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Visa amendments head to senate floor

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A law that would require Canadians to carry a visa to enter the United States is one step closer to being quashed.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved a funding bill amendment last week that would strike out those portions of an immigration bill passed in 1996.

That legislation amendment now has to go to the senate floor for a vote.

“I’m pleased that the Senate Appropriations Committee has included an amendment within the Commerce/Justice/State funding bill to drop these restrictions, which will leave the current border controls in place,” U.S. Sen. Rod Grams (R-Mn) said.

“If not corrected, the 1996 immigration law will result in fewer Canadians crossing the border into northern Minnesota, hurting northern Minnesota’s tourism industry, commerce, and most importantly, the livelihoods of our residents,” he added.

The visa requirement was to take effect in October.

To that end, Sen. Grams plans to continue pushing an amendment to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act, which calls on all foreigners to have a visa before entering the U.S.

If changes aren’t approved by the senate, Canadians would have to check in with U.S. Customs while entering and leaving the country.

Once it passes the senate, the bill must go back to committee for discussion. Then if it passes the senate again, it moves on for the president’s signature.

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