Jun 11 2007

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and U.S. Representative Gresham Barrett today announced Clemson University will receive three scientific research grants totaling $1.3 million.

Clemson will receive:

  • $878,750 for a project entitled, "Biosystems Technology ATE Project.”
  • $335,000 for a project entitled, "Shoots, Roots & Nodules: A Molecular Genetic Dissection of Local & Long Distance Signaling in M. Truncatula."
  • $125,237 for a project entitled, "Computer-Aided Collaborative Reasoning across the Curriculum.”

The grants were awarded by the National Science Foundation.

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Jun 11 2007

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Furman University and Greenville Technical College will receive $1.1 million in scientific research grants.

Furman

Furman University will receive a $272,000 grant for a project entitled "RUI: Photochemistry and Photophysics of Macrocyclic Chromium(III) Complexes: An Investigation of Electronic Energy Self-Exchange."

Greenville Tech

Greenville Technical College will receive an $886,886 grant for a project entitled "Virtual Simulated Inspection (ViSIns) Laboratory: Using Interactive 3D Knowledge Objects to Promote Learning for Non-Destructive Inspection in Aviation Maintenance Technology.”

The grants were awarded by the National Science Foundation.

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Jun 08 2007

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement on the vote to bring debate to a close on the Senate immigration bill.  The motion failed by a vote of 50-45.  Sixty votes are needed to end debate.

“The legislation secures our nation’s border, ensures workers are legal, provides for a temporary guest worker program, and punishes the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States in a fair manner.  The legislation is far from perfect, but it is a realistic approach to dealing with the very serious immigration problems facing our nation.   

“The last vote in the Senate is a bump in the road to enacting comprehensive immigration reform.  Once the legislative logjam is broken, I believe a majority of Republican and Democratic Senators will approve the legislation.  There remains strong bipartisan support for the reform bill. 

“I’m optimistic the legislation will come back to the floor in a matter of weeks.  We will have more votes on the issue.  There is no good reason, given the wide support for this bill, that we cannot have a final passage vote before the July 4th break.

“President Bush deserves great credit and praise for bringing us to this point in the debate.  Without his leadership, we would not be on the verge of passing comprehensive immigration reform.  With his continued leadership I know that we will cross the finish line in the coming weeks.”

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Jun 07 2007

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement last night on the Senate floor against the Obama amendment.  The amendment would have undermined the merit-based system to handle future immigration.  It was defeated by a vote of 42-55.  Graham said:

“Thank you Mr. President.  I think it’s very appropriate that you be occupying the chair during this moment in this debate.  My good friend from Illinois says that to those who have worked so hard to get this bill to the point that it’s at, nothing personal, 'But I can’t live with this provision.'  

“You know, bipartisanship is music to the American people’s ears.  When you’re out there on the campaign trail, you’re trying to pull us all together, you’re trying to make American better.  Why can’t we work together?

“This is why we can’t work together.  Because some people -- when it comes to the tough decisions -- back away.  

“Because when you talk about bipartisanship, some Americans on the left and the right consider it heresy.  And we’re giving in if we pass this amendment.  

“The 12 million who have lived in fear for decades, my Republican colleagues and a majority have told our base we’re not going to put them in jail and we’re not going to deport them.  No matter how much you scream, no matter how much you yell, we’re going to make them right with the law.  

“We’re going to punish them, but we’re not going to play like they don’t exist.  And we are going to do thing different in the future.

“If you care about family, under this bill people are united in eight years who would wait 30 years to get here.  If you care about families wanting to wake up one morning and not be afraid, this bill does it.

“This amendment, in the name of making the bill better, says bipartisanship doesn’t have the “bi” in it.  It means that everybody over here who’s walked the plank and told our base you’re wrong, you’re going to destroy this deal.  And that is exactly what it is, a deal.  

“A deal to make American more secure, to give people a chance to start their lives over again and to have a new system that has a strong pro-family component but will make us competitive with the world because some people don’t want to say to the loud folks – ‘No, you can’t have your way all the time.’  

“Now let me tell you, this is about as bipartisan as you’ll get Mr. President.  Some of us on the Republican side have been beat up and some of you on the Democratic side have been beat up because we’ve tried to find a way forward on a problem that nobody else wants to deal with.

“To my friend, Senator Kennedy, thank you for trying to find a way, as much as we’re different, to make this country better, more secure, to treat the 12 million people in a way they’ve never been treated, and in my opinion, deserve to be treated, and a chance to start over.  What a sweet idea it is to have a second chance in life.  Well, they’re not going to get it if this [amendment] passes and American will be the worse for it.  

“What a great opportunity we have as a country not to repeat mistakes of 1986 by having a merit-based immigration system that has a strong family component but frees up some green cards so we can be competitive.  

“So when you’re out on the campaign trail my friend, tell them about why we can’t come together.  This is why.”

