The House of Representatives passed the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 on October 24, 2001. This is also known as the USA Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was designed to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world and to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools (USA Patriot Act, 2001). The events of September 11, 2001 led to the near unanimous support for the Patriot Act. In this paper, our learning team will discuss the many pros and cons of the Patriot Act of 2001.
We will begin by discussing the positive aspects of the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act amended United States Code section 2703 title 18 that dealt with electronic surveillance subpoenas thereby enhancing law enforcement's surveillance capabilities. The Patriot Act widened the scope for subpoenas for records of electronic communication. It added local and long distance telephone connection records or records of session times and durations. It also changed wording to telephone or instrument number, including network addresses. The final change to this section was making the means and source of payment for such services available.
Another positive aspect of the Patriot Act is the "Sunset Clause". This may be the most important pro of the Patriot Act. Section 224 states that most of the amendments made by the Patriot Act end on December 31, 2005. This will allow government officials to review its effectiveness and decide on the value of the amended US Patriot Act.
The final pro of the Patriot Act we will discuss is the increased restrictions on immigration. Alison Bradley (2002) said the Patriot Act "permits the indefinite suspension of immigrants on minor visa violations" (p. 1). However, the review process for detentions must be based on reasonable grounds that the alien will commit an act of terror. The aliens may be detained for...