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[Congressional Record: November 15, 2001 (Extensions)]
[Page E2094-E2095]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []
                               speech of

                       HON. LUCILLE ROYBAL-ALLARD

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, November 14, 2001

  Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 2500, the 
Commerce, Justice, State and Judiciary Appropriations Conference 
Report. I'd like to thank our Chairman, Frank Wolf, and our Ranking 
Member, Jose Serrano, for putting together such a fair conference 
report under the significant funding constraints faced by the 
  As my colleagues know, one of the most critical functions of this 
bill is to provide resources for our law enforcement to assist them in 
enforcing the laws of our nation and keeping our citizens safe. The CJS 
bill contains the majority of funding for federal law enforcement 
personnel, and funds critical grant programs which get the resources 
out to the local law enforcement agencies which work so hard to keep 
our communities safe.
  While we know that additional resources will be needed in the future, 
the bill provides significant funding to make sure that our federal law 
enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the 
Drug Enforcement Agency, the Immigration and Naturalization Service and 
the Border Patrol, have adequate funding to do their jobs in light of 
the tragic events on September 11th. I am particularly pleased that the 
bill provides important, much-needed increases for the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service, including an increase in the number of border 
patrol agents and INS inspectors, while at the same time dedicating an 
additional $45 million above base funding in order to tackle the 
existing backlog in the processing of immigration cases.
  While I am pleased with the overall bill, I am disappointed that the 
Senate provision permanently extending Section 245(i) of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act was not included in the final 
conference report.
  245(i) allows certain eligible immigrants to apply for green cards in 
the United States, rather than returning to their home countries to 
apply. Without Section 245(i), people fully eligible for green cards 
will be forced to return to their countries of origin and barred from 
returning to the United States for up to ten years--ripping families 
apart and causing many employers to lose qualified and well-trained 
employees. The issue is not whether these immigrants are eligible for 
legal residence, nor when they can adjust, but rather from where they 
can apply to become permanent U.S. residents.
  As my colleagues know, the LIFE Act, which passed last year, provided 
a window of just four months for people to file applications with the 
INS or Department of Labor. For various reasons, thousands of qualified 
immigrants were unable to benefit from this short extension by the 
April 30th 2001, deadline. In the rush to apply, many eligible 
applicants had their files returned by the INS because of technical 
mistakes after the deadline expired. In addition, many immigrants did 
not have their papers filed properly, or even at all, by unscrupulous 
individuals purporting to be immigration lawyers.
  Many members, including myself and the membership of Congressional 
Hispanic Caucus, believe that Congress should pass a permanent 
extension Section 245(i). While some may disagree with this view, it is 
clear that some sort of extension is long overdue. President Bush, the 
AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have all publicly supported an 
extension of this important provision.
  The Senate passed a compromise extension of 245(i) more than 2 months 
ago, and the House was set to vote on this legislation on September 
11th. It is my sincere hope that the leadership of the House will re-
schedule a vote on this critical legislation as soon as possible. I 
look forward to working with Chairman Wolf and Ranking Member Serrano 
to ensure that an extension of 245(i) is passed before Congress 
adjourns for the year.
  Mr. Speaker, having expressed my concern about the omission of 
section 245(i), let me now focus on some of the positive aspects of the 
bill and why I will support it. For example, I am very pleased that the 
conference committee was willing to provide funding for a variety of 
initiatives and projects that are of importance to Los Angeles and 
  The Los Angeles Conservancy works with a variety of community 
interest groups and developers on rehabilitation and restoration 
projects. The funding in this bill will assist the L.A. Conservancy 
with their renovation of historic St. Vibiana's Cathedral. In addition, 
the conservancy's Broadway Redevelopment project will rehabilitate a 
number of theaters in the historic area of Los Angeles. Both projects 
fit into an exciting downtown redevelopment plan that is strengthening 
the economic foundation of this once neglected area of downtown Los 
  In addition to economic development funding, I am also pleased by the 
number of projects that have been included to help our nation's kids 
through the Department of Justice's juvenile justice programs and 
community-oriented police (COPS) programs. In Los Angeles, several 
groups that are working with teenagers will receive support for their 
promising efforts. The East Los Angeles Community Union (TELACU) 
operates a family-based gang violence prevention program, Project 
JADE--the Juvenile Assistance Diversion Effort--is a well-regarded 
community-based organization working to expand its juvenile crime 
prevention program. Para Los Ninos provides intervention for first-time 
juvenile offenders and their families, including after-school programs 
for at-risk youth. Another program included in our bill is LA's Best, a 
nationally recognized afterschool program which operates in schools 
throughout the city of Los Angeles.
  I was also pleased to work in cooperation with Governor Davis and 
Republican and Democratic members of the California delegation to 
acquire funding for other projects of regional and statewide 
  One of the proudest achievements of the California delegation is a 
project that honors the longtime service on the Commerce-Justice-State 
Subcommittee of our late colleague, Julian Dixon. Funds are provided to 
assist Julian's law school alma mater, Southwestern University School 
of Law, with construction of its state-of-the-art Julian Dixon 
Courtroom. The courtroom will facilitate the teaching of

