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WASHINGTON, D. C., JULY 17, 2003 -- A bill that includes millions of dollars of funding sought by U.S. Senator Pete Domenici for the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Roswell and the Antiterrorism Assistance Program (ATA) was approved today by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The $18.1 billion spending bill next goes to the full Senate for consideration.

The bill has $7.1 million for the ILEA, which includes funding to construct a new facility for the program at the Roswell Industrial Air Center. The bill also provides $106.4 million for the ATA, which involves the New Mexico Tech at Socorro.

“Roswell is proving to be a very good host for the ILEA program, which is helping the State Department meet its law enforcement training goals. This bill provides steady funding to keep the program on course, and to move forward with building a new facility for the program,” Domenici said.

The ILEA funding is provided through the State Department’s International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement Program. ILEA training in Roswell began in 2001 using $10 million secured by Domenici and Skeen in 1999 and 2000. It is being operated under a five-year contract with New Mexico Tech, which has partnered with Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, Sam Houston University, and the Science Applications International Corporation to carry out ILEA training.

ILEA is used to fulfill a U.S. commitment to international law enforcement in order to tackle transnational criminal issues, such as counternarcotics or money laundering.

In addition to supporting the $106.4 million appropriation for ATA, Domenici was also successful in including language directing the State Department to fully utilize the antiterrorism resources at New Mexico Tech. Earlier this year, Domenici protested moves by the State Department to relocate some ATA programs at the Socorro school, including the Rural Border Patrol Operations and Hostage Negotiation courses.

“The funding for ATA is important, but the bill also puts the State Department on notice that we in Congress expect the State Department to maintain ATA courses at New Mexico Tech. The school has provided great facilities and resources and capabilities to carry out the ATA mission. That should not end,” Domenici said.

New Mexico Tech has voluntarily provided an exclusive training area, which consists of 3,137 acres, for the Rural Border Patrol Operations program. The school has also developed a state-of-the-art firearms range for ATA training.

Established in 1983, ATA provides training and equipment to law enforcement personnel in friendly countries to deter and counter terrorist threats within their borders. ATA is carried out by Louisiana State University with New Mexico Tech as a partner.