SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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JOHN ALLEN MUHAMMAD, DOCUMENT FRAUD, AND THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE PASSPORT EXCEPTION
SUBCOMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION,
BORDER SECURITY, AND CLAIMS
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
MAY 13, 2003
Serial No. 18
Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
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Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/judiciary
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr., Wisconsin, Chairman
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
LAMAR SMITH, Texas
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
WILLIAM L. JENKINS, Tennessee
CHRIS CANNON, Utah
SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
RIC KELLER, Florida
MELISSA A. HART, Pennsylvania
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
MIKE PENCE, Indiana
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
STEVE KING, Iowa
JOHN R. CARTER, Texas
TOM FEENEY, Florida
MARSHA BLACKBURN, Tennessee
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JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
JERROLD NADLER, New York
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
MAXINE WATERS, California
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
LINDA T. SÁNCHEZ, California
PHILIP G. KIKO, Chief of Staff-General Counsel
PERRY H. APELBAUM, Minority Chief Counsel
Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana, Chairman
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
MARSHA BLACKBURN, Tennessee
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCLAMAR SMITH, Texas
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
CHRIS CANNON, Utah
STEVE KING, Iowa
MELISSA A. HART, Pennsylvania
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
LINDA T. SÁNCHEZ, California
ZOE LOFGREN, California
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan
GEORGE FISHMAN, Chief Counsel
LORA RIES, Counsel
ART ARTHUR, Full Committee Counsel
CINDY BLACKSTON, Professional Staff
NOLAN RAPPAPORT, Minority Counsel
C O N T E N T S
MAY 13, 2003
The Honorable John N. Hostettler, a Representative in Congress From the State of Indiana, and Chairman, Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims
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The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee, a Representative in Congress From the State of Texas, and Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims
The Honorable Lamar Smith, a Representative in Congress From the State of Texas
The Honorable Steve King, a Representative in Congress From the State of Iowa
John E. Fuller, Esquire, Head of Antiguan Task Force Investigating Muhammad's Activities
Mr. Robert J. Cramer, Managing Director, Office of Special Investigations, U.S. General Accounting Office
Mr. Roderick L. Beverly, Special Agent In Charge, Office of International Operations, Federal Bureau of Investigation
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Ms. Sharon Palmer-Royston, Chief Legal Officer for Passport Service, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Material Submitted for the Hearing Record
Prepared Statement of the Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee, a Representative in Congress From the State of Texas, and Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims
Article from Houston Chronicle submitted by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
Washington State Driver's License of Russel Dwight (actually John Allen Muhammed)
State of Florida Certificate of Live Birth for Russel Dwight
Alabama State Certificate of Live Birth
Michigan State Certificate of Live Birth
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JOHN ALLEN MUHAMMAD, DOCUMENT FRAUD, AND THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE PASSPORT EXCEPTION
TUESDAY, MAY 13, 2003
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Immigration,
Border Security, and Claims,
Committee on the Judiciary,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:05 p.m., in Room 2237, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. John N. Hostettler (Chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. The Subcommittee will come to order.
In the autumn of 2002, the Nation was shocked by a wave of shootings in the National Capital area. In a spree that lasted from October 2, 2002 through October 22, 2002, 13 people were shot, 10 of whom died from their wounds.
On Thursday, October 24, 2002, troopers from the Maryland State Police and other law enforcement officials arrested two individualsJohn Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvooutside Frederick, MD. The pair have subsequently been charged under multiple indictments in connection with those shootings.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC As the news of the arrests and the names of the suspects was broadcast worldwide, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda recognized that Muhammad and Malvo had been residents in that country. They determined also that Muhammad had received an Antiguan passport despite being a U.S. citizen.
On October 28, 2002, the Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda appointed a task force to look into the activities of Muhammad and Malvo while in Antigua. The task force was headed by Antiguan attorney John Fuller.
On December 31, 2002, Mr. Fuller's task force released its support. He has graciously agreed to come to Washington and discuss the findings of that task force with the Subcommittee today, and we are appreciative, Mr. Fuller.
In its final report, the task force found that Muhammad needed money to support himself in Antigua and turned to forgery. In particular, the task force concluded that Muhammad had found what it termed ''a fertile market,'' primarily among Jamaican nationals, in forged U.S. documents.
Specifically, Mr. Fuller states in his testimony Muhammad produced and sold U.S. driver's licenses with photographs and corresponding birth certificates.
The question becomes why Jamaicans in Antigua would want fraudulent U.S. identification documents. The answer has to do with a State Department regulation applicable to citizens traveling within the Western Hemisphere.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Immigration and Nationality Act provides that it is unlawful for U.S. citizens to depart from or enter the United States without a valid United States passport. The Act states, however, that the Government can prescribe exceptions to this rule. One of the exceptions that the State Department has established to this rule is known as the Western Hemisphere exception. This allows U.S. citizens to re-enter the United States without a passport when returning from a trip to another country in North, South, or Central America, except Cuba.
Citizens returning from these countries may re-enter the United States by presenting secondary documents evidencing citizenship, such as birth certificate or baptismal certificate, accompanied by a driver's license.
By exploiting this exception, an alien with fraudulent documents can enter the United States by making a false claim to citizenship. This exception would provide an unscrupulous document vendor with an opportunity to make money by selling fraudulent documents to aliens who want to come to the United States, as the task force was told Muhammad did, for $3,000 per set.
At a January 2003 hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, Robert Cramer from the GAO's Office of Special Investigations described how easy it was for travelers to enter the United States using counterfeit documents and aliases. Mr. Cramer and his agents created fictitious driver's licenses and birth certificates containing aliases using widely-available computer software. The agents them presented those documents at ports of entry along the Canadian and Mexican borders and entering from Jamaica.
The INS and Customs Service officials to whom those documents were presented never questioned the authenticity of those documents, and the agents presenting those documents encountered no difficulty using them.
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Since the Office of Special Investigations ran that operation, the INS and Customs Service have been merged into the same departmentthe Department of Homeland Security. Immigration and Customs inspectors are now together in the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, or BCBP.
To assess whether our Nation's immigration inspects had improved or were able to improve their review of secondary travel documents in the wake of the GAO's disclosures before the Senate Finance Committee, I asked the Comptroller General to send out the agents from the Office of Special Investigations to try to enter the United States with counterfeit documents again.
Given the revelations in the task force report about document fraud in the Caribbean, the agents agreed to attempt entry into the United States from Barbados. At the U.S. port of entry, one of those agents was allowed to enter the United States after presenting a fictitious birth certificate and a counterfeit driver's license. The other was allowed to enter after providing only a counterfeit birth certificate.
Mr. Cramer is with us today with a couple of his agents to discuss these two operations as well as their conclusions following those operations.
To blame the individual inspectors or immigration inspectors as a whole for the fact that these agents were able to enter the United States with counterfeit documents would ignore a much larger issue. Because of the Western Hemisphere passport exception, a person claiming to be a U.S. citizen can present any of thousands of documents to re-enter the United States rather than presenting one documenta U.S. passport.
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Specifically, there are more than 240 different types of valid driver's licenses issued within the United States, and more than 50,000 different versions of birth certificates are issued by U.S. States, counties, and municipalities.
Even excluding baptismal records, it is doubtful that anyone could have even a passing familiar with, let alone a working knowledge of, each and every one of these documents.
Technology has compounded the difficulties facing the inspectors at our ports who are charged with reviewing identity documents from returning U.S. citizens. That technology allows forgers and counterfeiters to produce high-quality fake birth certificates and driver's licenses with off-the-shelf software programs and materials.
I like to believe that our inspectors at the ports of entry are supremely vigilant as they review the documents presented by hundreds of travelers each day. The high-quality nature of fake identification documents could, however, make them indistinguishable from the real thing unless the inspector has sensitive instruments and sufficient time to examine them. Our inspectors unfortunately have neither the time nor the advanced electronics readily available, as anyone can see who travels through U.S. ports of entry from abroad.
The seriousness of this problem cannot be understated. Although nothing in the task force report suggests that the aliens who purportedly purchased documents from Muhammad wanted to come to the United States for anything other than economic reasons, their example is indicative of a vulnerability that could be exploited by terrorists, criminals, and others coming to the United States with more malevolent intentions.
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As this Subcommittee has learned from its investigations since September 11, alien terrorists are adept at identifying and taking advance of the weaknesses in our immigration system. The passport exception would appear to present such a weakness.
We will review the findings of Mr. Fuller's task force and the GAO and assess whether some modification to the Western Hemisphere exception to the passport requirement, or the implementation of that exception, is necessary to protect the American people from those who would come to the United States to do them harm.
There is one point that I want to make before proceeding. In order to protect the ongoing prosecutions of Mr. Muhammad in the United States, no one directly involved in those prosecutions will be appearing before this Subcommittee today. The witnesses on the panel are not qualified to answer questions about any aspect of the U.S. sniper investigation, and I would ask the Members of this Subcommittee not to ask any questions about that investigation or the ongoing prosecutions.
I now turn to the Ranking Member, Ms. Jackson Lee, for any opening statement she would like to make.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Good afternoon. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, and to the panelists.
I do want to for the record again note the interest of the Members of the Subcommittee Democrats and note that travel logistics are continuously a hazard. Three of these Members are from California; it makes it very difficult to arrive at this time. I am hoping that their interest in this issue will be acknowledged and that we will be able to provide further opportunity for them to be able to attend these hearings.
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Let me first of all, Mr. Chairman, offer my deepest sympathy to the families of those Americans and others who are subjected or were subjected to the weekend violence in Saudi Arabia. What it emphasizes is that terrorism is not dead, and this hearing certainly is important, but I might challenge whether it is the most important challenge that we have with respect to terrorism around the world and terrorism against Americans. I would argue not.
I would argue that Jamaicans do not represent a terrorist threat against the United States nor the Caribbean. I do believe that we need to work with the Caribbean heads of state as a travelor, an effort that was engaged in with Congressman Souder I think either this last August or the August before. We traveled to several Caribbean countries who were begging to engage with the United States in a more frank and collaborative way to ensure that we wage a collective and collaborative war against terrorism.