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Jun 07 2007

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) voted in support of the Inhofe Amendment which declares English the national language of the United States .  The amendment, introduced by Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) was accepted by a vote of 64-33 and is now part of the Senate immigration bill.

“The Inhofe amendment, like many others which have been adopted by the Senate, is moving the immigration bill in the right direction,” said Graham.  “English is the language that unites us as a people and I’m proud to vote for passage of this important amendment.” 

The Inhofe Amendment states that no person has a “right, entitlement or claim to have the Government of the United States or any of its officials or representatives act, communicate, perform or provide services, or provide materials in any language other than English….”

It also makes clear that the U.S. government and federal agencies should “preserve and enhance the role of English as the national language of the United States of America ." 

The Heritage Foundation has called the amendment “both sensible and necessary.”  English First said the amendment “is essential toward moving the Senate immigration bill toward the idea of assimilation.”    

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Jun 06 2007

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and U.S. Representatives Henry Brown and Joe Wilson today announced the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will receive a $2,316,000 grant to help administer its coastal zone management (CZM) program.

The funds will provide support for CZM planning, permitting, enforcement, outreach, and technical assistance.  Additionally, funds may be used to support initiatives to create an ocean management plan and to build coastal community resilience to shoreline change.

The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  This award marks the 30th year that NOAA has provided coastal management assistance to South Carolina.

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Jun 06 2007

Graham, Wilson Announce $175 Million Building Project at Fort Jackson

Army Estimates 65-70 percent of the Project Costs will be Spent Locally

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and U.S. Representative Joe Wilson today announced a $175 million housing project at Fort Jackson.  The Residential Communities Initiative (RCI) project will construct 693 new three and four-bedroom townhouse/duplex and single-family homes; renovate 291 homes; and construct a new community center with basketball and volleyball courts, playground, open-air pavilion, walking trails, and parks.

The RCI is a public/private joint venture between the U.S. Army and GMH/Centex Military Communities, LLC.

“The men and women who serve our nation in uniform deserve access to quality housing,” said Graham.  “This project will provide hundreds of new and renovated homes for the soldiers and the families stationed at Fort Jackson.  It will also provide an economic boost to the local economy.  I’m pleased the Army has decided to move forward on this important project.”

"Providing improved living conditions for our soldiers and their families increases their morale and quality of life,” said Wilson.  “The men and women sacrificing for our country deserve no less than the best.  I am pleased our military families at Fort Jackson will soon have the opportunity to reside in top-notch housing facilities."

According to estimates from the Army, approximately 65-70 percent of the total project cost will be spent locally for subcontractors, building material, and other goods.  Of the total project cost, the Army is investing up to $43.9 million, with the remainder coming from the private sector partner.

The project is expected to be completed in six years.  The new housing will consist of townhouse/duplex and single-family units complete with one to three car garages.  The new homes will feature regional architectural themes, modern interior layouts with abundant storage, and modern energy-saving appliances.

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Jun 01 2007

Three Key Points on Worksite Enforcement Provisions

  1. To crack down on the hiring of illegal workers, the immigration reform bill sets up an Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification System (EEVS) to help employers verify the status of the workers they hire.
  2. Employers will be required to verify the work eligibility of all employees using EEVS and all workers will be required to present stronger and more readily verifiable identification documents.
  3. The legislation imposes stiff new Criminal and Civil penalties on employers who hire illegal workers.

EEVS will Help Employers follow the law and hold Employers who hire Illegal Workers Accountable

  • Under the legislation, a reliable Employment Eligibility Verification System (EEVS) must be established and in use before any temporary worker or V-visas are issued.
  • All employers will be required to use EEVS to verify their employee’s work eligibility.
  • EEVS will be founded on unprecedented sharing of information across numerous electronic databases.  These include:
Social Security Administration records;
State Department passport and visa records (including photographs);

Birth and death records maintained by State Vital Statistics agencies; and

State driver’s license information.
  • For the first time, EEVS will allow employers to verify the authenticity of documents by providing access to identification photographs in government databases.

 

EEVS Will Build Upon the Current Basic Pilot Model

  • Under the Immigration Reform Bill ALL U.S. Employers will be required to use EEVS to verify their Employees' work eligibility.  Under the current system, only a small percentage of U.S. employers participate in Basic Pilot, the voluntary program established to help employers determine the legal status of new hires.  Under the bill, all U.S. employers will be required to check new hires using EEVS after an initial 18-month phase-in.  Within three years, employers must use EEVS to verify the work eligibility of all employees not previously verified through the system. 

 

  • EEVS will require workers to present a limited range of secure Government-Issued or Government-Authorized IDs, which will be checked electronically against Federal and State Databases.  EEVS allows for only a limited range of stronger and more readily verifiable identification documents including: 

 

U.S. Passport issued by the State Department.

 Document issued by DHS or the State Department containing photo, biometrics, other such personal identifying info needed to ensure identity (for non-citizens).

