ADC Comments on the Improved Intelligence Reform Act signed by President Bush
December 17, 2004, Washington DC– Today President Bush signed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. Based on recommendations from the 9/11 Commission, the Act seeks to improve homeland security through the reorganization and reform of America‘s intelligence infrastructure.
While most of the worrisome provisions of the bill have been curtailed, The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is concerned about efforts to introduce further reforms in the new session of Congress, which begins in January. ADC and its coalition partners strongly oppose such efforts and will continue to work on addressing the policy concerns that pertain to the Arab-American community.
On a positive note, as a result of the hard work of ADC, its coalition partners, and the hundreds of letters, e-mails, and phone calls made by ADC members, many egregious immigration provisions were left out of the bill. Accordingly, the controversial attempt to ban all U.S. visas to people from specific Middle Eastern countries and to further curtail immigrant‘s due process did not garner enough Congressional support. Other failed provisions included creating broad categories of people eligible for indefinite detention or deportation to countries where they could be tortured or which have no functioning government, and prohibiting states from issuing driver‘s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
Furthermore, ADC and its partners successfully included a civil rights bill in the Intelligence Reform Act, which strengthens and prioritizes the protection of civil rights and civil liberties in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).