This issue before us, as I said, is an important issue, but it is not the most important issue before this Nation and before this Congressdocument fraud as relates to individuals from the Caribbean. And I would argue that we have had very important collaborative relations, strong tourism, between the Caribbean and the United States.
Might I just offer a speculative comment about the fact that we have used driver's licenses and birth certificateswhy? Because Americans have enjoyed the flexibility of a getaway, a getaway to the beauty of the Caribbean and the ability to make that decision at 12 noon on Thursday and fly out on Friday.
So I would wonder as we are proceedingit is important to have this reportbut we must understand and prioritize what our priorities are. We have a fight against Al Quaeda in this world today, and we had better get to it. Frankly, talking about documents that happen to be fraudulent as we do with fraudulent documents here in the United States is not going to keep us safe.
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Mr. Chairman, I do not have a xerox, but I would ask unanimous consent to put this picture into the record, and I will read the caption for my colleagues. ''Long Ride for Short Legs. Mitchell Hinsher, 7, from Niagara Falls, Ontario, rode his bike across the United States-Canada border Saturday undetected by U.S. Customs officials. His nearly 8.5-mile journey ended at a busy intersection in Niagara Falls, New York.''
This is among the challenges that we have. So as I begin, Mr. Chairman, I am going to ask that my entire statement be put in the record, but I begin by saying that John Allen Muhammad produced more than 20 sets of fraudulent United States driver's licenses with photographs and corresponding birth certificates. He sold them to Jamaican nationals, who used them to enter the United States as American citizens.
According to John Fuller, who investigated Muhammad, the production of these documents was not extremely difficult and did not require sophisticated skills. Muhammad just needed a computer, a scanner, a template for the driver's license and for the birth certificate, a photograph, a laminating machine, and a careless immigration officer.
Robert Cramer from the General Accounting Office will discuss the results of a January 30, 2003 report on a project that was performed at the request of the Senate Committee on Finance. The Finance Committee was concerned about the illegal transportation of currency throughout borders, especially counterfeit money and terrorism funds. It asked the agents of the Office of Special Investigations at GAO to attempt to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, and Jamaica at land, air, and sea points of entry using fictitious identifies and counterfeit identification document.
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The report to the Senate Committee concludes that 1) people who enter the United States are not always asked to present identification; 2) security to prevent unauthorized persons from entering the United States from Canada is inadequate at the border park they visited; and 3) immigration inspectors are not readily capable of detecting counterfeit documents.
In February of 2003, the Inspector General of the Justice Department issued a similar report. Unfortunately, we cannot discuss the substance of this report. The only part of the Inspector General's report that can be discussed in public is the executive summary. According to the executive summary, the capability of immigration inspectors to analyze advance passenger information to identify high-risk and inadmissible travelers is limited by a lack of adequate resources.
The lookout system for spotting high-risk and inadmissible travelers does not always provide primary inspectors with available critical information. Primary inspectors were not always carrying lookout databases as required, and controls were not sufficient to ensure that all primary inspectors and supervisors could assess backup information in the event of system outages.
The report concludes that although $19 million was used in fiscal year 2002 to provide basic training to approximately 1,000 new immigration inspectors, the training was inadequate in two important areas, Mr. Chairman and to the Committeeon the use of the computer systems that provide lookouts and other critical information and on terrorism awareness.
I recognize the urgent need to address these problems, but I want to emphasize that we need to proceed with caution. A sledgehammer approach to border security in this instance could adversely affect our economy. Visiting international tourists and business entrepreneurs are a valuable component of our Nation's economy, and we have had a longstanding relationship with the Caribbean. Last year, more than 41 million international visitors generated $88 billion in expenditures and accounted for more than one million jobs nationwide.
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We need to address the fundamental weakness in our border security system that allowed this system to develop, give our inspectors more training as to how to review these new technological inventions that will make these documents sight-proof.
For instance, it is apparent that our immigration inspectors have not received sufficient training on identifying fraudulent documents, which should not be difficult to provide. Also, I note from personal experience that there is a serious problem with the recruitment and retention of immigration inspectors. It is common for the immigration inspection stations at Houston International Airport to be understaffed. Making matters worse, many of the inspectors at those stations are inexperienced, and I believe that these and other fundamental weaknesses in our border security system can be addressed legislatively.
I introduced a Border Patrol Recruitment and Retention Act in a previous Congress. An updated version of this bill could include immigration inspectors and Customs agents as well as training as it relates to these types of documents. I solicit the Chairman's collaborative effort on this, and in addition to providing assistance with recruitment and retention issues, such a bill could provide urgently needed additional resources for training and technology.
Mr. Chairman, as I said, this is an important hearing. We have many additional challenges. Let us not implode the relationship between the Caribbean and the United States on the basis of 20 documents by Mr. Muhammad. Let us find a way to compromise and reach the right kind of solution that does not deny a good portion of the minority population in the Northern Hemisphere access to the United States and likewise, Americans access to the Caribbean.
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With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back, and I thank you for indulging me on this particular time.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. I thank the gentlelady.
Do any other Members of the Subcommittee wish for opening statements?
The chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Smith.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Chairman, would you prefer we not make opening statements, or do you want brief opening statements, or none at all?
Mr. HOSTETTLER. The chair is open to opening statements.
Mr. SMITH. Okay. I will keep it within my time period.
Mr. Chairman, I just want to thank you again for having a very timely and important hearing. You have had a number this year; you are very active as Chairman, and those of us interested in immigration issues appreciate your leadership on this and many other issues.
The sniper case to me is instructive for one very important reason, and that is that it shows how easy it is for someone to gain entry to the United States and who is not authorized to come in. When we have a situation where it is so easy to come in illegally, as has been demonstrated, that is a threat to our national security, it is a threat to the American people, and it is a threat to our system of laws, and I think that is one of the things that you want to address here today.
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And it strikes me that I have always thought that I was more confident today than, say, I was 6 months ago that it was more difficult to get into the country illegally than previously. After reading the memo prepared by the Subcommittee staff, after reading the testimony of the witnesses today, I have to say I am not near as confident as I was that it is more difficult, and that we really are deterring people from coming into the country illegally.
When it is as easy to get the two documents you need, for examplea driver's license and a birth certificateas it demonstrably is, and when you have so many different kinds of varieties that cannot be validated and cannot be authenticated, it is really an open invitation to anybody with any degree of savvy to come into the country illegally if they want to and do us harm or take advantage of us in any of the number of ways that we know is possible.
It also strikes me, as we have also read in the testimony today, that the States todayand there are a number of States who have already authorized the issuing of driver's licenses to illegal aliens, and there are other States who are contemplating that movewhat they are doing is making it a lot easier for someone to come into the country illegally. What they are doing is providing one of the two documents necessary to someone coming into the country illegally to use to prove that they are here and can go about their business even though they are actually here illegally. And that is very discouraging.
It strikes me that those States are knowingly contributing not only to illegal immigration but knowingly contributing to making it easier for someone to come into the country who might well endanger American lives. And I hope that one of the messages that is sent by our witnesses today and by some of the comments that we may have is that States who are contemplating issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens or those who have already done so ought to rethink what they have done if in fact they care about the safety of American citizens and if in fact they want to not encourage illegal immigration.
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One of the solutions I think we might get to is the fact that we need some kind of standardized form for driver's licenses and for birth certificates so, as the Chairman pointed out in his opening statement, we do not have thousands of different varieties out there.
It so happens that that was a part of our 1996 Immigration Reform Act, and unfortunately that provision calling for standardization of driver's licenses and birth certificates was repealed in 1999. I think in retrospect that looks like a major mistake on the part of Congress, and I hope that that is something we might consider revisiting.
So, Mr. Chairman, let me say again that already this hearing has been worthwhile because already it has pointed out on the basis of the testimony that we have how easy it is for someone to come into the country illegally, and again, I thank you for having the hearing.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. The gentleman's time has expired.
Any other opening statements?
Mr. Kingthe chair recognizes the gentleman from Iowa.
Mr. KING. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I too thank you for holding these hearings today and appreciate the participation of the panelists and the Members of this Subcommittee.
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I want to listen to your testimony and try to look at this within the broader context of why we have immigration laws in the first place. There is a long history with national sovereignty and secure borders and citizenship, and if we look back through the history of the United States and nearly every other successful country, it is a requirement to maintain your sovereignty to be able to maintain a secure border, and that is for a number of reasons. One of them is from a national security standpoint, not just terrorism, but infiltrators from other perspectives. Another one is control of disease; that has been an historical reason why we have had controlled borders and controlled immigration. Another reason is that all nations must maintain some form of cultural continuity.
Those are all broad national agendas that are not just unique to the United States of America but essentially generally apply to every successful country throughout all of history.
So to measure those thingsour economic standards, our military security, our national security, and our cultural continuityto measure that against the convenience of travelers, I think the convenience of travelers fades in comparison. Do we want to open our borders to the entire Western Hemisphere is involved in this discussion, not just our communications with one particular nation. This Nation is at risk for not just terrorists but, say, the next typhoid Mary or the next maybe ''anthrax Andy'' that could come in. And as soon as they know where the soft spot is, that is what they will use.
Well, that is the thrust of this hearing as I understand it, is to look and see where our soft spots are and see what we need to do to tighten up our borders and maintain that national security, still be able to maintain. We have technology that we can use, and we need to go down that path wherever we can, and I am certainly in favor of establishing those border controls that allow for the use of that technology especially for those consistent travelers. I want to provide for that kind of convenience, but I do not want to sacrifice the security of the United States of America for that.
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If we are only addressing terrorism as opposed to sometimes the quality of the people who come in and the numbers of immigrants who come inif you remember the Mariel boatlift and the load that that put on our security within our borders and on our law enforcement peopleif we have that going on on a regular basis, not just something that is dramatic and catches the news, we need to be aware of the cost and the implication of that as well.
So again I thank the chair for holding these hearings, and I will sit back and am very interested to hear your testimony.
Thank you. I yield back.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. The gentleman's time has expired.
