9/11 Commissioners Urge Focus On Border Security

In: All News   Posted 08/19/2004

WASHINGTON--In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, Commissioners Lee Hamilton and Slade Gorton of the 9/11 Commission highlighted the importance of “a unified program to speed known travelers, so inspectors can focus on those travelers who might present greater risks. This is especially important for border communities.” U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the committee’s Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship subcommittee, said the commissioners’ remarks highlight the need for immigration reform. “As we implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, we must recognize that border security and immigration reform go hand in hand. Our immigration system needs to distinguish between the benign and the dangerous, and our law enforcement resources must be dedicated to hunting potential terrorists and other threats to our homeland. This requires a true reform of our immigration system, and a fresh look at our law enforcement priorities,” Cornyn said. “It’s critical that we focus our efforts on finding and removing criminals, and preventing those who would do us harm from entering in the first place.”In an effort to reform immigration policy and re-center law enforcement on border security, Cornyn introduced the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act (S. 1387) in July, 2003. The legislation is a comprehensive immigration reform to develop a temporary worker program and strengthen homeland security efforts at the borders. Identifying those who are here to work and then return home would allow law enforcement to focus on those who attempt to enter the United States illegally, or worse, enter for purposes of committing terrorist acts.“We must continue to ensure that those who follow the law will benefit from easier travel, while making clear that those who fail to comply with our immigration and other laws will face severe and immediate consequences,” Cornyn said.Sen. Cornyn chairs the subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights & Property Rights. He is the only former judge on the Judiciary Committee and served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.For more information on Sen. Cornyn’s immigration reform proposal, please visit: http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/reform