POLITICS

Lindsey Graham admits Schumer-Rubio visa exit system is 'just a piece of paper'

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll,Immigration,Lindsey Graham,Visas

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of two Republican Gang of Eight members on the Senate Judiciary Committee, admitted today that the visa entry and exit system in the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill is just “a piece of paper.”

“Sen. Cornyn, I want you to know that if it were left up to me we would have a biometric Social Security card. We wouldn’t just have a piece of paper,” Graham said while debating an amendment from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, which would have required a biometric tracking system for temporary guest workers before any temporary guest workers were given visas. “When it comes to the exit system,” Graham continued, “I’m where Sen. Flake’s at. … I want biometrics as far as the eye can see and as many ways as possible post-9/11. But to make it a trigger, in light of how much it costs and how long it takes, I just think goes to far.”

Grassley later withdrew the amendment from consideration. A similar amendment from Grassley requiring a biometric visa entry and exit system before illegal immigrants were granted amnesty, was also rejected Tuesday. Graham and Flake both voted against that amendment.

The effectiveness of the visa entry and exit system is a key part of the immigration debate since an estimated 40 percent of all illegal immigrants actually entered the country legally using a visa, but then illegally stayed in the United States after their visa expired. Without an effective visa exit tracking system, the Shcumer-Rubio amnesty is guaranteed not to be the last.

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