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 TrumpTrump’s America is corporate America — what happened to draining the swamp? Mueller’s roving commission to investigate 'evil' a danger to civil liberties Five takeaways from the Montana special election MORE nixes a executive order issued by President Obama. 

The legislation, spearheaded by Sens. Dick DurbinDick DurbinThe Hill's 12:30 Report Top House, Senate Dems ask Interior not to eliminate national monuments Dem senators accuse Trump of purposefully holding back information MORE (D-Ill.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamSenate panel could pass new Russia sanctions this summer Overnight Cybersecurity: Bad Russian intel may have swayed Comey's handling of Clinton probe | Apple sees spike in data requests | More subpoenas for Flynn | DOJ's plan for data warrants Overnight Finance: GOP bill would leave 23M more uninsured, says CBO | Trump aides defend budget | Mnuchin asks for clean debt hike before August | Ryan says House could pass bill without border tax MORE (R-S.C.), would provide temporarily legal status for immigrants who are eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, also known as "Dreamers."
 
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 SchumerOvernight Finance: Dems introduce minimum wage bill | Sanders clashes with Trump budget chief | Border tax proposal at death's door GOP senators distance themselves from House ObamaCare repeal bill McConnell: CBO analysis for House bill will repeat 'things we already know' MORE (N.Y.) and Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiOvernight Finance: Dems introduce minimum wage bill | Sanders clashes with Trump budget chief | Border tax proposal at death's door Overnight Energy: Trump energy nominees face Congress | OPEC to extend production cuts Senators air grievances on Trump energy budget, delays MORE (R-Alaska), Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinThe case for protecting America's intelligence agency whistleblowers Senate confirms Trump's first lower-court nominee Feinstein: Comey memos 'going to be turned over' MORE (D-Calif.), Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeLawmakers reintroduce measure to lift Cuba travel restrictions Majority of Senate supports Cuban tourism bill Montana GOP senator: Gianforte 'needs to apologize' 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.