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U.S. Senate Candidate Calls for Focus on Visa Overstays

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GOP Senatorial candidate Karen Handel is urging Republicans to stray away from the border security-first mentality and instead focus on the issue of immigrants who overstay their visas.

Handel directs immigration debate away from border security

Handel recently discussed what she believed to be "distractions" preventing immigration reform in a video released by ThinkProgress. She believes that when enforcing immigration laws, it is important to ensure that border patrol agencies are doing their jobs. Handel surprised the audience by saying that the real focus should be on the legal immigration system first.

According to the piece, nearly half of the undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. currently came here legally but overstayed their visas. Lawmakers have made it a point to argue about what should be done to protect the border. No one can agree on the correct number of border agents, which technology to use or what procedures should be followed. Very little focus falls on visa overstays

Immigration system better off with new exit system

Handel points out that the border is more secure today than it has ever been. With more “boots on the ground” at the border than ever before in history, it is not the secure border that should be worrying politicians. Over 40 percent of all undocumented immigrants currently residing in the US came here legally then overstayed their visas.

Instead of concentrating on militarizing the border in the new Senate immigration bill, Handel claims that Congress should instead focuses on the subject of “amnesty” and whether securing the border while simultaneously implementing a new exit system that tracks visa over stayers would be more beneficial. While not everyone agrees with Handel’s “regressive” immigration laws, she may have a point with switching gears to focus on a different topic that would continue to benefit our immigration system.

The video can be seen here:

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