 State-issued, REAL ID Act-compliant license presented along with a Social Security card.

 For a limited period before implementation of the REAL ID Act, a State-issued license with a photograph that can be verified by DHS, presented along with a birth certificate and Social Security card.

 

  • EEVS will allow Employers to access identification photographs in government databases to verify the authenticity of workers' documents.  In addition to the checks against Social Security Administration (SSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) databases now performed under Basic Pilot, EEVS will link to the U.S. Department of State and Departments of Motor Vehicles in individuals States to confirm issuance of identity documents and provide employers with the digital photograph associated with these documents. 

May 29 2007

WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has invited U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters to visit Grand Strand for a first-hand view of the region’s transportation needs.
Graham says Secretary Peters tentatively accepted the invitation several weeks ago and is tentatively scheduled to visit this Friday, June 1. Details of her visit are still being finalized and will be announced in the next several days.
"I am very pleased the Secretary of Transportation is scheduled to visit the Grand Strand," said Graham. "We have very pressing short and long-term transportation needs. This is an opportunity to show Secretary Peters’ first-hand our needs and encourage the department to be a partner in our effort to address them. I appreciate her willingness to come and hear our story."
Graham noted that Secretary Peters has more than a 20 year career addressing transportation needs. She earned a reputation as an innovative problem solver, a force for safety, and an advocate for the effective use of taxpayer dollars.
Peters served as Federal Highway Administrator in 2001 and served in the position until 2005. During her tenure there she placed special emphasis on finding new ways to invest in road and bridge construction. She also pursued innovative public-private partnerships that helped build roads faster and at less expense.
"Tourism is one of the leading industries in our state," said Graham. "I-73 is an incredibly important road for the future of the Grand Strand and really, the entire state. Our local, state, and federal officials understand the importance of this future interstate. Now, we need to impress upon the Secretary of DOT our unified commitment to helping turn it into reality. I think her visit to the Grand Strand will certainly help in the effort."
Graham concluded by noting that many elected officials and local organizations such as the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, the I-73 Association, and NESA deserve credit for continuing to help push for construction of I-73.
"Pushing I-73 forward truly is a team effort," said Graham.
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May 29 2007

Greenville News says 'Ignoring illegal immigration is not an option'
"Those on the far left in our country demand no punishment for those who ignored our laws by entering the United States illegally. Furthermore, they want no restrictions -- such as a requirement that this nation of immigrants recognize the English language as our common bond -- and they are offended by the notion that our immigration policy should be shaped to meet the economic needs of our nation instead of the welfare needs of other countries.

"Those on the far right refuse to acknowledge that while illegal immigrants broke our laws to get here, they did so with a wink and a nod from the federal government, major corporations and small businesses. And many of those illegal immigrants have contributed to our country by working hard and otherwise respecting our laws. Requiring all 12 million of these people -- or however many it really is -- to "just go back home" isn't an immigration reform plan, it's political posturing that doesn't advance this debate one single inch."

The State 'Compromise bill offers best hope on immigration'
".....this is an issue that needs to be addressed. Our border is too open — to illegal immigrants who often fall prey to traffickers, to smuggled drugs and to intruders with criminal or even terrorist intentions. But that is only half of our problem. The nation has a shadow society already in place, with millions living here outside the bounds of the law. They build our businesses, drive our roads and seek help in our hospitals. Our economy encourages them to come and profits from their labor. The idea that those who wish to stay will be sent packing by the millions is ludicrous. We need a system that offers a route — not a shortcut, but an opportunity to be earned — to enter the legitimate world, where they pay all taxes and obey our laws."

Anderson Independent-Mail 'Bipartisan plan: Graham stuck his neck out politically'
"There's no fully pleasing either side when it comes to immigration issues. The sides don't even agree within their own ranks on all facets of any immigration offering. For some, it's all or nothing. Everybody gets in or nobody gets in. The problem is that is impossible to accomplish. ... We see the path to legal residency and eventual citizenship, with limits on the number of people who can enter the country, as the only way to even partially begin to address illegal immigration. It will reward taking the legal route. And any plan must include requirements for employers to be strict in hiring and assuring that their employees are in this country legally. To deport 12 million people will be not only unbelievably costly but will impact prices of everything from fruits and vegetables to chicken to services."

Spartanburg Herald Journal 'Immigration Compromise'
"The immigration compromise worked out by a bipartisan coalition in Congress has flaws, but if it is left intact, it may be the only real solution the nation has toward improving the illegal immigration problem. ...But the problem is so vast that there doesn't appear to be a better solution. The United States simply cannot round up 12 million illegal immigrants and deport them. It isn't feasible, and even if it were, it wouldn't be healthy for the economy. The nation is forced to come up with a solution to assimilate the millions of illegal immigrants already here. The process outlined in the compromise is reasonable."