Ron Paul
2001 Ron Paul Chapter 83

Safe Act

9 October 2001

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2001 Ron Paul 83:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Securing American Families Effectively (SAFE) Act. The SAFE Act makes commonsense changes to federal law that will enhance the government’s ability to prevent terrorist incidents. Unlike other proposals, my legislation in no way threatens the constitutional liberties of the American people. In fact, the only people threatened under the SAFE Act are terrorists.

2001 Ron Paul 83:2
The SAFE Act repeals regulations preventing agencies who deal with terrorism from sharing information among themselves. Currently, there are limits on sharing data with policy makers and there is a nearly unanimous agreement on lifting these restrictions. Removing the restrictions on data sharing is a good step which provides more — not less — openness and governmnent transparency.

2001 Ron Paul 83:3
Hard as it may be to believe, there are actually existing directives in the law enforcement and intelligence communities which grant suspects “extra-legal” rights. These “special” rights could, and should, be clarified without changing existing law. This is why the SAFE Act adopts several of the administration’s proposals to change the procedures regarding prosecutions of terrorism, such as eliminating the statute of limitations for terrorist offenses.

2001 Ron Paul 83:4
Perhaps the most significant change made to procedures is codifying that probable cause is the maximum standard for an investigation of terrorism. According to information received by my office some federal agencies actually have to meet a higher standard than the constitutional standard of probable cause in order to launch an investigation of suspected terrorists. It is absurd to make the FBI meet a higher standard to initiate an investigation of a terrorist than to initiate an investigation of an insider trader!

2001 Ron Paul 83:5
Finally, the SAFE Act drastically reduces immigration from countries on the State Department’s terrorist list and countries which refuse to provide assistance in the battle against terrorists. Whatever one’s feelings on other questions connected with immigration, I would hope we all could agree that the United States has an obligation to keep those who may be threats to the security of United States citizens outside the country. This is especially true considering that the programs I proposed limiting allow immigrants to take advance of taxpayer- funded educational programs and provide other special privileges for immigrants from terrorist countries. It is the height of absurdity to allow immigrants from countries involved in terrorist activities against American citizens special preferences denied to immigrants from America’s closest allies.

2001 Ron Paul 83:6
I would also hope that we could all agree that this is far preferable to systems of nationwide “surveillance,” which could threaten the liberty of all immigrants and eventually all citizens. This is an instance where the interests of liberty and security coincide entirely.

2001 Ron Paul 83:7
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in taking these commonsense steps to protecting the liberty and the security of the American people from terrorists by cosponsoring the Securing American Families Effectively (SAFE) Act.

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