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Congressman Barletta wants stricter visa enforcement

Written by Matt Paul and Radio Pennsylvania | Jul 13, 2013 5:12 AM
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(Undated) -- The Republican-led US House is expected to employ a piecemeal approach to the immigration issue, instead of acting on one sweeping bill the way the US Senate did, and midstate Congressman Lou Barletta wants his colleagues to take up stricter visa enforcement. His bill is called the Visa Overstay Enforcement Act of 2013.

"Upon a first offense the visa overstay would bring a $10,000 fine and one year in jail, and then the illegal immigrant may not be legally admitted to the United States for 5 years from the date of conviction, and may not apply for a visa for 10 years after the conviction," Barletta says. A second offense, under Barletta's bill, would result in a lifetime ban from the US.

Barletta -- whose district includes parts of Cumberland, Perry, Dauphin and Northumberland counties -- says more than 40 percent of illegal immigrants are in the country on expired visas.

He made his name as the mayor of Hazelton when he pushed for laws cracking down on illegal immigrants in the city.

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