The chair now wishes to introduce the panel. John E. Fullerfrom October to December 2002, Mr. Fuller headed a task force appointed by the Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda to investigate the activities of John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo in Antigua. He has been an attorney in private practice in Antigua since 1975. He was the legal officer of the Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda from 1973 until 1975. He is a graduate of Saint Peter's College in New Jersey and the Inns of Court School of Law in London.
Robert J. Cramer has been the Managing Director of the Office of Special Investigations at the General Accounting Office sine August 2002. He has also served as Assistant General Counsel for Special Investigations at GAO.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Before he arrived at the GAO in 2000, Mr. Cramer was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. He is a graduate of Brooklyn College and Notre Dame Law School.
Roderick L. Beverly is a Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Office of International Operations. In this position, he oversees the FBI's Legal Attache Offices in 45 foreign countries as well as the Office of Language Services.
Before coming to the Office of International Operations, Mr. Beverly served in a variety of positions at the FBI. He was Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's San Antonio Division from April 1998 until May 2002. Before that posting, he was Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the San Juan, Puerto Rico Field Office of the FBI, a position that he assumed in May 1996. This followed a posting as the field supervisor responsible for directing the Organized Crime Drug Program at the FBI's Atlanta Division as well as here at FBI Headquarters where he was an Assistant Inspector in the Inspection Division.
In September 1990, Mr. Beverly was sent to the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia as the Assistant Legal Attache. He spent 2 years working with the Colombian authorities in pursuing the leaders of the Colombian cocaine cartels. He became a Special Agent in December 1982. In addition to the postings above, he also served tours in the Charlotte, San Diego, and Miami divisions of the FBI and at the Organized Crime Drug Section at FBI Headquarters in August 1988.
He is a graduate of North Carolina State University.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Sharon Palmer-Royston is an attorney advisor and Chief Legal Officer for Passport Services at the State Department. She has worked as a lawyer for Passport Services since 1975, supporting the passport program on litigation, legislation, and passport restrictive actions.
Recently, Ms. Palmer-Royston has initiated or directed implementation of a number of innovative programs including the 1996 law requiring passports to be denied to individuals in arrears on child support.
She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and the Washington College of Law at American University.
One last point, to reiterate. As I mentioned in my opening statement, in order to protect the ongoing prosecutions of Mr. Muhammad in the United States, none of the witnesses today is involved in those prosecutions. I would ask the Members once again not to question the witnesses about Mr. Muhammad's presence or actions in the United States or about the sniper investigation itself.
At this time, Mr. Fuller, you are recognized for 5 minutes. You are more than welcome to summarize your opening statement. It will be available for the record, but you are free to testify before the Subcommittee.
STATEMENT OF JOHN E. FULLER, ESQUIRE, HEAD OF ANTIGUAN TASK FORCE INVESTIGATING MUHAMMAD'S ACTIVITIES
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Mr. FULLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to preface what I am about to say with the remark that you have said it all, actually, between yourself and Ms. Jackson Lee, insofar as we are concerned.
As you can see from my written submission, we conducted this investigation in Antigua and basically for the purposes of trying to understand how Muhammad got an Antiguan passport. And in our investigation, we realized that he used forged documents to obtain the Antiguan passport, and from that, we found out that he systematically targeted a sector of the population with his merchandise, that is to say, a very easy fabricating of driving licenses with photo i.d.'s and birth certificates.
We found that in fact Muhammad came to Antigua withI should say equipped withblank birth certificates, some of which he actually forgot in the house that he was staying in. And I made copies of those, and I would like to give them to you. These are the ones he came withand remember he came to Antigua more likely than not for the purpose of hiding his children, who were the subject of a court order in the States and to whom he had very scant access.
I think the purposes of his obtaining the false birth certificates in the first place was to create new identities for his children so that he could keep them wherever he wanted to. And having successfully done thathe did create those birth certificates for themhe went on and found that his skills in so doing were marketable, and he did make quite a few dollars from selling them and fabricating documents quite easily.
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With the help of American Airlines staff, he was actually caught trying to send one of his clients overseas, and he was caught himself with a driving license, an American driving license from either the States of Washington or Washington, D.C., unspecific, and we have the original, and what I will do isI have made copies, or you have very kindly made copies hereand the false birth certificateand I will hand them all up to you. And I will hand the originals up as well so that you can have a look at them.
It seems trite now to say how easy it is to fabricate these documents, and I think you could ask any 18-year-old or 17-year-old who wants to get into a bar how easy it is to obtain these documents. So that goes without saying.
These are the originals, and if you would have a look at them, and I would love to have them back, please.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. The record will reflect that Mr. Fuller has sent to the dias the records, the original records, for the examination by Members of the Subcommittee.
Mr. FULLER. Actually, the fake driving license there has Muhammad's photo himself on it.
What more can I say? I think it isI was very surprised to find that as a result of what we reported in Antigua, this thing grew. I'm sure that the authorities here knew about it before, butbecause it was just too easy, just too easy.
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I think the documents themselves, however, are not sufficient. I think you need to have an attitude when you get to your immigration officer. You have to have the right moves, the right accent. If you are going through Puerto Rico, where most of the immigration officers' first language is Spanish, it is very hard for them to detect the difference between a Jamaican fake American accent and an American accent, and I think that is a weakness there itself, just to add 5 cents to it.
If I am allowed to comment, I think there will be a very, very detrimental impact to tourism in the Caribbean and to the economies of the Caribbean, because we rely mainly on tourism and people like the people that Ms. Jackson Lee referred to who decide Wednesday to go to the Caribbean Thursday. We rely on those people for our livelihoods, for our tax base, for everything, and if the exception wereand if I am allowed to begwere done away with, we would suffer greatly, not just in Antigua and Barbuda, but throughout the Caribbean, and no doubt in other countries of the Western Hemisphere which rely on those sort of tourists.
I spoke to a young lady, one of your clerks, earlier, and we were talking about how many Americans have passports. A very small percentage of Americans have passports compared to other developed countries. Something like 10 or 15 percent of Americans have passports. Therefore, the 85 percent or 90 percent of your population who don't have passports will not be traveling without passports if this exception is done away with, and it is fromnot just from the 10 or 15 percent that we get our livelihood throughout the Caribbean. We have services and places that they want to visit and obtain, and if this exception is done, we are going to suffer greatly.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I don't know if Ms. Jackson Lee had figures of how many million people, jobs, et cetera, et cetera, but in a small country like Antigua and Barbuda with a population of 70,000, where something like 80 percent or 75 percent of our BNP is based on tourism, we will suffer very, very much.
Any further comments I have would be inappropriate.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. That is right, Mr. Fuller, and your testimony is well-taken, and that is why you are here. We appreciate your testimony.
Mr. FULLER. Thank you, sir.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Fuller follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF JOHN E. FULLER
Together with three other persons (Ralph Francis, Attorney, Cosmos Marcelle, retired Assistant Commissioner of Police and the Reverend Arnold Francis, Catholic Priest) I was on the 28th day of October 2002 requested by the Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda to conduct an investigation into the activities of John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo during their presence in Antigua and Barbuda. On the 31st day of October 2002 we issued the attached Interim Report and on the 31st day of December 2002 we issued the attached Final Report.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Insofar as the findings in these two latter reports relate to the subcommittee's oversight hearing the documents speak for themselves.
On the issue of Mohammad's document fraud activities in Antigua the following is a summary of facts as we found them:
Mohammad first arrived in Antigua on the 20th day of March 2000. He was accompanied by his three minor children. We were satisfied that he came to Antigua effectively to remove his minor children from the jurisdiction of the Courts of the USA. He did not have lawful custody of his children.
He stayed with an Antiguan family for a few weeks but was asked to leave as the family suspected that he had ''kidnapped'' his children.
Upon his departure from the latter residence he seems to have inadvertently left in that house a few ''blank'' birth certificates ostensibly from a state in the United States (copies of certificates to be produced). We concluded therefore that he came to Antigua equipped with documents intended to be used in creating false identitiesmost likely for his children.
His second residence in Antigua was with a Jamaican family and through them he became acquainted with many Jamaican nationals living in Antigua. It became apparent that there was (and no doubt still is) a rich market among Jamaican nationals for travel documents facilitating entry into the USA.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Not withstanding the fact that Mohammad seems to have barely literate, between April 2000 and March 2001 he systematically engaged in the production and sale of U.S. driving licenses with photographs and corresponding birth certificates. He was aided and abetted in this activity by an individual who was (and is) extremely computer literate. The production of these documents does not seem to have been extremely difficult or requiring high skills. Two examples of his handiwork are now produced. All that seems to be required are:
1. A computer and scanner.
2. A template for the driving license and for the birth certificate.
3. A photograph.
4. A laminating machine.
5. A harassed and/or gullible immigration officer whose first language is not English.
Mohammad often ''shepherded'' his clients into the USA. He also often had two sets of documents for each client. One set contained his photograph, the other his ''client's'' photograph, both with a false name, etc. . . . Muhammad would check in for the flight entering the U.S. and, before embarking on the flight, would hand over the boarding pass to his ''client.''
Statements from witnesses supporting our findings are in our possession.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Government of Antigua and Barbuda in response to our recommendations has instituted an intensive training program aimed at airline counter clerks, immigration officers, customs officials, police officers, passport office clerks and public record employees. The U.S. Immigration Service has hosted several workshops here in the detection of forged documents. All recommendations have been implemented.
From our point of view what Mohammad did was not so much as ''exploiting a loophole'' but utilize the computers and the Web to obtain documents to create credible forgeries. It must be remembered however that at least one of his ''clients'' was refused U.S. entry in December 2000 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Finally, in addition to the many other avenues of investigation that we undertook and the various names and individuals that we investigated, Mohammad not only took advantage of the United States exception for the Western hemisphere but he also utilized forging skills in obtaining for himself and three others four Antigua and Barbuda passports. The other three passports were for Jamaican nationals.
Mohammad's activities highlighted the weaknesses in the systems in place in the U.S. and in Antigua and Barbuda in the age of computer technology from which we all should learn hard lessons.
