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Senators work through changes to immigration bill

By Erica Werner

Associated Press

Published: Monday, May 20 2013 3:49 p.m. MDT

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., right, confers with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, left, the ranking member, as the Senate Judiciary Committee assembles to work on a landmark immigration bill to secure the border and offer citizenship to millions, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, May 20, 2013.

J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — Senators working on a wide-ranging immigration bill have agreed to tighten controls on the asylum system that allows people fleeing war or persecution to find refuge in the U.S.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina offered the amendment, which would terminate asylum or refugee status for anyone who returns home to the country they fled, unless they can show a good reason for doing so.

Graham said the change was merited in light of the Boston Marathon bombings. The brothers who allegedly set off the bombs arrived in the U.S. as boys when their family sought asylum here.

The amendment was approved on voice vote Monday as the Senate Judiciary Committee entered its third week of weighing amendments to a bipartisan immigration bill.

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