Security update: Legislators approve INS revamp

| 3/22/2002

Republicans and Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee agreed March 21 on a plan to revamp the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Under the plan, INS would be replaced by two separate bureaus providing immigration law enforcement and immigration services. The bureaus would report to the Department of Justice.

House negotiators reached the compromise after the disclosure last week that the INS had approved visas for two of the Sept. 11 hijackers six months after the terrorist attacks.

The agreement would create the position of associate attorney general for immigration affairs, who would be the department's third-ranking official. Meanwhile, a proposal is expected from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) that would give more power to the Justice Department official overseeing the two INS divisions.