As a footnote I think it incumbent upon me to mention the potential repercussions to all tourist oriented countries in the Western hemisphere who allow U.S. citizens without passports but with photo ID to enter if the exception to enter is repealed. In such an event there will no doubt be an impact on the number of tourists traveling and such impact will no doubt substantially affect our tourist industries.
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Mr. HOSTETTLER. Mr. Cramer?
STATEMENT OF ROBERT J. CRAMER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS, U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
Mr. CRAMER. Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, good afternoon.
I am here today to report the results of security tests performed by agents of the Office of Special Investigations who, acting in an undercover capacity, entered the United States from several countries in the Western Hemisphere using fictitious identifies and counterfeit identification documents.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Mr. Cramer, could you pull the microphone a little closer to you?
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Mr. CRAMER. Sorry; sure.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Thank you.
Mr. CRAMER. The purpose of our tests was to determine whether U.S. Government officials conducting inspections at the border would be able to detect the counterfeit documents presented.
For purposes of our tests, we established fictitious identities for our agents and created counterfeit driver's licenses and birth certificates using ordinary personal computers and off-the-shelf software that is available to any purchaser.
On the chart to your right are reproductions of some of the driver's licenses and birth certificates that were created.
The agents entered the United States from Barbados, Jamaica, Mexico, and Canada using their fictitious names and these documents. The border inspectors did not question the authenticity of the counterfeit documents, and our agents did not have any difficulty entering the United States at any time with them.
On two occasions, border inspectors did not ask for identification when our agents came in from Canada and Mexico.
The entry from Barbados occurred earlier this month when two of our agents traveling on one-way tickets from Barbados arrived at an airport in the United States. They proceeded to the immigration checkpoint, and each was checked at different times by the same inspector. Each agent was asked for his passport, and each responded that he did not have one, but produced the counterfeit birth certificate in the undercover name. The inspector reviewed the birth certificate and asked for picture identification. In response, each agent produced the counterfeit driver's license he had. The inspector asked several questions of the agents and reviewed the documents and then permitted them to enter the United States. He did not question any of the counterfeit documents that they presented.
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In January of this year, two agents who were traveling on one-way tickets from Jamaica arrived at a different airport in the United States. When they went to the immigration checkpoint, they presented to two different immigration inspectors their counterfeit driver's licenses and birth certificates. The inspectors appeared to examine those documents carefully, but they did not recognize them as counterfeit and permitted the agents to enter the United States.
On one occasion in November of 2002, our agents crossed the border from Mexico into the United States. Two agents were asked for identification by two different border inspectors. Both agents presented counterfeit driver's licenses and were allowed to cross into the United States.
On another occasion in coming in from Mexico, an agent crossed the border, and the inspector asked him a series of questions and permitted him to enter the country without producing any kind of identification.
Our agents also crossed the border from Canada into the United States on two occasions. The first border crossing occurred when the agents entered the United States through a seaport of entry from Canada. On that occasion, the agents were not asked to show identification. On a subsequent occasion, two agents using fictitious names and presenting counterfeit driver's licenses crossed the border into the United States at a land border crossing. After the inspector reviewed the documents, he permitted them to enter into the country.
To summarize this, we recognize that weaknesses in inspection processes for entrance into the United States raise complex issues, and we are performing an evaluation of those processes and weaknesses which will be reported to the Congress in the coming weeks.
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Although the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection inspects millions of people who enter into the country each year and detects thousands of individuals who attempt to enter illegally, the results of our work do indicate that the inspectors are not readily able to detect counterfeit identification documents and that people who enter this country are not always asked to present identification.
That completes my prepared statement, Mr. Chairman. I am here with some of the agents who participated in this work, and we will be happy to answer any questions that you or the Members of the Committee may have.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Thank you, Mr. Cramer.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Cramer follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF ROBERT J. CRAMER
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCramer5.eps
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Mr. Beverly?
STATEMENT OF RODERICK L. BEVERLY, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
Mr. BEVERLY. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Jackson Lee, and distinguished Members of the Subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you this afternoon.
Mr. Chairman, it is my understanding that the purpose of this hearing is to examine John Allen Muhammad's alleged document fraud activities in Antigua. The FBI appreciates the Subcommittee's interest and concern in this matter. Due to the pending prosecution of Mr. Muhammad for the D.C. area sniper attacks, however, the FBI is not at liberty to discuss the activities of Mr. Muhammad. Nevertheless, I understand that the Subcommittee would like for me to provide an overview of the FBI's Legal Attache or Legat Program.
The Office of International Operations directs the FBI's Legat Program which consists of 45 offices around the world. These Legal Attache Offices are staffed by 114 special agents and 75 support employees. By the end of 2003, we project that this will increase to 133 special agents and 83 support personnel with the opening of new offices in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Sanaa, Yemen; Tbilisi, Georgia; and Tunis, Tunisia.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We are also in the process of reviewing the establishment of three sub-offices of existing Legats in Bonn, Germany; Milan, Italy; and Toronto, Canada. Legats Amman, Islamabad, Manila, Ottawa, Riyadh, and perhaps Cairo are being augmented with additional special agent and support personnel. Of the additional $45 million appropriated for the support of the FBI counterterrorism mission overseas, approximately $24 million was allocated for expansion of the Legat Program.
Each Legal Attache Office is an integral component of the country team in the United States Embassy where they are located. Pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding, the Departments of State, Justice, and Treasury, Legat personnel report to the United States ambassadors in their roles as chiefs of mission. Legat personnel participate in the full range of country team duties, including Emergency Action Committees and the formulation of Mission Performance Plans.
Legat personnel work in close coordination with our counterparts in the Central Intelligence Agency abroad to, among other critical missions, prevent, mitigate, and investigate terrorist attacks on the United States interests abroad.
FBI Legats frequently advance mission goals and objectives by facilitating the delivery of a broad spectrum of training and technical assistance ranging from major case management to internal accountability systems to our foreign counterparts. During the past 5 years alone, Legats have been instrumental in facilitating the participation of 586 foreign students from 113 countries in the FBI's National Academy. Foreign National Academy alumni represent a high-value cadre of liaison contacts who are frequently of great assistance in advancing FBI investigations overseas.
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Through the liaison established by our Legats, we were able to mobilize the investigative assistance of foreign governments without compromising their national security or sovereignty. This assistance benefits not only the FBI but other Federal agencies as well as State, country, and municipal law enforcement agencies. During the period fiscal year 2001 through 2002, the number of leads handled by Legats increased from 41,200 to 53,100 approximately. This is consistent with the trend in which Legat lead coverage steadily increased from 15,630 in fiscal year 1997 to 41,211 in fiscal year 2001. Legats further serve as the reciprocal point of contact for these countries to obtain investigative assistance in the United States through the FBI as well as State, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies.
Our Legat Program greatly enhances the capability of the United States Government to wage the war against terrorism as well as addressing the full range of criminal threats to the United States in an increasingly globalized world. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and throughout the following year, our Legats facilitated the rapid deployment of approximately 700 FBI personnel overseas. Their contributions to the rapid international deployment of FBI personnel in response to terrorist attacks on our embassies in East Africa, the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, and the October 12, 2002 bombing in Bali also dramatically demonstrate this capability.
While the FBI has no direct involvement in U.S. border security, in addition to our active participation with U.S. intelligence community and law enforcement partners abroad, the FBI as an agency and the Legat Program in particular works closely with the State's Consular Affairs Office and Homeland Security by being an active participant in border security initiatives such as the visa waiver program, the visa viper program, and related initiatives.
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This concludes my prepared remarks. I would be happy to respond to any questions that you might have at this time.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Thank you, Mr. Beverly.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Beverly follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF RODERICK L. BEVERLY
Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Jackson Lee, and distinguished members of the Subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you this morning.
Mr. Chairman, it is my understanding that the purpose of this hearing is to examine John Allen Muhammad's alleged document fraud activities in Antigua. The FBI appreciates the subcommittee's interest and concern in this matter. Due to the pending prosecution of Mr. Muhammad for the D.C. area sniper attacks, however, the FBI is not at liberty to discuss the activities of Mr. Muhammad. Nevertheless, I understand that the Subcommittee would like for me to provide an overview of the FBI's Legal Attache, or Legat, program.
The Office of International Operations directs the FBI's Legat program which consists of 45 offices around the world. These Legal Attache Offices are staffed by 114 Special Agents and 75 support employees. By the end of 2003, we project that this will increase to 133 Special Agents and 83 support personnel with the opening of new offices in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Sanaa, Yemen; Tbilisi, Georgia; and Tunis, Tunisia. We are also in the process of reviewing the establishment of three sub-offices of existing Legats in Bonn, Germany (Legat Berlin); Milan, Italy (Legat Rome); and Toronto, Canada (Legat Ottawa). Legats Amman, Islamabad, Manila, Ottawa, Riyadh, and perhaps Cairo, are being augmented with additional Special Agent and support personnel. Of the additional $45 million appropriated for the support of the FBI Counterterrorism mission overseas, approximately $24 million was allocated for expansion of the Legat Program.
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Each Legal Attache Office is an integral component of the Country Team in the United States Embassy in which they are located. Pursuant to a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Departments Of State, Justice and Treasury, Legat personnel report to United States Ambassadors in their roles as Chiefs Of Mission. Legat personnel participate in the full range of Country Team duties including Emergency Action Committees and the formulation of Mission Performance Plans. Legat personnel work in close coordination with our counterparts in the Central Intelligence Agency abroad to, among other critical missions, prevent, mitigate, and investigate terrorist attacks on United States interests abroad. FBI Legats frequently advance mission goals and objectives by facilitating the delivery of a broad spectrum of training and technical assistance ranging from Major Case Management to Internal Accountability Systems to our foreign counterparts. During the past five years alone Legats have been instrumental in facilitating the participation of 586 foreign students from 113 countries in the FBI's National Academy. Foreign National Academy alumni represented a high value cadre of liaison contacts who are frequently of great assistance in advancing FBI investigations overseas.
