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Schumer Presses for Immigrant Tracking Program

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a leading advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, on Wednesday urged Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to implement a program for tracking the flow of immigrants in and out of the country.“It’s been more than a decade since Congress required a comprehensive program to track who is entering and leaving the country, and still we have no such system in place,— Schumer wrote in a letter to Napolitano. “Without this program, we have no way of knowing who is coming or going at our nation’s ports of entry. This critical priority went unaddressed by the last administration, but we can’t afford to ignore it any longer,— added Schumer, the Democratic Conference vice chairman. Schumer, who also serves as chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, has vowed that Congress would tackle comprehensive immigration reform this Congress, and perhaps even this year. His letter Wednesday, in which he announced plans for a November hearing on the issue of a comprehensive system for tracking non-citizens, helps set the stage for that debate. Schumer also pointed out in his letter to Napolitano that “We have only begun to employ pilot programs for implementing an exit system at our airports, and we do not appear to have any deadlines in place for establishing an exit system at our ports of entry. Schumer’s immigration subpanel also plans to hear testimony next week from religious leaders on the potential effect of immigration reform.

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