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Immigration Reform: First Secure Border, Says Sen. Lindsey Graham

5 years ago
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Sen. Lindsey Graham and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano clashed Tuesday over whether the Senate should move forward immediately on immigration reform, with Graham betting "everything I own" that a comprehensive bill will not pass this year unless the nation first secures its border with Mexico.

An angry Graham (R-S.C.) earlier backed away from his support for a climate change bill after learning the Obama adminstration wants to begin a new push for immigration reform, with legislation likely to grant legal status to undocumented workers -- if certain conditions are met. The hubbub started after Arizona enacted a state law last week giving police the authority stop, question and detain suspects when authorities have a reasonable suspicion they may be in the country illegally.

A renewed effort to pass immigration reform "will be absolutely devastating to this issue," Graham told Napolitano at a Judiciary Committee hearing, The Hill Newspaper reported. Before moving on a new federal law, he said the government should deal with "the big elephant in the room -- the borders are not secure and there's a [drug] war going on."

But Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona, held her ground at the hearing. "I would bet you everything I own that Congress needs to take up comprehensive immigration reform," she said, answering Graham's wager. "I say this again, as someone who has walked that border, ridden it, flown it, and driven it: I believe it is as secure as it ever has been."

Republicans argue that Democrats want to revive the immigration issue on Capitol Hill as a play for Latino votes in the November elections. The Arizona law, which has provoked a national debate on immigration, will take effect after three months if it survives possible legal challenges.

At the Justice Department Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Arizona law is already under review and may be challenged in federal court, according to the AP.

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washington politicians must remember that themajority of the ILLEGALS who are by definition criminals didnot come here to the US because they were targeted in their owsn country for political or religious beliefs but that they were looking for better jobs at the expense of the American workers. to top it all, they also choose to bring their own language and customs with them which is completely against the melting pot theory. Our national language is ENGLISH and should be noted as such by law.

July 01 2010 at 8:12 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Paul FIQUET's comment
dc walker

there are over 35 visas offered for part time, full time, research, medical, professors, scientists, agriculture etc. There is also a border crossing card whereby Mexicans can cross to visit family, go to schools on the US side, ask for seasonal work etc for up to 72 hours within 25 miles of the border. Why not come in with your border card and then disappear. The reason people don't go this route is simple, They have criminal records in the US or in their home country, they cannot qualify because of an illness, or the best reason they can work here and not pay taxes, get free medical care for themselves and their children. Anyone who has worked the border each and every day knows that going to a consulate to apply and a background check is just not in their purview. Instead of fixing the problems in Mexico its easier for them to bring them here. Want to fix the situation. Tell Mexico to educate past the sixth grade and just maybe their people will have a chance in their own country.

August 02 2010 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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