September 18, 2001 |
Reversing momentum that had been building in Washington for a relaxation of U.S. immigration laws, last week's terrorist attacks appear likely to spawn a rash of measures designed to tighten the nation's borders. On Capitol Hill, legislators who until recently talked about new legalization programs are now focused almost entirely on hiring more U.S. Border Patrol agents, improving background checks on visa applicants and possibly overhauling the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
September 12, 2001 |
Tightened security because of terrorist attacks in the U.S. caused huge traffic jams at the American border as U.S. agents braced for a possible border closure. All the main border crossings were open hours after the attacks, but Customs and other agents were rushed to the 2,100-mile frontier. The normally unarmed U.S. officers at the border were joined by Border Patrol agents toting automatic rifles, and Immigration and Naturalization Service officers in El Paso wore white bulletproof vests.
June 27, 2000 |
George W. Bush on Monday proposed splitting the Immigration and Naturalization Service into two agencies, one to guard the nation's borders and the other to welcome new legal immigrants and help them deal with red tape. And in a further bid for support among Latino voters who have rallied behind him in unusually large numbers during his two campaigns for governor of Texas, Bush called for rescinding present policies he called barriers to family reunification.
February 10, 1999 |
Pedro Vanegas Lopez, a 33-year-old Honduran refugee fleeing the devastation of Hurricane Mitch, knew his journey to the United States would be a perilous one. He expected to confront thieves along the way, to haggle over bribes with Mexican policemen, to walk for many days and to sleep under the stars. It was what he encountered as he crossed the Mexican-Guatemalan border that caught him completely by surprise.
May 22, 1998 |
The House passed a $270-billion defense bill that includes authorizing the military to help patrol U.S. borders in the war against drug smuggling and illegal immigration. Opponents said the plan--an amendment approved, 288 to 132--could turn the U.S.-Mexican border into an armed corridor. The overall bill, covering military programs and spending for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, was then passed on a 357-60 vote. The Senate is expected to vote on its version next month.
June 24, 1995 |
Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner Doris Meissner on Friday announced the second phase of the Clinton Administration's much-heralded Operation Gatekeeper to thwart illegal immigration and score political points in a state where illegal immigration is a major issue. Amid the roar of traffic at the San Ysidro border crossing, Meissner announced that 45 more agents and 25 more inspectors will be assigned along the border.