Durbin and Graham Set to Introduce Bill to Protect DREAMers From Trump

Would provide 3 years of protected status for deferred action recipients

Illinois Sen. Richard J. Durbin is set to introduce a new bill which seeks to offer DACA recipients some relief from deportation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two members of the Senate’s old immigration “Gang of Eight” plan to introduce a plan to keep some undocumented immigrants from being deported by the incoming Trump administration.

The bill, which Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin of Illinois and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are calling the BRIDGE Act, would provide three years of protection for people who came to the United States as children.

Durbin announced the planned introduction in remarks on the Senate floor on Friday.

It would follow the same set of standards established by President Barack Obama through executive actions as part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

“If you have DACA now, you would receive provisional protected status until your DACA expires and you can apply for an extension. If you don’t have DACA protection now but you’re eligible, you could also apply for this provisional protected presence,” Durbin said. “Applicants would be required to pay a reasonable fee, be subject to criminal background checks and meet the same eligibility criteria that currently applies to DACA. The status we’re creating would be good for three years after the BRIDGE Act becomes law.”

The iteration expected to be introduced Friday will expire at the end of the current Congress, but Graham and Durbin are sure to return with the effort next year. Durbin implored President-elect Donald Trump to commit to continuing DACA, as well as supporting the bill.

“I believe this legislation will attract broad support from both sides of the aisle, but let me be clear — the BRIDGE Act that we are introducing today is no substitute for broader legislation to fix our broken immigration system, and this bill should not be tied to other unrelated measures,” Durbin said.

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