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. 

The legislation, spearheaded by Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinMultiple deaths in shooting at Chicago hospital Senate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Overnight Health Care — Presented by The Partnership for Safe Medicines — GOP lawmaker pushes back on Trump drug pricing plan | Pfizer to raise prices on 41 drugs next year | Grassley opts for Finance gavel MORE (D-Ill.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCIA's report complicates US response to Khashoggi murder Leon Panetta’s nightmare is today's national security crisis The Hill's Morning Report — GOP victorious in Florida while Dems say `Sunbelt strategy’ looks bright for 2020 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.” 
 
 
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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 SchumerFacebook reeling after damning NYT report Schumer warns Trump to stay out of government funding negotiations Schumer predicts Nelson will 'continue being senator' if 'every vote counted' MORE (N.Y.) and Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMcConnell, Flake clash over protecting Mueller probe Dems slam Trump’s energy regulator nominee Ernst elected to Senate GOP leadership MORE (R-Alaska), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinTrump set to have close ally Graham in powerful chairmanship Lawmakers say California will eventually get emergency funding for fire relief Top Dems: DOJ position on Whitaker appointment 'fatally flawed' MORE (D-Calif.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSenate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Trump’s relationship with Saudi crown prince under pressure Graham urges McConnell to allow vote on bill to protect Mueller 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.