May 21 2013

Graham Amendments Addressing Additional Background Checks, Asylum, and Visa Overstays Passes Senate Judiciary Committee

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed three amendments introduced by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina).


The Graham Amendments to the bipartisan Senate immigration bill would:


  • Require Extra Background Checks for Aliens from Dangerous Countries.  The Graham Amendment requires additional background checks be performed on aliens petitioning for legalization that come from countries or regions the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State determine represent a threat to the national security of the United States.
  • Close a Potentially Dangerous Loophole in our Asylum and Refugee Program.  Another Graham Amendment would terminate an individual’s asylum or refugee status in most cases where the person returns to his or her home country.  The amendment would limit the ability of those seeking asylum in the United States to travel back to their home country without approval from the Secretary of Homeland Security or Attorney General.
  • Toughen Up on Visa Overstays.  About 40 percent of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants did not illegally come across the border but simply overstayed their legal visas.  A third Graham Amendment requires visa overstay information collected under a new integrated mandatory exit system be shared with federal law enforcement, intelligence, and national security agencies and that the Secretary of DHS use that information to locate and remove aliens unlawfully present.