WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators working on a bipartisan immigration bill are likely abandoning the idea of requiring a new high-tech federal ID for workers because it’s too expensive.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says cost estimates for the biometric ID card he favors came in higher than expected. The card was intended as a way to ensure employers don’t hire illegal workers.

Graham says no final decisions have been made but that the group is looking at other options instead. Outside experts say that likely means expanding an existing system called E-Verify that employers can use to check the legal status of prospective workers.

Right now that system is little-used and error-prone, and lawmakers and others say it would have to be greatly improved before being required nationally.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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