[[Page E2095]]

advocacy and litigation skills. It will also provide Southwestern, 
which serves a significant populace of minority law students, with a 
community resource for jurists and lawyers. The university has 
committed to a better than one to one match for the federal funding.
  Mr. Speaker, there are not many issues where 100 percent of the 
diverse 52-member California House delegation come together, but 
support for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program is one of them. 
A united and unanimous delegation is responsible for seeing that $565 
million was provided for this important program that reimburses 
California and other impacted states for the costs associated with 
incarcerating illegal aliens.
  Several other California projects also received attention. The 
California Center for Integrative Coastal Research, CI-CORE, is a new 
research initiative pulling together the strengths of several 
California State University campuses, including San Jose, San 
Francisco, Hayward, Monterey Bay, San Luis Obispo, Sacramento, Long 
Beach, Los Angeles, and San Diego. With the increased burden placed 
upon California's coastal resources due to agriculture, industry and 
urban development, better understanding of the oceans and our coastal 
region is imperative in making informed commercial, recreational and 
environmental policy decisions. CI-CORE will provide timely, 
indispensable and appropriate environmental data to regulatory agencies 
that are responsible for the development and enforcement of management 
  The University of California's textile research program will receive 
funding and designation as one of the member institutions of the 
National Textile Consortium (NTC). California is the leading 
manufacturer of apparel in the U.S. and is the largest employer in the 
apparel and textile trade, yet until now, no California university was 
included in the NTC. The inclusion of its research program, whose 
strengths include polymer science, fiber mechanics, fabric performance, 
and fashion theory, is long overdue.
  The California Spatial Reference Center at Scripps Institute will 
also receive special attention. The center's research and activities 
support an accurate spatial reference system in California that is 
integral to decision-making by policy-makers at the local, state and 
federal level. As California faces significant seismic and geologic 
activity each year, an up-to-date spatial reference system is central 
to our ability to perform environmental monitoring, manage our civil 
infrastructure, and respond appropriately to emergencies of all kinds.
  And finally, a modest amount of funding is provided to support the 
Central California Ozone Study. This study is being conducted to 
understand the relative role of local emissions and transported 
pollutants on air quality. The study is a collaborative effort by the 
California Air Resources Board, local governments, and industry, and 
has already received over $8 million in state and local contributions. 
In light of the change in federal air quality standards for ozone, the 
deregulation of utilities in bringing new power generation to 
California, and the on-going process of developing State Implementation 
Plans for air quality, the Central California Ozone Study is a vital 
ingredient to ensure the cleanest air possible for all Californians.
  I have enjoyed working with our chairman, ranking member and all the 
members of the Commerce-Justice-State-Judiciary Subcommittee this year 
on the wide variety of programs and agencies within our jurisdiction. 
Our work is a constant balancing act, but I believe a good balance has 
been achieved. I urge support of the conference report.