Grassley Announces Funding Secured by Senate for Iowa INS Agents
Washington, D.C. ? Noting that aggressive oversight and hard-fought legislative efforts can make a difference for Iowa, Sen. Chuck Grassley today announced Des Moines soon will get five permanent agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and Sioux City will receive its first ever federal agent to help address growing immigration problems in the area.
As a key negotiator of the bicameral immigration conference committee, which last year reconciled the final version of the new immigration law, Grassley successfully pushed to add a provision that requires 10 INS agents to be placed in every state.
"Considering it's about 60 days past the legal deadline, I'm pleased Iowa finally will receive these additional agents. Effective immediately, an INS officer will be re-assigned from Omaha to Sioux City to work with the Tri-State Task Force. In addition, today's decision gives the INS the thumbs-up to fully staff a permanent office in Des Moines," said Grassley.
According to Grassley, a key Senate Appropriations subcommittee today signed off on the necessary funds to allocate the additional INS agents to Iowa. Grassley said these six INS officers will complement five INS agents already permanently assigned to the recently opened Cedar Rapids INS office. Grassley said two adjudications officers, who also may perform inspections at the airport; one information officer; and, two special agents will be assigned to Des Moines. An additional special agent will be assigned to Sioux City. What's more, a second INS officer in Sioux City is expected to be approved for the next fiscal year.
"An expanded permanent INS presence in Iowa will help our local law enforcement officials to deal with growing illegal immigration problems in local communities. Many Iowans have expressed concerns to me about illegal aliens who serve as the pipeline for illegal drugs coming into the U.S.," said Grassley.
A member of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on immigration, Grassley worked from the early stages of the 104th Congress to include certain amendments important to Iowans in a comprehensive illegal immigration reform package. In addition to establishing a legal requirement calling for 10 INS agents per state, Grassley worked to secure a provision which will allow local law enforcement officials to take a more active role in arresting, detaining and transporting illegal aliens for the INS.
"Although it's been frustrating to wait for the wheels of the federal bureaucracy to catch up with the new law, I'm glad Iowa finally will have more resources at the local level to handle our growing immigration problems. I think the fact Iowa will be getting at least one more agent than the law requires underscores the extent of the problem," said Grassley.