Bush Signs Border Bill

homeland security. terror.
President Bush signed legislation Tuesday to hire more investigators and invest in new technologies to keep tabs on foreign visitors. "We must know who's coming into our country and why they're coming," Mr. Bush said.

"We must know what our visitors are doing, and when they leave," he said before signing the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act in a Rose Garden ceremony.

The bill provides for 200 new investigators and 200 inspectors for the Immigration and Naturalization Service. It requires foreign visitors to carry passports and visas that are tamper-resistant, and also gives border patrol agents a pay increase.

Under the legislation, the INS is required to establish a foreign-student tracking system that records where they've been accepted into school, when their student visas were issued and when they enrolled.

That provision addresses the avenue used by several Sept. 11 hijackers, who entered the United States on student visas.

The bill would also require that passports issued after 2003 be tamper-resistant and that visitors carry documents that can be read by machine and identify the bearer with biometrics, such as face recognition or retinal scanning technology.

Mr. Bush said he was sorry Congress didn't include in the bill a measure that would have extended a deadline for giving hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants the chance to apply for residency without leaving the United States.