Security Presidential Directive-2
Combating Terrorism Through Immigration Policies
October 29, 2001
A. National Policy
The United States has a long and valued tradition of welcoming immigrants and
visitors. But the attacks of September 11, 2001, showed that some come to the
United States to commit terrorist acts, to raise funds for illegal terrorist
activities, or to provide other support for terrorist operations, here and abroad.
It is the policy of the United States to work aggressively to prevent aliens
who engage in or support terrorist activity from entering the United States
and to detain, prosecute, or deport any such aliens who are within the United
1. Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force
By November 1, 2001, the Attorney General shall create the Foreign Terrorist
Tracking Task Force (Task Force), with assistance from the Secretary of State,
the Director of Central Intelligence and other officers of the government, as
appropriate. The Task Force shall ensure that, to the maximum extent permitted
by law, Federal agencies coordinate programs to accomplish the following: 1)
deny entry into the United States of aliens associated with, suspected of being
engaged in, or supporting terrorist activity; and 2) locate, detain, prosecute,
or deport any such aliens already present in the United States.
The Attorney General shall appoint a senior official as the full-time Director
of the Task Force. The Director shall report to the Deputy Attorney General,
serve as a Senior Advisor to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security,
and maintain direct liaison with the Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization
Service (INS) on issues related to immigration and the foreign terrorist presence
in the United States. The Director shall also consult with the Assistant Secretary
of State for Consular Affairs on issues related to visa matters.
The Task Force shall be staffed by expert personnel from the Department of State,
the INS, the Federal Bureau of Investiga-tion, the Secret Service, the Customs
Service, the Intelligence Community, military support components, and other
Federal agencies as appropriate to accomplish the Task Force's mission.
The Attorney General and the Director of Central Intelligence shall ensure,
to the maximum extent permitted by law, that the Task Force has access to all
available information necessary to perform its mission, and they shall request
information from State and local governments, where appropriate.
With the concurrence of the Attorney General and the Director of Central Intelligence,
foreign liaison officers from cooperating countries shall be invited to serve
as liaisons to the Task Force, where appropriate, to expedite investigation
and data sharing.
Other Federal entities, such as the Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons
Coordination Center and the Foreign Leads Development Activity, shall provide
the Task Force with any relevant information they possess concerning aliens
suspected of engaging in or supporting terrorist activity.
2. Enhanced INS and Customs Enforcement Capability
The Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, assisted by the Director
of Central Intelligence, shall immediately develop and implement multi-year
plans to enhance the investigative and intelligence analysis capabilities of
the INS and the Customs Service. The goal of this enhancement is to increase
significantly efforts to identify, locate, detain, prosecute or deport aliens
associated with, suspected of being engaged in, or supporting terrorist activity
within the United States.
The new multi-year plans should significantly increase the number of Customs
and INS special agents assigned to Joint Terrorism Task Forces, as deemed appropriate
by the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury. These officers shall
constitute new positions over and above the existing on-duty special agent forces
of the two agencies.
3. Abuse of International Student Status
The United States benefits greatly from international students who study in
our country. The United States Government shall continue to foster and support
The Government shall implement measures to end the abuse of student visas and
prohibit certain international students from receiving education and training
in sensitive areas, including areas of study with direct application to the
development and use of weapons of mass destruction. The Government shall also
prohibit the education and training of foreign nationals who would use such
training to harm the United States or its Allies.
The Secretary of State and the Attorney General, working in conjunction with
the Secretary of Education, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology
Policy, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Energy, and any other departments
or entities they deem necessary, shall develop a program to accomplish this
goal. The program shall identify sensitive courses of study, and shall include
measures whereby the Depart-ment of State, the Department of Justice, and United
States academic institutions, working together, can identify problematic applicants
for student visas and deny their applications. The program shall provide for
tracking the status of a foreign student who receives a visa (to include the
proposed major course of study, the status of the individual as a full-time
student, the classes in which the student enrolls, and the source of the funds
supporting the student's education).
The program shall develop guidelines that may include control mechanisms, such
as limited duration student immigration status, and may implement strict criteria
for renewing such student immigration status. The program shall include guidelines
for exempting students from countries or groups of countries from this set of
In developing this new program of control, the Secretary of State, the Attorney
General, and the Secretary of Education shall consult with the academic community
and other interested parties. This new program shall be presented through the
Homeland Security Council to the President within 60 days.
The INS, in consultation with the Department of Education, shall conduct periodic
reviews of all institutions certified to receive nonimmigrant students and exchange
visitor program students. These reviews shall include checks for compliance
with record keeping and reporting requirements. Failure of institutions to comply
may result in the termination of the institution's approval to receive such
4. North American Complementary Immigration Policies
The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of the Treasury and
the Attorney General, shall promptly initiate negotiations with Canada and Mexico
to assure maximum possible compatibility of immigration, customs, and visa policies.
The goal of the negotiations shall be to provide all involved countries the
highest possible level of assurance that only individuals seeking entry for
legitimate purposes enter any of the countries, while at the same time minimizing
border restrictions that hinder legitimate trans-border commerce.
As part of this effort, the Secretaries of State and the Treasury and the Attorney
General shall seek to substantially increase sharing of immigration and customs
information. They shall also seek to establish a shared immigration and customs
control data-base with both countries. The Secretary of State, the Secretary
of the Treasury, and the Attorney General shall explore existing mechanisms
to accomplish this goal and, to the maximum extent possible, develop new methods
to achieve optimal effectiveness and relative transparency. To the extent statutory
provisions prevent such information sharing, the Attorney General and the Secretaries
of State and the Treasury shall submit to the Director of the Office of Management
and Budget proposed remedial legislation.
5. Use of Advanced Technologies for Data Sharing and Enforcement Efforts
The Director of the OSTP, in conjunction with the Attorney General and the Director
of Central Intelligence, shall make recommendations about the use of advanced
technology to help enforce United States immigration laws, to implement United
States immigration programs, to facilitate the rapid identification of aliens
who are suspected of engaging in or supporting terrorist activity, to deny them
access to the United States, and to recommend ways in which existing government
databases can be best utilized to maximize the ability of the government to
detect, identify, locate, and apprehend potential terrorists in the United States.
Databases from all appropriate Federal agencies, state and local govern-ments,
and commercial databases should be included in this review. The utility of advanced
data mining software should also be addressed. To the extent that there may
be legal barriers to such data sharing, the Director of the OSTP shall submit
to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget proposed legislative
remedies. The study also should make recommendations, propose timelines, and
project budgetary requirements.
The Director of the OSTP shall make these recommendations to the President through
the Homeland Security Council within 60 days.
6. Budgetary Support
The Office of Management and Budget shall work closely with the Attorney General,
the Secretaries of State and of the Treasury, the Assistant to the President
for Homeland Security, and all other appropriate agencies to review the budgetary
support and identify changes in legislation necessary for the implementation
of this directive and recommend appropriate support for a multi-year program
to provide the United States a robust capability to prevent aliens who engage
in or support terrorist activity from entering or remaining in the United States
or the smuggling of implements of terrorism into the United States. The Director
of the Office of Management and Budget shall make an interim report through
the Homeland Security Council to the President on the recommended program within
30 days, and shall make a final report through the Homeland Security Council
to the President on the recommended program within 60 days.