U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the procedural motion to move the Senate immigration bill debate forward. Graham voted in support of the motion which passed 64-35.
"The Senate must move forward in fixing our broken immigration system. It's a national disgrace to allow the current chaos to continue. While the reform legislation is not perfect, it is a substantial improvement over current law.
"The legislation immediately makes available $4.4 billion in mandatory spending to secure our nation's borders. Funds will be spent on miles of new fencing, miles of new vehicle barriers, surveillance towers, detention beds, the Electronic Employee Verification System (EEVS), and other enforcement programs. The legislation also reclaims control of our nation's borders by adding thousands of new Border Patrol agents.
"Right now, there are more than 1,100 proposed state laws and countless other proposed laws at the city and county level dealing with illegal immigration. If Congress does not act this year, local and state governments will fill the vacuum and pass a hodge-podge of laws which will be nearly-impossible to comply with.
"Constructive criticism has led to many improvements in the original legislation. I expect more amendments may be adopted during the next few days of debate.
"People are skeptical -- and with good reason -- but we cannot allow this skepticism lead to inaction. If we do not address immigration reform now the problem will only get worse - not better."