Post 9/11 Legislation

Although, the Patriot Act may be the most recognizable piece of legislation after September 11, 2001, there were more than 130 pieces of legislation introduced in the 107th Congress the year after the attack, and forty-eight were passed into law. They included the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, the Enhanced Border Act, and the Visa Entry Reform Act, which included immigration reform.

The USA Patriot Act of 2001: A Summary of the Anti-Terrorism’s Law Immigration Provisions:

Title One: Domestic Security—Section 102 expresses the sense of Congress condemning discrimination against Arab and Muslim-Americans. Jury and electronic wire and oral interception information to be shared with immigration officials when a matter of foreign intelligence or counter intelligence was required.

Subsequent years brought the Department of Homeland Security Act, the post 9/11 G.I. Bill—which gave educational funding to soldiers, and the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act which provided $4.2 billion dollars for the health of people who worked at ground zero during and after the attacks.

The country with the most notable drop in visa issuance after September 11th was Pakistan. In 2002, the number of tourist visa’s given to Pakistani citizens fell almost seventy percent, and immigration visa’s dropped forty percent. It wasn’t until 2008 that Pakistan began to increase tourist visas.

 Information on Money Laundering. Borders, etc. contained in Patriot Act:

Title III—Money Laundering: Section 326 requires the Secretary of the Treasurery to establish a system to which banks can verify  the identity of account holders and match their names against a list of known terrorists and terrorist organizations  to prevent money laundering.

Title IV—Protecting The Border: Subtitle A—Protecting The Northern Border:

Section 402 authorizes a tripling of the number of Border Patrol personnel, Customs personnel, and immigration inspectors along the Northern border, and an additional $50 milion each for Customs and INS to improve monitoring technology along the Northern border.

Section  403  grants INS and State Department personnel access to the FBI’s NCIC-III and the wanted person’s file for the purpose of checking the criminal history of a visa applicant. INS and State would have access only to extracts from the actual databases, and would have to submit the visa applicant’s  fingerprints in order to get the full criminal history. This section also instructs the Attorney General  and the Secretary of State to develop and certify within two years of enactment a technology standard that can be used to verify the identity of visa applicants and that can be used as the basis of  an integrated system that will verify identity  at ports of entry and share information  with other law enforcement agencies.

Section 404 removes the existing restrictions on overtime pay for INS personnel.

Section 405 requires the Attorney General to report to Congress on the feasibility of expanding the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System to include visa applications and visa holders wanted in connection with a criminal investigation  so they may be denied  a visa or identified upon entry in to or exit from the Unted States.

Subtitle B—Enhanced Immigration Provisions

Section 411 broadens the grounds for excluding terrorists and aliens with ties to terrorist organizations. It authorizes the exclusion of the spouse and children of aliens who have committed acts linking them to terrorist organizations within the past five years, and makes inadmissible any alien determined by the Attorney General and the Secretary of State to have been associated with a terrorist organization and who intends to commit terrorists acts while in the United States. Such aliens already are excludable under current law since they are  entering with the intent to engage in “Unlawful” activities.

Section 412 directs the Attorney General to detain any alien certified to be engaged in any terrorist activities. It authorizes thhe Attorney General to certify any alien as a terrorist where there are reasonable grounds to believe that he is affliated with a designated terrorist organization or engaged in terrorist activities. It requires the Attorney General to place such aliens in custody and institute removal proceedings. The authorities must charge them with a criminal offense or release them within seven days of taking them into custody. Section 412 authorizes the Attorney General to detain certified terrorists for additional periods up to six months if their removal is unlikely in the near future and if the alien’s release will threaten national security or public safety. It limits judicial review of such detention to haebus corpus proceedings.  Finally, it requires the Attorney General  to report to congress every six months on the number of certified aliens; the grounds for certification, their nationalities, the length of their detention, and the disposition of their cases.

Section 413 authorizes the Secretary of State to show information in State’s  visa lookout database and under certain circumstance share information on individual aliens with foreign governments in order to combat terrorism and trafficking of controlled substances, persons, or weapons.

Section 415 directs the Office of Homeland Security to participate in the development of the  entry and exit systems.

Section 416 directs the Attorney General to implement fully, and to expand the student tracking system.  It requires the student database to include information on the data and port of entry, and it authorizes the Attorney General to permit flight schools, language training schools, and vocational schools to participate in the expanded program.

Section 417 requires the Secretary of State annually to audit the implementation of the requirement that visa waiver countries issue machine-readable passports to their citizens. It advances the deadline  to protect the misuse of current passports.

Section 418 directs the Secretary of State to determine whether consular shopping—the practice of traveling to a third country to apply for a visa to the United States in order to avoid tighter security). Practices in the Consulate in one’s home country are a problem and  one must address it swiftly .

Section C—Preservation of Immigration Benefits for Victims of Terrorism

Section 421 authorizes the Attorney General to grant special immigrant status and permanent residence to any alien for whom a petition for family—or employment-based legal residence was filed and revoked because the petitioner, applicant, or alien beneficiary was killed or lost his job because as a result of terrorist activities. It also authorizes special immigrant status  for any alien who is the grandparent of a child, when both parents are dead as a result of terrorist activity, if either parent was a citizen or legal resident of  the United States after 2003.

Section 425 authorizes the Attorney General to provide “temporary administrative relief” to any alien who was in the United Sttes legally on Sept 11, 2001,  and who died or was disabled as a result of this action.

Section 567 authorizes the Attorney General to seek an ex parte court order requiring an educational institution to turn over educational records that are released to an investigation or prosecution  of terrorism.

Title V—Investigating Terrorism

Section 504 authorizes federal foreign intelligence officers who conduct surveillance and physical searches to consult with federal law enforcement officers to coordinate efforts to investigate or protect against foreign attack sabotage, terrorism, or clandestine intelligence activities to foreign powers.

Section 507  authorizes the Attorney General to seek an ex parte court order requiring an educational institution to turn over educational records that are relevant to an investigation or prosecution of terrorism.

Title X—Miscellaneous

Section 1002—expresses the sense of Congress condemning violence against Sikh-Americans.

Section 1005—makes inadmissible to the United States any alien believed to be engaged or seeking to engage in money laundering. (Such aliens are already excludable under current law since they are entering to engage in “unlawful” activities). It also requires the Secretary of State to develop a money laundering watch list to identify individuals who are known or suspected money launderers.

Section 1008—Directs the Attorney General to conduct a study on the feasibility of using a biometric identifier, scanning system, with access to the (DAFIS) at consular offices abroad, and at all ports of entry within the United states  to identify aliens wanted in connection with criminal or terrorist investigations, and to report the findings to Congress within ninety days.

Section 1009—directs the FBI to study and report to Congress on the feasibility of getting airlines direct access to the names of individuals suspected of terrorist activities.

Section 1012—prohibits any state from issuing a license to an individual to operate a vehicle transporting  hazardous materials unless the Secretary of Transportation has first determined that the individual does not pose a security risk.

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