Fate of DACA recipients unclear as renewal deadline approaches

Lawmakers are trying come up with a solution for thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children as the Oct. 5 deadline to renew the immigrants’ status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program approaches.

"Sen. Lankford and I are obviously from same area, we share the same state and constituency. He and I have long discussions about DACA and continue to work together on some solutions," Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) told The Hill.

Russell and Republican Sens. James Lankford (Okla.), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Orrin Hatch (Utah) proposed work permits and protection against deportation for DACA recipients in the SUCCEED Act.

Their bill would grant DACA recipients temporary legal status as long as they pass a background check, pay unpaid taxes and don’t violate any laws.

Democrats, meanwhile, are hopeful Republicans are signaling willingness to address DACA, an Obama-era program that is being phased out by President Trump, but remain skeptical their efforts go far enough. 

"The fact that conservative Republican senators even introduced it is a huge shift in the debate, and I'm pleased we’re now finally talking about  this issue but the best bill is DREAM Act and that’s the bill that should be passed," Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said.

Ultimately, Democrats say the only way forward is to pass the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. Though some Republicans have come on board, it may be a tough sell because it doesn't address border security.