In response to President-elect Donald Trump’s tough stance on immigration where he has pledged to end sanctuary cities, immediately terminate President Barack Obama’s executive ordered amnesties, and prioritize deportations of illegal immigrants who have committed crimes, a few senators are currently drafting legislation that would limit Trumps reach on deportations.
Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, are putting together a bill that aims to protect undocumented children living in the US from deportation if they have grown up in the country and have stayed out of trouble.
Durbin said in the Senate: “Sen. Graham and I discussed it again this morning and we hope to even have this bill ready before we leave next week, a bipartisan effort to say to the new president, ‘give these young people a fighting chance.’”
“You can’t blame these kids for coming here, you can’t blame these kids for coming out of the shadows. They’re out of the shadows and now we know who they are. If we cancel the executive order, what happens to them? We deport them all?” Graham added.
Minors are currently protected by Obama’s executive amnesty – something Trump is in favor of getting rid of.
Two Republican Senators that are likely to be in support of the legislation are Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) whose home state is 31 percent Hispanic, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who in 2005 cosponsored a bill sponsored by Durbin to grant legal status to children brought to the country illegally by their parents.
“I’m having a discussion with Graham,” Flake said. “My preference is to work with the administration on something here. Obviously, it’s going to involve legislation.”
Flake said that although Obama’s executive order was unconstitutional, “I do want to protect kids that were brought here.”
“I am sympathetic to people who are brought here when they were very young and often have known no other country,” Collins said. “That doesn’t mean that we don’t need to tighten our immigration laws, but the Dreamers are in a different category.”
Durbin told reporters on Thursday that he would like to get some momentum started on the bill before the 114th Congress adjourns later this month, but he said it’s not likely to pass before next year.
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