Graham Statement on Hutchison-Pence Immigration Reform Plan
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the comprehensive immigration reform plan introduced by U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Representative Mike Pence (R-IN).
According to a preview story in today's Washington Post, the plan allows most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States a chance to work here legally, but only after the government certifies the U.S. borders have been sufficiently secured. Illegal immigrants would "self-deport" to their home countries within two years of the bill's enactment and apply for a new kind of visa allowing them to quickly return to the United States and legally work. After 17 years they could apply for citizenship while remaining in the United States.
He made the following statement:
"I am very pleased Senator Hutchison and Representative Pence have put a comprehensive solution to our nation's immigration problems on the table. If we will engage in problem solving, instead of political blame, we can make tremendous progress on this issue.
"I consider the Hutchison-Pence proposal to be another step in the right direction. I look forward to reviewing the details of their plan and discussing with them how we can move this very important issue forward.
"With continued presidential leadership, I believe the odds are in favor of Congress passing a comprehensive solution which secures our borders, establishes workable employer enforcement mechanisms, and institutes a procedure to deal with the estimated 11 million undocumented workers in the United States."