Jun 11 2007

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the City of Charleston will receive more than $2.3 million in housing program grants.

Community Development Block Grant - $1,094,273

The Community Development Block Grant program develops communities and provides housing by expanding economic opportunities for low and moderate income households.

HOME Investment Partnership - $826,621

The HOME Investment Partnership Program creates affordable housing by allowing communities to design and implement strategies tailored to their own needs and priorities.

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS - $401,000

The Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program provides housing assistance and related support services to state and local governments.

The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Jun 11 2007

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the South Carolina Department of Public Safety will receive a $5,497,757 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant.  The funds can be used for crime control and prevention programs.

South Carolina will use the grant money for:

  • Law enforcement programs that target drug distribution networks, provide equipment upgrades, and prioritize domestic violence offenses and crimes against children and the aged.
  • Prosecution and court programs that provide prosecutorial resources and concentrate on offenders accused of violent crimes and criminal domestic violence, and support services to relieve caseloads in mental health courts.
  • Prevention and education programs to reduce crime and enhance security in schools.
  • Planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs that improve interoperable communications, interconnectivity, and enhancement to data systems that promote reporting crime data.

Graham noted the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) will also receive a $351,913 grant to improve criminal history record systems.  SLED will use the funds to develop and implement a uniform RAP sheet that is compliant with both the Global Justice XML Data Model and the National Information Exchange Model.

The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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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 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 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

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 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 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.