Through the liaison established by our Legats we are able to mobilize the investigative assistance of foreign governments without compromising their national sovereignty. This assistance benefits not only the FBI but other federal agencies as well as state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies. During the period FY 2001 to FY 2002, the number of leads handled by Legats increased from 41,211 to 53,105. This is consistent with the trend in which Legat lead coverage steadily increased from 15,630 in FY 1997 to 41,211 in FY 2001. Legats further serve as the reciprocal point of contact for these countries to obtain investigative assistance in the United States through the FBI as well as state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies.
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Our Legat Program greatly enhances the capability of the United States Government to wage the war against terrorism as well as addressing the full range of criminal threats to the United States in an increasingly ''globalized'' world. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, and throughout the following year, our Legats facilitated the rapid deployment of approximately 700 FBI personnel overseas. Their contributions to the rapid international deployment of FBI personnel in response to terrorist attacks on our embassies in East Africa, the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, and the October 12, 2002 bombings in Bali, also dramatically demonstrate this capability.
While the FBI has no direct involvement in U.S. border security, in addition to our active participation with U.S. Intelligence Community and law enforcement partners abroad, the FBI as an agency, and the Legat program in particular works closely with State's Consular Affairs Office and Homeland Security by being an active participant in border security initiatives such as the visa waiver program, the visa viper program and related initiatives.
That concludes my prepared remarks. I would be pleased to respond to any questions the Subcommittee may have that relate to the FBI's Legat Program.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Ms. Palmer-Royston?
STATEMENT OF SHARON PALMER-ROYSTON, CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER FOR PASSPORT SERVICE, BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON. Mr. Chairman, Ms. Jackson Lee and Committee Members, thank you for inviting me to speak to this Committee about the exceptions to the general requirement that United States citizens carry a U.S. passport when entering and exiting the United States.
The requirements are as follows. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, in Section 215, Travel Documentation of Aliens and Citizens, Subsection (b) Relating to U.S. Citizens, state that unless otherwise provided, it is unlawful for U.S. citizens to depart from or enter the United States unless they bear a valid U.S. passport.
General requirementby regulation, the Secretary of State provided that U.S. citizens are excepted from this requirement in a number of situations. The two major exceptions are when the U.S. citizen is traveling directly between parts of the United States and when traveling between the United States and any country, Territory, or island adjacent thereto in North, South, or Central America, excluding Cuba.
The other exceptions are for United States seamen and air crewmen carrying valid merchant mariner or air crew i.d., for members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty, for certain minor members of the household of foreign or United Nations official employees, for children under 12 years old who are included in a parent's foreign passport if they are otherwise able to prove U.S. citizenship, for U.S. citizens carrying a card of citizenship and identity issued by a U.S. Counsel at a foreign mission abroad, and for individuals specifically authorized by the Secretary of State, through appropriate channelsand this last exception is administered by officials at U.S. ports of entry.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC That is how the passport requirement is organized today.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Thank you, Ms. Palmer-Royston.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Palmer-Royston follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF SHARON PALMER-ROYSTON
Mr. Chairman, Committee Members.
Thank you for inviting me to speak to this Committee about the exception to the general requirement that United States citizens carry a U.S. passport when entering and exiting the United States.
The requirements are as follows: The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 in Section 215, Travel Documentation of Aliens and Citizens, subsection (b) relating to U.S. citizens, states that, unless otherwise provided, it is unlawful for U.S citizens to depart from or enter the United States unless they bear a valid U.S. passport.
By regulation, the Secretary of State provided that U.S. citizens are excepted from this requirement in a number of situations. The two major exceptions are when the U.S. citizen is traveling directly between parts of the United States; and, when traveling between the United States and any country, territory or island adjacent thereto, in North, South or Central America, excluding Cuba.
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The other exceptions are for U.S. seamen and air crew carrying valid merchant mariner or air crew ID; for members of the U.S. armed forces on active duty; for certain minor members of the household of foreign or United Nations official employees; for children under 12 years old who are included in a parent's foreign passport if they are able to otherwise prove U.S. citizenship; for U.S. citizens carrying a card of citizenship and identity issued by a U.S. consul abroad; and, for individuals specifically authorized by the Secretary of State through appropriate official channels. The last exception is administered by officials at U.S. ports of entry.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. We will now move to questions. First of all, I have a question for Mr. Cramer. In your testimony, Mr. Cramer, you state that you and your agents created counterfeit driver's licenses and birth certificates which your agents successfully presented at various U.S. ports of entry.
How difficult was it for you to make these counterfeit documents, and could a private individual create a similar document?
Mr. CRAMER. It was simple and easy to create them. We did nothing different from what many young people do when they want to make counterfeit identification to get into a bar to drink. It is a very simple process. You go to Staples; you can buy the software. Most people have home computers; it can be done on a home computer.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. The hearing is being held to explore document fraud and the Western Hemisphere passport exception. What effect, Mr. Cramer, do you think the Western Hemisphere passport exception has on the ability of inspectors at the ports of entry to identify fraudulent documents?
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Mr. CRAMER. I do not know that the exception itself has an effect on their ability to do it, except that if you have a passport, the inspectors need to be able to identify counterfeit passports, and it is much easier to be well-trained in detecting one kind of counterfeit document. For example, Secret Service agents are trained in detecting counterfeit currency, and because of that very particular specialized training that they have, they are able to do so virtually all of the time.
The types of documents that are presented to border inspectors are very largebirth certificatesas you mentioned earlier, there are thousands of different types of birth certificates in this country, and there are at least 50 different types of driver's licenses. It is very tough to train one person to be expert in detecting all of those types of identification.
So the fact that more than one kind of document is permissible just makes it much more difficult for the border inspectors.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Very good. Is there any reason that a U.S. citizensa citizen, mind youwould use an alias and/or counterfeit documents when returning to the United States at a port of entry? If so, why would they do thatwhy would citizens want to do that?
Mr. CRAMER. Well, fugitives, for examplethere are many well-known fugitives from justice who may leave the country to flee justice and then want to enter the country to live quietly under an assumed name and enjoy the fruits of their crimes. So that is just one thing that pops into my mind immediately, that there are U.S. citizens who are fugitives who would love to be able to regain entry into the United States.
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Mr. HOSTETTLER. Very good. Thank you.
Mr. Fuller, in the task force report, it states that, quote, ''Muhammad would arrange for those who had purchased forged documents to fly to the U.S. on the return half of a ticket for a trip which originated in the U.S.A., thereby making it less suspicious to all concerned.''
How would this scheme make a traveler with forged documents less suspicious?
Mr. FULLER. Well, I was amazed that Mr. Cramer's people got in on one-way tickets. I think it adds to the credibility of the passenger if he has the remains of a ticket that originated in the U.S. It adds to his credibility when presenting himself to your immigration officeryes, I left Miami last week Thursday. I am an American. I am going back. I had a roundtrip ticket. I live in Kendall, Miami.
It has to do with the whole package that you are selling to the immigration officeryour accent, your documents, your return ticketit all adds to the credibility of the person who is attempting to gain entry.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. As an aside, how would they come up with half of a
Mr. FULLER. We were never able, really, to get to the bottom of that, and I suspect that MuhammadMuhammad traveled to the U.S. nearly weekly, and we suspect that he bought tickets from the U.S. to Antigua and return, under false names, and used the second half of those tickets to give to his clients, as it were.
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Mr. HOSTETTLER. I see.
In describing the improvements that Antigua has instituted in response to the task force recommendationsit is an extensive training program aimed at airline counter clerks, immigration, and Customs officers and otherswhat does the training consist of?
Mr. FULLER. I have attended a couple of them myself. Your Immigration and Naturalization Services themselves and your Customs people actually visited Antigua and conducted seminars on how to detect forgeries looking at paper, different kinds of papers that are usedof course, they went through the passport thing, but the passport thing really is not an issue heregenerally speaking, just trying tofor example, in Muhammad's own birth certificate that he used to get his Antigua passport, one of the lines alone was out-of-sync with the rest of the lines in the documentjust generally trying to show the officials concerned what to look for, if there is somethingin all the documents involved. And I think airline clerks were a very important aspect of it because they are obliged to check your identity documents before you get on the plane, because the airlines themselves bear a certain amount of responsibility, I understand, for allowing illegal immigrants to fly into the U.S.
So we had the airline clerks. We have instituted now a very boring but apparently very necessary system of having to present your documents before you get into the departure lounge, officials look at your documentsimmigration officialsdeparture immigration officials, which is a real pain in the neck for travelers, but apparently necessary.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One of the things that we have also done is because Muhammad arrived in Antigua with fake documents, the arrival officials have gone through intense training on how to detect, or at least try to detect, documents.
The official records officers, because Muhammad was able to obtain a birth certificate, have been trained to be on the lookout for people trying to extract birth certificates for illegal purposes.
So it is really on the top of everyone's list because of course we were embarrassed by this man. This man used us, he used our systems, our weaknesses, just as he used yours, to further his activities. So we reacted very strongly to it, and hopefully we have done some good.
There was one point I wanted to make, by the way, while we are at it. One of the gentlemenMuhammad did sell mostly to Jamaicans, but there was one Syrian-born gentleman who obtained documents from him, and the FBI, I understandI saw the documents in their possessionthey got him. I do not know whatever happened to him.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Thank you, Mr. Fuller.
The chair now recognizes Ms. Jackson Lee.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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Mr. Fuller, reference was made to the new training procedures that have been put in place. Do you consider them successful, or how are they progressing?
Mr. FULLER. Well, successful isI think that it is successful definitely in the sense that there is a heightened awareness amongst everyone involved, heightened awareness of the potentials for disaster in allowing people who are not the people they say they are to travel; potential for disaster to the good name of our country by allowing it to be a base from which people travel illegally, especially to the United States of America, given the current geopolitical atmosphere.
I think Muhammad, and because of the notoriety this gentleman has gained, it lent to our heightened sensibility offrom what was a sleepy little island in terms of these sorts of things to everyone suspecting everyone of walking with false documents, as they say.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Well, you happen to be highlighted, as you have indicated, by the high-profile nature of the individual that we are speaking of
Mr. FULLER. Yes.
