Title IV: Border Protection

Provisions in this title authorized appropriations to triple the number of U.S. Border Patrol, Customs Service, and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) personnel posted at the border with Canada. (In other legislation related to the September 11, 2001, attacks, in March 2003, Customs, INS, and Border Patrol became part of the newly formed Department of Homeland Security.) Provisions in this title also enhance immigration provisions. For example, the Secretary of State now has the authority to designate domestic terrorist organizations. A domestic terrorist organization is defined as any organization that has ever used a weapon or dangerous device to cause substantial damage to property. The law also makes any non-citizen members of the group inadmissible to the U.S.; payment of dues is a deportable offense. Moreover, aliens are inadmissible to the U.S. if they belong to a group “whose public endorsement of acts of terrorist activity the Secretary of State has determined undermines United States efforts to reduce or eliminate terrorist activities.”

Section 416 addresses the foreign student monitoring program. It compels schools to turn over information on foreign students for analysis and investigation.

Section 412 of Title IV is another controversial section of the Patriot Act. It permits up to seven days of detention for aliens suspected of terrorism, before they must be charged with a crime or removal proceedings are commenced. Moreover, an immigrant who has been charged with a violation may be held for up to six months if the immigrant’s release would threaten national security.

The first Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, stated in 2004, “We share nearly 7,500 miles of land border with Canada and Mexico, across which more than 400 million people, 130 million motor vehicles and 2.5 million rail cars pass every year. We patrol almost 95,000 miles of shoreline and navigable waters … We have to get it right millions of times a week. But the terrorists only have to get it right once.”

Inside Title IV: Border Protection