News Releases

Statement of Senator Murray on Passage of Anti-Terrorism Bill

Oct 11 2001

Bill to provide greater investigative authority, boost Northern Border security passes Senate by vote of 96-1

Tonight, in passing strong anti-terrorism legislation, the U.S. Senate made two promises to the American people. First, we will give our law enforcement and intelligence agencies broader investigative powers to ensure your protection. Second, we will continue to evaluate the implementation of this bill to ensure that your civil liberties are also protected.

The tragic events of September 11th not only shook our nation, but uncovered serious holes in our law enforcement and intelligence gathering systems. Passage of the "Unite and Strengthen America Act" will provide our law enforcement and intelligence agencies with the tools they need to investigate and apprehend suspected terrorists. It is my hope that when we send this bill to the President it will include a time limit by which these expanded investigative powers will no longer be necessary.

I am particularly pleased that this bill includes crucial funding to boost security at the Northern Border. This legislation will triple the number of INS Border Patrol, Customs Service and INS inspectors along the Northern Border. It also provides $100 million for new equipment and technology to help monitor security. For too long, Northern Border Security has taken a back seat to security concerns at the Southern Border. Recent events have underscored the need for this important legislation.

The anti-terrorism legislation passed tonight by the Senate is intended to strengthen our security. While we need to work harder to ensure our security, we must also take care to protect our hard-won civil liberties as we implement this new law.