A new amendment in the debate over immigration was unanimously passed on May 14th last week. The brand new law allows for more monitoring of students from overseas and requires the Department of Homeland Security to put into operation the “real time transmission” of student’s US visas information to databases across the country that are used by Customs and Border Protection agents, as a result of the recent bombings in Boston.
Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa proposed the amendment, which was apparently prompted by the fact that an alleged accomplice of the two accused Boston bombers was in the United States on a student visa that had since expired.
The amendment was accepted by all parties, although a number of other fixes were rejected, including one amendment that had been proposed by Senator Jeff Sessions, who has made no secret of his opposition to the immigration bill, that would have forced visa holders to be verified when leaving the US with the use of biometric screening such as eye scans or fingerprinting.
“Immigration reform must include the best exit system possible because persons who overstay their authorized stay are a big reason we now have so many illegal immigrants,” says Senator Marco Rubio’s spokesman, Alex Conant. “We wanted the Senate Judiciary Committee to strengthen the legislation by adding biometrics to the new exit system, and we were disappointed by this morning’s vote.” The update will patch any gaps in the bill that remain relating to terrorist threats in the United States.