Ms. JACKSON LEE.and you are symbolic of the Caribbean. The question is, is this a widespread epidemic or pandemic in the Caribbean with respect to these kinds of documents.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. FULLER. No, ma'am, no. There is no evidence whatsoever of that. In factalthough it is surprising becauseit surprises me particularlybecause one would have thought this waseverybody wants to go to America, you know, everybody wants to come to America, and if you just to Barbados, the United States Consulate in Bridgetown, Barbados, and the queues that go on for days and days and days just to get a visitor's visa. Everyone wants to come to America, and this is a very easy way of coming, and you would have thought that it would have been exploited a lot more than it has transpired to have been.
When I said 20, Muhammad did 20, that was a rough guesstimate, okay? There is absolutely no factual evidence that he did 20. But talking to various witnesses and people who did not want to be named, et cetera, et cetera, we came up with 20, which was probably a pretty good figure. But there is no evidence either from anywhere else in Antigua or anywhere else in the Caribbean that I know of that this was going on. I think the penny never dropped except to your own citizen, Mr. Muhammad.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Well, I think this is important for the record, and I appreciate it very much. We will continue to
Mr. FULLER. And I think you for bringing it out, ma'am, for all of us in the Caribbean.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. And I thank you for your work as well.
Mr. Cramer, in the Committee's as well as your great work, we are trying to be corrective, and I noted a comment, ''inspectors not readily to detect counterfeit documents.'' I think if we probe you on that, you must be suggesting or suggesting that because there are different types, you cannot get your eye tuned to one single type; is that what I understand you are saying?
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Mr. CRAMER. Yes, that is part of it. Another part, though, is that for example, the driver's licenses that we created were not particularly sophisticated counterfeits. Most driver's licenses have holograms on them, and if you hold it up to the light, you can see the reflection of the hologram. We did not attempt to duplicate a hologram, so although the lines where the hologram would appear were there, if you held it up to the light, it did not reflect. So anyone who had training in driver's license counterfeit detection would know right away that this was a counterfeit.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Well, let me first of all thank you for the work that was done. I think it is important work. You come from a corrective mode, meaning you find out the information and you try to correct it. So with that in mind and with the backdrop of the relationships that the Caribbean, Mexico in particular, the whole tourist issue which is not your responsibility, but could we enhance the training of the inspectors and others focused toward the possibility of being able to, as you have just so aptly described, focus on the driver's license concept or the birth certificate concept, giving them enhanced training of those documents. As you well know, at the Southern border, we have the biometric card now, and those border patrol agents must be trained to eye those cards and to ensure that those are not going to be counterfeited, but we did it to avoid the abuse.
Can we provide the kind of training that would be of assistance to close the gap on what we are seeing at the borders?
Mr. CRAMER. I think there is no question that additional training for the inspectors at the border would be very helpful. Again, it is a big job, but certainly with respect to driver's licenses, it is a more limited universe than the birth certificates, and certainly some training would be very helpful.
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Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask unanimous consent for an additional 1 minute. I want to finish with Mr. Beverly and Ms. Palmer-Royston.
Mr. KING. [presiding.] Without objection.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I thank you very much.
Mr. Beverly, let me thank you for your work, and I do want to note the various agents that were involved in this work, and I want them to know on the record how much we appreciate it and do not discount the work, because any way that we can avoid terrorist opportunities, we should applaud, and I thank you very much, Mr. Cramer, for the work.
Mr. Beverly, can you recall the kinds of documents, generally speaking, that the 19 terrorists that were the basis of the 9/11 attack, the general nature of the documents that they had?
Mr. BEVERLY. I cannot tell you with certainty what they were. I know they did have documents that had been altered or otherwise changed their identity, but having not worked it, I would rather err on the side of not commenting.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. You have no recollection that the bulk of them were legal documents?
Mr. BEVERLY. I do not.
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Ms. JACKSON LEE. Okay. Well, my recollection is that they were. And do you have a comment on whether or not we have a situation where a great number of people may come in on legal documents as it relates to terrorists in the course of the work that you have been doing?
Mr. BEVERLY. Certainly, there iswe work very closely with the Department of State. The Department of State, of course, takes care of their own internal examination of fraudulent documents, but we work very closely on a daily basis from embassy to embassy to try to identify people that their suspicions are raised about. And we do that through trying to check local criminal records checks or otherwise dealing with our counterparts in local law enforcement or intelligence services to try to work together to make sure we identify that these people are who they say they are before they ever set out to come to the United States.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Do you have any idea of how difficult it would be for a terrorist organization to get a passportindividuals to get a U.S. passport?
Mr. BEVERLY. I think it depends on where you got the passport from. I know that there are certain countries out there that exercise a lot more strict control over the blank passports and applications than othersand when I say that, I am talking mostly about probably some of the countries that areor, otherwise countries outside the United States or aside from the United States.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. So it would range from very difficult to possibly easy?
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Mr. BEVERLY. We know, for example, of certain countries in which they have lost or are otherwise unable to account for blank passports, and any time you have that type of situation present, obviously, that facilitates the production and taking that to somebody and making it into a forged passport or altered passport.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. And that would be U.S. passports that you are talking about?
Mr. BEVERLY. That would not be U.S. passports.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. How easy would it be to get U.S. passports?
Mr. BEVERLY. I really, not being familiar with what the internal requirements are for Department State, I think I would defer that to my colleague here.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Let meand Mr. Fuller, I see my time is running out, and I want to finish with Ms. Palmer-Royston, and I thank her for being here.
I just want to find outyou have recounted for us that the Secretary sets exemptions, and we appreciate the study and the work that the State Department does to establish these exemptions. I know it is not easy work. I assume you review this regularlythese exemptions that are givendo you? Does the State Department review the exemptions regularly?
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON. The regulation has been in place since 1966, but of course, we are certainly aware of the provisions in the regulations and
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Do you know if they are done by statutory law, or are these done by internal regulations, administrative law?
Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON. The statute simply states that there is a general passport requirements, and the regulations are the Secretary of State's regulatory exemptions, so the exemptions belong to the Secretary of State's authority to control them.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. If the Secretary decides to issue a regulation that would eliminate the current passport exemptions for the United States, will the changes be announced, then, in proposed regulatory changes?
Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON. All our regulations would be, unless they were very perfunctoryand this certainly would not be a perfunctory change in the regulationthese regulations would be proposed and published in The Federal Register for comment; there would be a comment period, and we would receive the comments, consider them, and then, ultimately, a final regulation would be promulgated by the Secretary.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. And finally, would you expect the Secretary towhat factors would you expect the Secretary to consider if the Secretary determined to propose such regulatory change?
Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON. Mainly, they certainly would not be legal questions that he would have to consider. That is a big change from present situation, from the present documentary regime, and it would be certainly an interagency question that would have very broad considerations, and it is notas I said, I am the lawyerit is not a legal question, but it would, I am certain, have lots and lots of financial, policy, other kinds of
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Ms. JACKSON LEE. Magnitude might be an issue, the magnitude of the
Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON. It is a big change; it would be a big change.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Yes, but magnitude of the problem might be a consideration that they might look at.
Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON. I agree.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Fuller had his hand up; I do not want to take advantage. I do not know if he is trying to comment on the last comment; if you would indulge Mr. Fuller.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Yes.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I thank the witnesses.
Mr. FULLER. Thank you, ma'am. You asked how easy it was to get a U.S. passport.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Yes.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. FULLER. But in our investigations, a side issue was thrown up. An acquaintance of Muhammad did get a U.S. passport in New York. He was an American citizen. Something happened to his original passport. He got another one using false documents in a very short period of time. Apparently, he is in custody now pending trial for that. But whilst his passport was still extant, he obtained another one, even in his own name.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. In the United States or when he was out of the country?
Mr. FULLER. In New York, in New York, ma'am. So it is not just everywhere else that does this.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. We thank you for that.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Mr. Fuller.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Thank you, Ms. Jackson Lee.
The chair now recognizes the gentleman from Iowa, Mr. King, and appreciates his work in the chair while I was absent.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I do as well. Thank you, Mr. King.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. KING. It was a piece of work, I know, but thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I have a series of questions here that have accumulated throughout this hearing. I would ask this of the panelabout how many passports have been issued in the United Statesdoes anyone know the answer to that?
Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON. We issue approximately 7 million-plus each year currently.
Mr. KING. So the total passport-holders in the country, that accumulates?
Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON. A normal passport for an adult is valid for 10 years. I think it is about 50 million approximatelyI am trying to recall from
Mr. KING. Okay. So if 10 percent of our population had passports, that would be about 28 million, then.
What percentage of the American population travels overseas; do you know that?
Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON. That I don't know.
Mr. KING. I am just trying to get a handle here on the magnitude of thisif we were to take some steps to require utilization of the passport as a means to secure our borders, what would be the magnitude of that approach.
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Then, Mr. Cramer, as you testified, your agents entered the country a series of times, and I do not remember exactly how many different entry points or how many different entries there were, but I did not hear you say specifically was there ever a rejection of an entry of any agent for any reason?
Mr. CRAMER. No, there was never a rejection. They were always successful in entering the country with their counterfeit documents.
Mr. KING. Then, under what circumstances would there be a rejection of the entry? Is there some history of that in the knowledge of yourself or anyone else on the panel?
Mr. CRAMER. I do not have any specific knowledge, but if the inspector were to pick up on the fact that this was a counterfeit birth certificate or driver's license that was presented, it is my understanding that the traveler would then be sent to a secondary inspection at which more intensive questioning and investigation would take place. Where it would go from there, I do not know, though.
Mr. KING. And that investigation might include going back to the source of the document and determining if that had been legitimately issued from that source, which could be a birth certificate or a passport.
Under the circumstances that we are faced with, with potentially 50,000 different varieties of documents or whatever that number is, would it be possible to train a single agent, let alone every agent, to identify those documents and be able to use that as a means to even improve our border security?
