[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[June 9, 1998]
[Pages 928-929]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Message to the Congress Transmitting Proposed International Crime 
Control Legislation
June 9, 1998

To the Congress of the United States:
    I am transmitting for immediate consideration and enactment the 
``International Crime Control Act of 1998'' (ICCA). The ICCA is one of 
the foremost initiatives highlighted in my Administration's 
International Crime Control Strategy, which I announced on May 12, 1998. 
The proposed legislation would substantially improve the ability of U.S. 
law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute international 
criminals, seize their money and assets, intercept them at our borders, 
and prevent them from striking at our people and institutions.
    Advances in technology, the resurgence of democracy, and the 
lowering of global political and economic barriers have brought 
increased freedom and higher living standards to countries around the 
world, including our own. However, these changes have also provided new 
opportunities for international criminals trafficking in drugs, 
firearms, weapons of mass destruction, and human beings, and engaging in 
fraud, theft, extortion, and terrorism.
    In response to these formidable threats to the American people, I 
have directed the Departments of Justice, State, and the Treasury, as 
well as the Federal law enforcement and intelligence communities, to 
intensify their ongoing efforts to combat international crime. In order 
to carry out this mandate most effectively, the many departments and 
agencies involved need the additional tools in the proposed ICCA that 
will enhance Federal law enforcement authority in several key areas, 
close gaps in existing laws, and facilitate global cooperation against 
international crime.
    The ICCA's provisions focus on seven essential areas to improve the 
Federal Government's ability to prevent, investigate, and punish 
international crimes and criminals:
    (1) Investigating and Punishing Acts of Violence Committed Against 
Americans Abroad
    Broadens existing criminal law to authorize the 
            investigation and punishment of organized crime groups who 
            commit serious criminal acts against Americans abroad. 
            (Current law generally requires a link to terrorist 
    Provides jurisdiction in the United States over violent acts 
            committed abroad against State and local officials while in 
            other countries on official Federal business.
    (2) Strengthening U.S. Air, Land, and Sea Borders
    Increases penalties for smugglers who endanger Federal law 
            enforcement officials seeking to interdict their activities, 
            introducing the Federal criminal offense of ``portrunning'' 
            (i.e., evading border inspections, often through the use of 
    Addresses gaps in current law relating to maritime drug 
            interdiction operations, introducing the criminal offense of 
            failing to stop (``heave to'') a vessel at the direction of 
            a Coast Guard or other Federal law enforcement official 
            seeking to board that vessel.
    Provides clear authority to search international, outbound 
            letter-class mail if there is reasonable cause to suspect 
            that the mail contains monetary instruments, drugs, weapons 
            of mass destruction, or merchandise mailed in violation of 
            several enumerated statutes (including obscenity and export 
            control laws).
    Broadens the ability to prosecute criminals smuggling goods 
            out of the United States.
    (3) Denying Safe Haven to International Fugitives
    Authorizes the extradition, in certain circumstances, of 
            suspected criminals to foreign nations in two separate cases 
            not covered by a treaty: (1) when the United States has an 
            extradition treaty with the

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            nation, but the applicable treaty is an outdated ``list'' 
            treaty that does not cover the offense for which extradition 
            is sought; and (2) when the United States does not have an 
            extradition treaty with the requesting nation.
    Provides for exclusion from the United States of drug 
            traffickers and their immediate family members and of 
            persons who attempt to enter the United States in order to 
            avoid prosecution in another country.
    (4) Seizing and Forfeiting the Assets of International Criminals
    Expands the list of money laundering ``predicate crimes'' to 
            include certain violent crimes, international terrorism, and 
            bribery of public officials, thus increasing the 
            availability of money laundering enforcement tools.
    Broadens the definition of ``financial institution'' to 
            include foreign banks, thereby closing a loophole involving 
            criminally derived funds laundered through foreign banks 
            doing business here.
    Provides new tools to crack down on businesses illegally 
            transmitting money, and to investigate money laundering 
            under the Bank Secrecy Act.
    Toughens penalties for violations of the International 
            Emergency Economic Powers Act.
    Criminalizes attempted violations of the Trading With the 
            Enemy Act.
    (5) Responding to Emerging International Crime Problems 
    Enhances enforcement tools for combating arms trafficking, 
            including requiring ``instant checks'' of the criminal 
            history of those acquiring explosive materials from Federal 
            licensees and clarifying Federal authority to conduct 
            undercover transactions subject to the Arms Export Control 
            Act for investigative purposes.
    Addresses the increasing problem of alien smuggling by 
            authorizing the forfeiture of the proceeds and all 
            instrumentalities of alien smuggling.
    Cracks down on the international shipment of ``precursor 
            chemicals'' used to manufacture illicit drugs, primarily by 
            authorizing the Drug Enforcement Administration to require 
            additional ``end-use'' verification.
    Provides extraterritorial jurisdiction for fraud involving 
            credit cards and other ``access devices,'' which cost U.S. 
            businesses hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
    Authorizes wiretapping for investigations of felony computer 
            crime offenses.
    (6) Promoting Global Cooperation
    Expands the authority of U.S. law enforcement agencies to 
            share the seized assets of international criminals with 
            foreign law enforcement agencies.
    Provides new authority, applicable in cases where there is 
            no mutual legal assistance treaty provision, to transfer a 
            person in United States Government custody to a requesting 
            country temporarily for purposes of a criminal proceeding.
    (7) Streamlining the Investigation and Prosecution of International 
Crime in U.S. Courts
    Authorizes the Attorney General to use funds to defray 
            translation, transportation, and other costs of State and 
            local law enforcement agencies in cases involving fugitives 
            or evidence overseas.
    Facilitates the admission into evidence in U.S. court 
            proceedings of certain foreign government records.
    The details of this proposal are described in the enclosed section-
by-section analysis. I urge the prompt and favorable consideration of 
this legislative proposal by the Congress.

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,

June 9, 1998.