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 Trump 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.” 
 
 
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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 (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer calls for Trump administration to appoint 'czar' to oversee family reunification Donald Trump Jr. headlines Montana Republican convention Montana's environmental lobby teams with governor to kill 600 jobs MORE (N.Y.) and Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiHeitkamp ad highlights record as Senate race heats up Icebreaking ships are not America’s top priority in the Arctic 13 GOP senators ask administration to pause separation of immigrant families MORE (R-Alaska), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate left in limbo by Trump tweets, House delays Children should not be human shields against immigration enforcement The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Immigration drama grips Washington MORE (D-Calif.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump's move to halt family separations leaves questions unanswered Flake: Trump has 'unfortunately' redefined Republican Party Flake: Trump's attacks on Democrats 'bothersome,' unhelpful in immigration debate 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.