- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 8, 2001

History lesson
He never ceases to amaze Americans 50 and more years his junior.
So perhaps it's not surprising that Sen. Strom Thurmond, who in a few weeks turns 99, is an original co-sponsor and assisted in drafting a most urgent immigration control measure the Visa Entry Reform Act.
And in doing so, the South Carolina Republican is recalling the history lessons learned in his lifetime.
"This bill will help America get back control of our borders," Mr. Thurmond says quite simply. "The terrorist attacks of September 11 have demonstrated how dangerous it can be for us to fail to know who is coming into our country."
Among key points, the legislation would create one centralized database for all noncitizens, integrated by all law-enforcement and intelligence services so relevant agencies could share and gain access to critical data. Airlines, cruise ships and crossborder bus lines would also be required to submit passenger manifests prior to departure, providing ample time for U.S. authorities to conduct background checks on visitors.
And the legislation would impose greater control on student visas, requiring schools to report quarterly to the Immigration & Naturalization Service.
"If a foreign student dropped out, or failed to register or attend classes, the school would be required to notify the INS immediately," notes Mr. Thurmond, who on the heels of World War II ran for president in 1948.
In fact, a provision of the bill inserted at Mr. Thurmond's request requires a General Accounting Office study on whether the United States should return to an annual registration of aliens.
"This was a World War II-era program that was essentially abandoned about 20 years ago," says Mr. Thurmond, who believes annual registration is needed again "to determine whether temporary aliens are actually here for the reasons they were authorized to enter, such as attend school."
"I believe this reform could be very beneficial to our security," the eight-term senator says. "The terrorism threat we face today is no less serious than the more conventional wars we fought in the past."

How true
"I will be contributing to myself as well as the defense of this country and the betterment of the world."
High school paper about one's future plans, written by Army Ranger Spc. John J. Edmunds, a member of Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Rangers, who died in a recent helicopter crash in Pakistan while providing rescue relief for fellow American troops in Afghanistan.

No red line
It's not so much a war on terrorism as it is a race against terrorism.
Sobering words from Rep. Christopher Shays, Connecticut Republican, who says there's no line terrorists won't cross "and no limit to what they might and in fact will do."
"We are in a race with terrorists," prefers Mr. Shays, "to prevent them from getting a better delivery system for chemical and biological agents, to get nuclear waste material to explode in a bomb, a conventional bomb, or even to get a nuclear weapon. They will use all of those weapons because there is no red line to them."

Scarlet Crow
Sen. Byron Dorgan, North Dakota Democrat, went looking for a buried Indian in the Congressional Cemetery east of Capitol Hill and instead found "a rather forlorn place" in need of dignity.
The senator tells us he was interested in American Indians who are buried in the Congressional Cemetery, particularly Scarlet Crow, a member of the Wahpeton-Sisseton Sioux Tribe who died under mysterious circumstances in Washington in 1867.
Mr. Dorgan says he went to the cemetery to find Scarlet Crow's tombstone, finding a once-hallowed burial ground that's fallen into disrepair. He went back to his office and asked his colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee for the needed funding to "spruce up" the cemetery, and now has been granted $1.25 million for the effort.
"It is my hope that this funding will honor the memory of Scarlet Crow by restoring dignity to his final resting place," the senator says. "This funding is a tribute to this dedicated native American, Scarlet Crow, whose life came to such a tragic and untimely end in our nation's capital."
From what we can gather, an apparently robust Scarlet Crow was in Washington to meet with government officials when he suddenly was found dead of "natural causes." Some, though, suspect he was murdered.

Can't trust anybody
There is no truth to the rumor that knitting needles were confiscated from one woman's carry-on bag at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport for fear that once on board the airplane she would knit an afghan.


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