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Immigration Memo

The Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2001

From: Policymaking Advisory Committee

Re: Enhanced Border Security & Visa Reform Act of 2001

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that hit our nation on September 11, 2001, the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 was proposed by legislators in order to toughed the screening of visa applicants and require the federal government to create a centralized computer database to track all foreign visitors to the United States (Bustos A6). The impact of this proposed legislation cannot be underestimated for Arizona with respect to a) reducing the risk of terrorism and b) curbing illegal immigration.

As a border state, Arizona is particularly prone to illegal immigration and its deleterious impact on the state. This is true in terms of increased social service resources and lost jobs due to illegal immigration, and it is also true with respect to the potential risk of terrorists crossing the border. Before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President Bush supported liberalization of immigration laws and amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants already living in the U.S. In mid-stream the events of September 11, 2001, changed this line of thinking in favor of the old maxim, Good fences make good neighbors.

While supporters of this legislation hoped to include an amendment that would grant extensions to those immigrants residing in this country who have already overstayed their visas, the fact that three of the 19 terrorists who attacked the U.S. with its own domestic aircraft had overstayed their visas caused a loss of support for this provision (Senate 1). Long a supporter of enhanced border security (including the addition of 207 new permanent and 40 temporary border patrol agents), you yourself recognize the importance and significance of such legislation as the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 (Kyl...

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