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Mr. CRAMER. I think it would be very difficult to train individual inspectors and give them the expertise needed to be able to detect counterfeits of all the different types of documents that are currently acceptable.
Mr. KING. Okay. And I think we should have consensus on that, and so that takes us, then, to if this Nation is interested in securing its borders, which I certainly support, then the method by which we would usewhat would you recommend, what would give us maximum securityif we decided that this is essential from a national security standpoint to have secure borders from an inspection perspective with regard to documentation, what would be an ideal system?
Mr. CRAMER. I cannot really speak to that because that goes beyond the scope of what we did. I know that GAO is doing some work now on processes, and I do not know if that will even deal with that question. But that is really beyond the scope of what I am qualified to speak to.
Mr. KING. Thank you, Mr. Cramer.
Mr. Beverly, would you have an opinion on that?
Mr. BEVERLY. If I had an opinion, it would be more or less a personal one, because our primary competence obviously is not passports and visas. But there needs to be a balance struck between security and convenience, and I have lived in other countries that had national i.d. cards where obviously, that would be, from the investigator's standpoint, probably preferred, because you would have one specific item that you would be dealing with that would be hard to copy or otherwise; it would be easier probably to train your people as to what to look for. But having said that, that would be a giant step away from the ease with which we travel and the convenience that people are used to, and I do not say that I advocate either one or the other, but I think that would be a facilitator.
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Mr. KING. It would also be fair to say that technology has far surpassed our policy, that it has evolved more quickly than our policy as with regard to the Western Hemisphere. So I will just make this speculation, then, that first, we should start out with what would be the ideal system and then figure out how to back it down to practical, as opposed to have this system that has this multitude of different documents and allows most anything and everything to serve as documents that allow entry into the United States.
So I would just say that if we had a single document, whether it be a passportthat would be the ideal, I think, at this pointa single document that had maybe a bar code on it that could be indexed back to a database system that could identify the source of the document and the viability of that particular document, I would speculate that that would take us a long way toward getting to the security that we would like to have.
Would you agree with that, Mr. Cramer?
Mr. CRAMER. There is something that I think we should all be aware of, which is that the law does not actually require that a U.S. citizen entering the United States from a Western Hemisphere country produce any identification document. One can prove one's citizenship by oral statement alone, and of course, it is up to the judgment, the good judgment and discretion, of the border inspectors whether that is sufficient. But in fact when our people came in without showing any identification, that was perfectly legal. The border inspector must have determined that there was no reason to go further with the inquiry.
Mr. KING. What this panel has not examined is the immigration access policy of all countries in the Western Hemisphere. We would need to examine all of those countries in order to even look and see how the secondary impact is on the United States.
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So if there are countries in the Western Hemisphere that say, ''We do not require any documents, and you can come and go as you please,'' those people who can come into those countries then would have access under these conditions that you have laid out here in this panel, so that essentially, if the world knows it, is an open gate into the United States of America.
Thank you very much. I appreciate your response to these questions.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. I thank the gentleman.
We will now enter a second round of questions.
I have a question with regard to the perspective of time. Ms. Palmer-Royston, do you knowthe INA was passed, put into law, in 1952how long has this particular exception, regulation, been in place that includes the exception for Western Hemisphere countries?
Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON. Yes. This regulation was promulgated in 1966.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Nineteen sixty-six.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON. Yes.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. So it has been a long time that we have been operating in this situation with such
Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON. Yes, that is correct.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. So the notion that a new era might begin whereby passports, some form of identification, would be required would beit would be an era where we are not familiar with what it would bring. How much institutional memory do you think there is in the State Department between 1952 and 1966 with regard to when this exception was notand I do not want to make anyone give their birthday out here.
Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON. Yes. I do not know. Of course, there are records, written descriptions and records
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Right, right.
Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON.history, and there is a Foreign Affairs Digest and other documents that talk about that. I have not reviewed them, however, so I would not be able to speak to that right now.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. All right. Very good.
Agent Beverly, according to your resume, you served as an assistant legal attache in Colombia in 1990, and later you were special agent in charge in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I assume that you are very familiar with criminal investigations in the Caribbean; is that correct?
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Mr. BEVERLY. In general.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. The Subcommittee has been told that there is an active market in false identification cards in that region. Is that correct?
Mr. BEVERLY. Again, dealing with fraudulent documents is an infraction that is handled by the Department of State. We certainly would come across forged documents from time to time in an investigation we would be carrying out.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. In your investigations, what would false identification cards be used for? What had they been used for in your investigation?
Mr. BEVERLY. To be able to travel under a fictitious identity; people particularly that were fugitives, that were wanted or otherwise might have been indicted or had been named in warrants or legal processes, and this would allow them to travel back and forth on a commercial carrier.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Okay. Very good.
One other question. As a law enforcement officerand you have probably answered this question already, but I would like to get it on the record in this fashionis there any reason that a U.S. citizen would use an alias for entry or business reasons in the Caribbean? Is there any reason that a U.S. citizen would use an alias in re-entering the United States?
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Mr. BEVERLY. I guess people's reasons to be doing that would probably vary, and I am certain that there would be some that you probably could and could not contemplate, but I think the primary reason would be to hide their identity, obviously, and probably the majority of the time, it would be because they were named in a warrant or some type of a legal process and would be arrested or otherwise detained if they are traveling under their true identity.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. All right. Very good.
And then, one question to Mr. Fuller with regard to the question I asked Ms. Palmer-Royston. There is an issue of convenience with regard to the lack of need for a passport. Would you happen to know, have any idea, of the situation between 1952 and 1966 and commerce between citizens of the United States and Antigua? Would you have any idea? I know you started practicing law in 1975 in Antigua, but
Mr. FULLER. Yes. I was born and brought up in a hotel in Antigua, and of course, tourism really came into its own in the middle sixties, beginning sixties and onward. Before that, there was really no need insofar as our economic aspects are concerned for the exception to exist, and most people who did travel before that did travel with passports.
Since then, of course, the vast majority of people have traveled to the Caribbean without passports, and the exception has proven to be extremely beneficial to us, and to those who wish to travel as well, I imagine.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HOSTETTLER. If an American has to renew a passport every 10 years, how difficult would you believe it would
Mr. FULLER. Yes, right; it is not that. I think the most inconvenient part of it will be the initial part of it, if you decide to do it.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Do United Kingdom citizens carry passports to Antigua?
Mr. FULLER. Say again?
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Do United Kingdom, UK, citizens require passports to Antigua?
Mr. FULLER. No, no, they do not, but the vast majority of United Kingdom travelers have passports. UK citizens have a much higher percentage of passports than Americans do. They travel a lot more, anyway.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Yes. Very good.
Mr. FULLER. You have a lot more places within the U.S. to travel.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Right. Very good.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The chair now recognizes the gentlelady from Texas, Mr. Jackson Lee.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I think we have highlighted the issue, and that is that we have said earlier on the record that a large number of Americans simply do not have passports at this juncture. We have said that we have turned a page in our history which may require us doing things that are somewhat uncomfortable. But I think again, this goes to the question of magnitude.
Mr. Fuller, you have indicatedyou used the number 20is that your ceiling, or are you suggesting that there is latitude under that, or that it may be a little higher, but we are still talking about the number 20so what would be the precise answerthat it is in that ball park; it is not much higher than 20?
Mr. FULLER. Absolutely not. Ifif I had to swear, which I have not been asked to do, I would say it probably was less than 20.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. And so, with the culmination of Mr. Cramer's very fine work that was done by his agents, we detected a sort of crack in the armor problem, certainly a very obvious and very conspicuous one, but it seems that having this problem discovered leaves us great latitude and opportunity to fix the problem with respect to reasoning that Americans do not traditionally have a load of passports and may not be moved to secure them. You are very right, we have the luxury of having a beautiful Nation that allows people to vacation in a variety of geographical areas.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Let me ask you this. If we put the passport requirement in, what effect do you think this would have on Caribbean economies, and would the economies of Antigua and other islands become weakened and thus, because you are somewhat vulnerableand as I indicated, I visited the islands on determining how we could work to ensure or shore up terrorist entry into the islandsbut in any event, would that make you more susceptible to domestic activity or criminal activity with respect to the economies going down?
Mr. FULLER. There are a lot of questions there.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. What impact, first, would the passport provision, if put in place
Mr. FULLER. The effect would be instantaneous, I think, on our economies and will be in the short term probably disastrousprobably disastrousnot just to us, but to people like American Eagle, American Airlines traveling to the Caribbean, local regional airlines, endless numbers of employees in the hotels, taxi driversyou name itand of course, the governments, because we make money from taxes from our travelers, your travelers.
So the effect in the short term will be disastrous, there is no question about that. In the long term, I guess, you know, we learn to live with changes. But it is going to hurt, it will hurt, and it will hurt hard.
Security-wise, it hasthe reaction is a kneejerk reaction, of course, to the realization that there is this loophole, if you want to call it that, remembering always that Mr. Cramer's people are highly-qualified law enforcement people who have backgrounds in the Secret Service, who can make good forgeries.
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Mr. Muhammad did not make very good forgeries, and several of his people were caught. In my report, I said
Ms. JACKSON LEE. If I may, Mr. Cramer has indicated that we may find some resolve to that by training. You are absolutely right in making the point.
Mr. FULLER. No question about that, no question.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. So I think that if that is an option, we need to certainly look at that.
Let me just askyou have citizenship both in Antigua and the United Statesare you here representing the Government of Antigua, yourself, or
Mr. FULLER. No. The Government of Antigua, ma'am.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Okay. Let me just, before I move on, ask your assistance, then. As you well know, there are some extradition issues that are going on in terms of an individual and the State of Connecticut. It would be helpful if you conveyed back to Antigua the need to be able to provide some response on that very question. I think you are aware of the
Mr. FULLER. Extradition proceedings in relation to
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. JACKSON LEE. With an individual that is in Antigua that has been accused of a murder in Connecticut.
Mr. FULLER. Accused of
Ms. JACKSON LEE. A murder in Connecticut.
Mr. FULLER. Yes, I know of that, ma'am. I know
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Right. All I am asking you
Mr. FULLER. Yes, I shall convey it, ma'am.
