Letter to the U.S. Senate
The Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act (HR 3525)

April 16, 2002
To Members of the United States Senate:

On behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, I would like to urge you to quickly approve the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act (HR 3525) without unrelated amendments. Passage of this legislation is long overdue. The House has twice passed versions of this legislation, and it has strong bipartisan support. Adding unrelated amendments at this time would only serve to further delay the bill’s enactment into law.

This legislation takes a careful and reasoned approach to the issue of border security, and we strongly support the provisions to increase resources for technology and personnel for our border agencies, enhance data sharing capabilities, expand pre-clearance and pre-inspection programs, and direct federal agencies to work with our NAFTA partners to ensure our joint security while enhancing the flow of legitimate commerce and travel across our shared borders. These changes are long overdue.

While we understand that Congress must provide adequate funding if the ambitious deadlines set forth in the legislation are to be met, further delay in this legislation will only postpone the needed reforms to our inspections processes. Such changes will allow business to look to the future of cross-border travel and trade with some sense of stability. However, progress cannot begin and the proper appropriations made until the legislation is enacted.

We therefore urge you to complete consideration of HR 3525 and to oppose extraneous amendments, so that we can move forward to protect our physical and economic security.

Sincerely,

R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce