Graham, Durbin reintroduce bill to protect 'Dreamers'

A bipartisan group of senators is moving to offer legal protection for undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children if President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpNRCC claims Obama surveillance of Trump 'confirmed' US further alienates itself on trade, nations look elsewhere for partners Harmful budget cuts won’t help GOP in 2018 and beyond MORE nixes a executive order issued by President Obama. 

 
Durbin — who frequently speaks about undocumented immigrants from the Senate floor — said Thursday that the bill would "ensure that Dreamers are protected from deportation until Congress is able to pass comprehensive immigration reform.” 
 
"I would hope that President Trump comes in and says before I void the DACA executive order, we need to have an alternative," he said. 
 
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The DACA program — which has faced a lengthy legal battle — provides people living in the U.S. illegally who arrived as children with work authorization and a temporary halt on deportation if they meet certain requirements.
 
The legislation would give a "provisional protected status" to DACA recipients and allow undocumented immigrants who are DACA-eligible to apply for the temporary protected status if they pay a fee and undergo a background check. 
 
The legislation — known as the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow Our Economy Act, or BRIDGE Act — would expire after three years. 
 
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles SchumerSanders to oppose Gorsuch's nomination With no emerging leaders, no clear message, Democrats flounder Gorsuch hearings: A referendum on Originalism and corporate power MORE (N.Y.) and Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiElle honors 10 at annual 'Women in Washington' event Five takeaways from Labor pick’s confirmation hearing ObamaCare repeal faces last obstacle before House vote MORE (R-Alaska), Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinHuman rights leaders warn against confirming Gorsuch Feinstein sees slipping support among California voters: poll Schumer a no on Gorsuch, will urge Dems to oppose MORE (D-Calif.), Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeSenate votes to block internet privacy regulations With no emerging leaders, no clear message, Democrats flounder Top Trump aide calls GOP senator a 'hater' MORE (R-Ariz.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) are backing the Senate legislation. 
 
Trump appeared to soften his immigration stance last month, pledging to "work something out" for the undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as minors. 
 
“They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen," he told Time magazine
 
Trump came under fire during the campaign for taking a hard line on immigration, pledging to deport roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants. 

Graham signaled on Thursday that he wants Trump to back the legislation. 

"I’m confident that if President-elect Trump were to support this measure we can repeal the unconstitutional Executive Order and Congress will provide temporary legal status through the proper constitutional process," he said.

Eighty-eight CEOs and employee from Illinois, Florida and Colorado sent Trump and congressional leaders a letter this week urging them to support the legislation.