9/11 Commission: Current Legislative Proposals for U.S. Immigration Law and Policy [Updated December 6, 2004]   [open pdf - 65KB]

"Reforming the enforcement of immigration law is a core component of the recommendations made by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9/11 Commission). The 19 hijackers responsible for the 9/11 attacks were foreign nationals, many of whom were able to obtain visas to enter the United States through the use of forged documents. Incomplete intelligence and screening enabled many of the hijackers to enter the United States despite flaws in their entry documents or suspicions regarding their past associations. According to the Commission, up to 15 of the hijackers could have been intercepted or deported through more diligent enforcement of immigration laws. There are several major bills that seek to implement recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, and some propose significant revisions to U.S. immigration law and policy. The two notable bills that would revise immigration laws are H.R. 10, the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act, as amended, introduced by the Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert, and passed by the House as S. 2845 on October 8, 2004, and S. 2845, the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, as amended, introduced by Senators Susan Collins and Joseph Lieberman and passed by the Senate on October 8, 2004. A draft intelligence reform bill made public on November 20, 2004, indicated that the conferees were including some - but not all - of the immigration provisions under consideration. This report briefly discusses some of the major immigration areas under consideration in comprehensive reform proposals, including asylum, biometric tracking systems, border security, document security, exclusion, immigration enforcement, and visa issuances. It refers to other CRS reports that discuss these issues in depth and will be updated as needed."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32616
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