Ms. JACKSON LEE.is to be helpful in that.
Mr. FULLER. Yes, ma'am.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Let me just move on to again Mr. Cramer and just ask a closing, because I think I have gotten those questions. I am not sure if you can answer this, but if we require a passport for all travel, what do we do to the American who returns home without one? Typically, that is a likely circumstance for a good holiday in the Caribbeanall your items have been taken or you have had so much fun, you have lost it. How do you get that person to prove their identity? How long would they have to detain the person to complete the process? Would you have any idea as to what might transpire with that?
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. CRAMER. Actually, I do not, but I am sure that there must be some way of dealing with this, because people need passports to come to the United States from everywhere else, and this must happen. So I do not know what people do in that situation or what Immigration does, but I am sure that somebody has that information.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. And I would imagine that we just would not want to have a corral with a whole bunch of them corralled for a long period of time. You think there will be a reasonable response to how we deal with that?
Mr. CRAMER. No. I think one would try to establish some kinds of procedures that would be different from that, certainly.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Certainly it is a possibility of making the entry difficult and clogging up the system if that was to occur.
Mr. CRAMER. I am sorryis there a question pending? I am sorry.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Yes. Certainly it would clog up the system if we did not find a way to resolve that, if we went to eliminating the exemption, and there is high traffic of Americans coming back from the Caribbean.
Mr. CRAMER. Well, it would certainly change the whole picture, and again, I really cannot speak to those issues simply because it goes far beyond the scope of the work that we did here.
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Ms. JACKSON LEE. Certainly we would have to have a resolution to that, however.
Mr. CRAMER. Yes.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Good.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. I thank the gentlelady.
The chair recognizes Mr. King for 5 minutes.
Mr. KING. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Fuller, would it be fair to say thatyou are here representing Antiguawould it be fair to say that you are here also to represent and hopefully promote the economic, social, and cultural well-being of Antigua?
Mr. FULLER. I think my writ insofar as your questions are concerned, as the original request is concerned, and of course to remind you of the repercussions, that what you do will have on not just Antigua but the rest of the Western Hemisphere, sirlogically so.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. KING. My ear hears that as an affirmative response, qualified.
I would point out that that is also our interest in this panel, is essentially to see this from the same perspective from the eyes of the United States and also have sympathy toward your side of this.
Mr. FULLER. I would be presumptuous to deny that.
Mr. KING. So I would ask you this question, then. If the United States had a policy that required passport from 1966 on, if it had been the practice from that period of time, what effect do you think that would have had on the economy of Antigua?
Mr. FULLER. That is a pregnant pause. Theit is very difficult to say. Sixty-six onward was the golden age of tourism, although the character of the tourist of 1966 is different from the 1 day, of course, and there would be a much higher percentage of travelers in the sixties who had passports than there are today. So the effect would have been less detrimental than it would be now.
Mr. KING. Would it be fair to say that if we had all grown up with the anticipation of this requirement that it would be very difficult to measure any economic impact in that there would be far more passports in the United States today and that we would have far more national security because of that?
Mr. FULLER. I think that is a logical conclusion, sir.
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Mr. KING. Thank you. I took you down this path only to say that I have some sympathy for your position today and that all nations see this through the eyes that you do and we do, and we need to also look at it in that we are to be promoting the economic, the social and the cultural well-being of each nationparticularly the United States is what we are representing todayand I will tell you that because of your testimony today, I am more likely to visit.
Mr. FULLER. Please do. Just ask anyone for me, sir, and come and stay; everyone knows me.
Mr. KING. I am confident that that is a very accurate response.
Mr. FULLER. In fact, all of you are invited, but especially Ms. Jackson Lee.
Mr. KING. And so, because of that, I will not make my final statement, with the exception that I would say this has been very informative, and I think it has brought some things out to lightnot to target your particular island, but our policy in the Western Hemisphere is what I am looking at and focused upon. So you are kind of the guinea pig for the entire Hemisphere, and I have some sympathy for that. But I do appreciate your answers and your response, and all the panelists, and I thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I yield back.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Would the gentleman yield to the chair?
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. KING. Of course.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. I have a question regarding that issue.
Ms. Palmer-Royston, how much does a passport cost, and how long does it take to obtain a passport, approximately; would you know that? I am asking you outside your legalapproximately.
Ms. PALMER-ROYSTON. For the first-time passport, it costs $85, and it can take between a few days for a very expedited service, for which there is another charge, or several weeks, 4 to 6 weeks in general, and it depends on whether we are in the busy season or the non-busy season. Apply early.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Thank you. Very good.
And Mr. Fuller, for perspective, could you give me an idea of what a night's stay in Antigua would cost in a hotelfor perspective.
Mr. FULLER. Yes, I accept that. Well, if you are going to stay at Jumli Bay, which is top-of-the-line, it will cost you aboutbetween $600 and $1,000 a day, American dollars, depending on the time of the year. But then again, if you were stayingfor example, my wife has a guest cottage
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Can it take four childrenno. [Laughter.]
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. FULLER. No, noyou could get yourself a hotel room with an all-inclusive thing, and if you work out the hotel room and take away the travel, it is nothing$20, $30 a day, sir.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. All right. Very good. And once again, this is just to put this whole idea in perspective.
I appreciate the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. FULLER. I understand where you are coming from, sir.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. I appreciate the gentleman for yielding.
In conclusion, the Members will have 5 legislative days to insert remarks into the record, as well as the very industrious
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Yes. I would like to have unanimous consent, Mr. ChairmanI asked, but I do not think you ruled on itI would like unanimous consent to include this very attractive picture of a 7-year-old who traveled from Niagara Falls, Ontario on his bike across the U.S.-Canadian borderI am sure his parents were not happyon Saturday, undetected by U.S. Customs. And he traveled 8.5 miles and ended his journey at a busy intersection in Niagara Falls, NY. I ask unanimous consentthis is the Houston Chronicle, Tuesday, May 13, 2003.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Without objection.
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The Committee wishes to thank all the members of the panel for your testimony and your participation in this. Especially, Mr. Fuller, we appreciate your coming from Antigua
Mr. FULLER. It has been a lot of fun, sir. Thank you.
Mr. HOSTETTLER.and representing, as Mr. King pointed out, all of the Western Hemisphere
Mr. FULLER. My prime minister asked me to make that point for all of them.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Yes, yes, sir.
Mr. FULLER. Thank you, sir.
I thank the panel, and the business of the Subcommittee being completed, this hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:38 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
Material Submitted for the Hearing Record
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PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE SHEILA JACKSON LEE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS
John Allen Muhammad produced more than 20 sets of fraudulent United States driver's licenses with photographs and corresponding birth certificates. He sold them to Jamaican nationals who used them to enter the United States as American citizens. According to John Fuller, who investigated Muhammad, the production of these documents was not extremely difficult and did not require sophisticated skills. Muhammad just needed a computer and a scanner, a template for the driver's license and for the birth certificate, a photograph, a laminating machine, and a careless immigration officer.
Robert Cramer from the General Accounting Office (GAO) will discuss the results of a January 30, 2003, report on a project that was performed at the request of the Senate Committee on Finance. The Finance Committee was concerned about the illegal transportation of currency through our borders, especially counterfeit money and terrorism funds. It asked the agents of the Office of Special Investigations at GAO to attempt to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, and Jamaica at land, air, and sea ports of entry using fictitious identities and counterfeit identification documents.
The report to the Senate Committee concludes that (1) people who enter the United States are not always asked to present identification; (2) security to prevent unauthorized persons from entering the United States from Canada is inadequate at the border park they visited; and (3) immigration inspectors are not readily capable of detecting counterfeit documents.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In February of 2003, the Inspector General of the Justice Department issued a similar report. Unfortunately, we cannot discuss the substance of this report now. The only part of the Inspector General's report that can be discussed in public is the Executive Summary.
According to the Executive Summary, the capability of immigration inspectors to analyze advance passenger information to identify high-risk and inadmissible travelers is limited by a lack of adequate resources. The lookout system for spotting high-risk and inadmissible travelers does not always provide primary inspectors with available, critical information. Primary inspectors were not always querying lookout databases as required, and controls were not sufficient to ensure that all primary inspectors and supervisors could access backup information in the event of system outages.
The report concludes that although $19 million was used in Fiscal Year 2002 to provide basic training to approximately 1,000 new immigration inspectors, the training was inadequate in two important areas, on the use of the computer systems that provide lookouts and other critical information and on terrorism awareness.
I recognize the urgent need to address these problems, but I want to emphasize that we need to proceed with caution. A sledge hammer approach to border security could adversely effect our economy. Visiting international tourists and business entrepreneurs are a valuable component of our nation's economy. Last year, more than 41 million international visitors generated $88 billion in expenditures and accounted for more than one million jobs nationwide.
We need to address the fundamental weaknesses in our border security system that allowed this situation to develop. For instance, it is apparent that our immigration inspectors have not received sufficient training on identifying fraudulent documents, which should not be difficult to provide. Also, I know from personal experience that there is a serious problem with the recruitment and retention of immigration inspectors. It is common for the immigration inspection stations at Houston's international airport to be understaffed. Making matters worse, many of the inspectors that are at these stations are inexperienced. I believe that these and other fundamental weaknesses in our border security system can be addressed legislatively.
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I introduced a Border Patrol Recruitment and Retention Act in a previous Congress. An updated version of this bill could include immigration inspectors and customs agents, as well as border patrol agents. In addition to providing assistance with recruitment and retention issues, such a bill could provide urgently needed additional resources for training and technology.
ARTICLE FROM Houston Chronicle submitted by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
WASHINGTON STATE DRIVER'S LICENSE OF RUSSEL DWIGHT (ACTUALLY JOHN ALLEN MUHAMMED)
STATE OF FLORIDA CERTIFICATE OF LIVE BIRTH FOR RUSSEL DWIGHT
ALABAMA STATE CERTIFICATE OF LIVE BIRTH
MICHIGAN STATE CERTIFICATE OF LIVE BIRTH