Section-by-Section of the USA Act of 2001



“Uniting and Strengthening American (USA)”

Section 401: Ensuring Adequate Personnel on the Northern Border

  • Waives FTE cap on personnel 
  • Section 402: Northern Border Personnel
  • Authorizes funds to triple Border Patrol on Northern Border

Section 403: Access by DOS and INS to FBI Criminal History Records

  • Provides access to FBI NCIC files
  • Mandates development and certification within 2 years of a technology standard to confirm identity of visa applicants
  • Section 404: Limited Authority to Pay Overtime
  • Authorizes overtime pay for INS employees

Section 405: Report on Automated Fingerprint System

  • Mandates report on feasibility of enhancing the FBI's Automated Fingerprint Identification system (IAFIS)

SUBTITLE B-Enhanced Immigration Provisions

Section 411: Definitions Relating to Terrorism

  • Adds new grounds of inadmissibility for representatives of foreign terrorist organizations or any group that publicly endorses acts of terrorist activity, and spouses and children of aliens who are inadmissible on any of the terrorism-related grounds;
  • Provides new unreviewable authority to Secretary of State to designate any group as a terrorist organization, upon publication in the Federal Register; 
  • Makes any fundraising, solicitation for membership, or material support (even for humanitarian projects) of groups that are designated terrorist organizations by the Secretary of State a deportable offense (without regard to whether such activities were in furtherance of actual terrorist activity); 
  • Makes solicitation of funds or other material support for groups NOT officially designated as "terrorist organizations" a deportable offense unless the person can prove that he "did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the solicitation would further the organizations' terrorist activity; 
  • Certain limits on retroactivity are provided in cases where a person previously provided materials support to the humanitarian projects of a terrorist organization before it was designated as such by the Secretary of State ; 

Section 412. Mandatory Detention of Suspected Terrorists; Habeas Corpus; Judicial Review

  • Provides that the Attorney General or the INS Commissioner (with no power of delegation) may certify an alien as a terrorist if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the alien is a terrorist or has committed a terrorist activity; 
  • Requires mandatory detention of a person so certified;
  • Allows the INS to detain an suspected terrorist alien for seven days before bringing immigration or criminal charges;
  • Provides habeas review of the detention and the basis for the certification;
  • Limits judicial review to habeas review in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; 
  • Allows continued detention after a person is found removable, even if granted relief from removal, if the Attorney General continues to certify that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person is a terrorist or involved in terrorist activity;
  • Requires that the Attorney General must submit a report to Congress on the use of this section every six months.

Section 413. Multilateral Cooperation Against Terrorists

This section provides that State Department records can be provided to a foreign government on a case-by-case basis for the purpose of preventing, investigating, or punishing acts of terrorism. Under current law, the records of the State Department pertaining to the issuance of or refusal to issue visas to enter the U.S. are confidential and can be used only in the formulation and enforcement of U.S. law. 


Cite as AILA Doc. No. 01101080.