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October 30, 2001
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Bush wants to tighten immigration policy

T V Parasuram in Washington

In a move that seeks to toughen US immigration policy, United States President George W Bush has announced setting up of a special task force to bar entry of terrorists on American soil, arrest those already there and tighten visa policies.

Chairing his first Homeland Security Council meeting, Bush ordered the creation of the task force to coordinate programmes meant to deny entry of non-US citizens tied to terrorism and 'locate, detain, prosecute or deport' any such aliens already there.

"We've set up a Foreign Terrorist Tracking task force to make sure that the land of the free is as safe as possible," Bush said on Monday night at the first meeting of the forum created after the September 11 terror strikes in New York and Washington.

"We welcome legal immigrants and we welcome people coming to America. We welcome the process that encourages people to come to our country to visit, to study, and to work. What we don't welcome are people who come to hurt the American people. Therefore, we are going to be very diligent with our visas and observant with the behaviour of people who come to this country," he said.

Bush also ordered officials to 'tighten up' US visa policies and ensure that someone in the US on a student visa 'actually goes to school'.

"That's not to say we're not going to let people come into our country. Of course we are. But we're going to make sure that when somebody comes, we understand their intended purpose and that they fulfil the purpose on their application," said the president.

Bush's order sets in motion a review of the student visa policy 'to prohibit the education and training of foreign nationals who would use their training to harm the US and its allies', the White House said in a statement.

It also calls for sharing of customs and immigration information with Canada and Mexico and enhancing the US Immigration and Naturalisation Service's investigative and intelligence analysis capabilities.

America's War on Terror: The complete coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The complete coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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