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Senators argue over immigration bill ID mandates

Immigration Bill
Posted at 5:01 PM, May 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-17 17:01:00-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators weighing a landmark immigration bill have defeated an effort by Republicans to require biometric identification — such as fingerprinting — to track who is entering and leaving the country.

The amendment was by Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who said that without such a system, the legislation would not be able to achieve true border security.

An author of the bill, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, agreed with Sessions that biometric IDs are the most secure. But he said authors of the bill determined they were too costly to implement anytime soon.

Instead the bill seeks electronic scanning of photo IDs.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12 to 6 to defeat Sessions' amendment as it resumed work Tuesday on legislation remaking the U.S. immigration system.