Immigration Removal Procedures Implemented in the Aftermath of the September 11, 2001 Attacks: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Ninth Congress, June 30, 2005 [open pdf - 925KB]
From the opening statement of John N. Hostettler: "On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked and crashed four airplanes killing more than 2,900 people including all 246 people aboard the four airplanes. The FBI immediately thereafter initiated a massive investigation called 'PENTTBOM' into this coordinated terrorist attack. This investigation focused on identifying the terrorists who hijacked the airplanes and anyone who aided their efforts, as well as on preventing follow-up attacks. In the wake of those attacks, and in advance of the invasion of Iraq, the Justice Department and INS implemented procedures that they deemed necessary to protect the American people from alien terrorists. Some of those procedures have been criticized because of their effects on the aliens involved. One procedure that has been so criticized is the closure of removal proceedings under the so-called 'Creppy memo.' While investigating the September 11th attacks, the Government became aware of numerous aliens who were present in this country in violation of immigration laws. A few of those aliens, as well as some aliens already in Government custody, were identified as 'special interest' cases on the basis of law enforcement or intelligence information that 'they might have connections with, or possess information pertaining to, terrorist activity.' In a memo issued 10 days after the attacks, Chief Immigration Judge Michael Creppy issued guidance on the handling of special interest cases instructing immigration judges to close to the public hearings in such cases. That guidance, which was last followed in December 2002, has been superseded by a regulation that allows Immigration Judges to issue protective orders for specific information on a case-by-case basis. Some have been critical of the procedure used for charging aliens with immigration violations. Nine days after the September 11th attacks, the INS amended its regulations to extend the time period in which an arrested alien must be notified of the charges against him from 24 to 48 hours or a longer period where there is, 'an emergency or other extraordinary circumstance.'… Other immigration procedures that have been the subjects of criticism are the detention policies for certain asylum seekers… pending appeal just like a Federal Court's stay of removal. We will consider each of these procedures at today's hearing. It should be noted that none of the procedures relied on any of the provisions of the PATRIOT Act." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: John N. Hostettler, John Conyers, Jr., Howard Berman, Sheila Jackson Lee, Martin T. Meehan, Zoe Lofgren, William D. Delahunt, Daniel E. Lungren, Lily Swenson, Joseph Greene, Paul Rosenzweig, and William West.
Serial No. 109-54
Government Printing Office: http://www.gpoaccess.gov