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Security at O'Hare Airport

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

(Mr. ROSKAM asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Mr. ROSKAM. Madam Speaker, I rise this morning to address a new development surrounding our Nation's airports. I represent Illinois' Sixth Congressional District, which is the home of Chicago O'Hare International Airport. O'Hare is the world's second busiest airport, and a week ago agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Unit, a division of Homeland Security known as ICE, as well as Cook County sheriffs deputies, raided warehouses and secured areas at O'Hare, arresting over 27 alleged illegal aliens who had received fraudulent identification badges from a local employment agency. These illegal individuals had access to the tarmac, to cargo, as well as other secure areas putting them in direct contact with aircraft.

That is why I am an original cosponsor of legislation introduced by my friend and colleague, Mr. Kirk from Illinois.

It gives authority for any airport Federal security director to designate airport areas that he or she certifies as a critical area for transportation security as a special security zone. Once an area at an airport is declared a security zone, it is off-limits to illegal aliens.

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Once an area at an airport is declared a ``special security zone'' only the airport's Federal Security Director can issue security badges to these zones.

This legislation also states that only U.S. Nationals who have been cleared by Basic Pilot Program verification system can be given security access badges to these zones.

We must be tough when it comes to airport security because it is our first line in defense here at home against terrorists who want to kill more Americans.

I ask my fellow colleague in the House to join me in securing our airports and cosponsor this vital piece of legislation.

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