mohammad thrived in Queens. Living with his 
aunt and uncle, and with the support of his siblings and cousins, his 
school and his friends, Mohammad has grown to be the kind of young man 
all of us hope our society produces: decent, modest and responsible, a 
varsity basketball player with a crowd of friends and a bright future 
ahead of him.
  But in February, after reporting to immigration officials in New York 
under the special registration program implemented after 9/11 to screen 
male aliens from high-risk states, Mohammad was told that he was in our 
country illegally and that our federal government would seek his 
deportation. He was supposed to appear before a federal judge today.
  A terrible tragedy was unfolding, a young man, an orphan, who since 
he was in second grade had only known life in America, was only weeks 
away from being sent to Pakistan, where he had no family and knew no 
  Mr. Speaker, this scenario is not what we had in mind when the 
special screening procedures were put in place. The new screening 
policy makes a lot of sense for the security of our nation, it made no 
sense when applied in this case. The most threatening thing about 
Mohammad Hussain is his jump shot.
  But the story has a happy ending Mr. Speaker because in New York, the 
federal government is lucky enough to have Ed McElroy making decisions 
about the enforcement of immigration laws.
  Instead of ducking his head, instead of hiding behind rules and 
regulations to avoid making a decision, Ed McElroy did the kind of job 
we all hope our federal employees will do. He investigated, he looked 
deeper, he performed due diligence, he protected the interests of the 
United States and most importantly, he did the right thing.
  After taking all the steps necessary to ensure that America's 
interests were met first, Ed McElroy notified me that he had reviewed 
Mr. Hussain's case would exercise prosecutorial discretion in not 
removing him from the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, there is a lot to be proud of in a case like this. There 
is, of course, Mohammad Hussain, a young man like millions of others 
who has come to this country in tragic circumstances and has come to 
know, love and live the American dream.
  And, making the continuation of this American story possible is a 
federal employee, a bureaucrat. A hero named Ed McElroy who understands 
that his responsibility as a guardian of our nation's borders and laws 
is not just the implementation of regulations, but the use of judgement 
in the pursuit of justice.
  Mr. Speaker, I am proud to call the House's attention to the great 
job Ed McElroy has done, and I know the whole House will join me in 
thanking him for his service, which is a credit to the entire United 
States government.