South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin plan to re-introduce a version of the long-stalled DREAM Act, hoping to provide a lifeline to young immigrants who are likely to lose their special protected status because of a court challenge from Texas and nine other states.
“We're working on it,” Graham said Monday. “We'll see.”
Graham said they're still working out the details, but those familiar with the proposal said the goal is to introduce something similar to the Dream Act that would grant legal status to young people brought to the country illegally as children. They’re hoping to introduce the legislation on Thursday.
Immigration advocates have sought to pass the bill for more than a decade, but members of Congress have never been able to get enough support to pass the measure.
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There is a new urgency to pass the measure now that the fate of the Obama-era deferred action program known as DACA is in question.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told members of Congress last week that the program that shields those children from deportation is unlikely to withstand a legal challenge.
A group of Republican officials from 10 states, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, have pressed the Trump administration to phase out the controversial program put in place in 2012 after a congressional effort to pass the DREAM Act failed.
The Trump administration has until Sept. 5 to decide whether to rescind the program or face a court challenge by the states.