New Safeguards to Protect America Against Terrorism

American Immigration Lawyers Association

May 8, 2002

Contact: Amanda Carufel, 202-216-2404

New Safeguards to Protect America Against Terrorism
Border Security and Visa Reforms Passed in Congress

Washington, D.C.- Both the Senate and House have passed bipartisan security legislation that tightens visa screening, border inspections, and tracking of foreigners. The President has pledged to sign this important legislation into law.

The Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act includes reforms that deter terrorism by creating layers of security so that our borders are not our first line of defense; providing our nation’s gatekeepers with the training and staff they need to do the job; getting timely, accurate intelligence about potential terrorists to the people who decide who can enter our country; and by determining how we can best work with Canada and Mexico to prevent terrorists from setting foot on our continent.

“We must isolate terrorism without isolating America,” said Jeanne Butterfield, Executive Director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “This Act strikes an important balance. It enhances security by isolating terrorists while preserving the cross-border flow of commerce and people that benefits our country.”

“Now it is critical that the Administration and Congress provide the federal agencies with the funding they need to implement these new security measures,” Butterfield added.

“The Act is an important first step toward regulating who comes into this country while recognizing the importance of immigration and commerce to the nation,” said Butterfield. 

“Now that the Act has passed and INS restructuring is under way, the next step is to reform our immigration system. We should work with Mexico to create a legal, orderly system of entry for people who come to reunite with their families or fill labor needs. Then both countries can focus their resources on keeping out those who would do us harm while admitting those who want to contribute to a stronger America.”

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Cite as AILA Doc. No. 02050840.