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Republican Senator Lindsey Graham tours southern border, raises concern over new immigration policies

Updated: Feb. 19, 2021 at 9:45 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was in Tucson today, touring the southern border and raising concern over President Biden’s new immigration policies.

Senator Graham met with U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officials where he visited parts of the unfinished section of border wall in Nogales, where construction has been halted by the Biden administration.

“Even for the federal government, this is beyond dumb. I am just… this was worth the whole trip to see how stupid this is becoming,” said Graham in a Twitter video he posted during his visit.

During our interview with the Senator, we questioned his concerns over the ending of the ‘Migrant Protection Protocol,’ better known as the ‘Remain in Mexico.’ As of today, thousands of asylum-seekers who had to wait for their immigration court hearings in Mexico, could soon be allowed to wait in the United States.

He calls President Biden’s decision an ‘abusive asylum process’. He said the policy should return to its original form under former President Donald Trump.

“We can’t have everybody in the world who has a bad economic situation come to America under asylum,” he said.

As thousands of families begin the process to come into the U.S., Communications Director with the Kino Border Initiative, Sara Ritchie, said there’s thousands more who are being left out.

“There’s people who are on metering lists and people who arrived after the border closure that today’s decision leaves them out,” said Ritchie.

Our reporter Carmen Valencia questioned Graham on his stance on President Biden’s newest proposal on the table, The U.S. Citizenship Act.

Graham says it has nothing for border security.

“The only way you’re going to break the illegal immigration cycle is to punish employers who hire illegals in the future,” he said.

As the City of Tucson prepares for a second surge in asylum-seekers being released into the community, we asked Graham if he will support federal funding for communities like Tucson and the local non-profits that lend a helping hand when the situation comes.

“Yeah, I’ll try to be helpful. These people gotta go somewhere.”

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