Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham working on bill to extend Obama protections for immigrants
PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is reportedly working on a bill with other lawmakers, including Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), that would extend legal protection for illegal immigrants who were brought into the country as children.
Politico reported this week that the bill would essentially extend the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals directive from President Barack Obama.
To qualify for protection under the directive, illegal immigrants were required to give their information to the federal government and undergo a background check. Some lawmakers are worried Trump’s administration could use that information to track down and deport people, which motivated Graham to begin working on the bill.
“The worst outcome is to repeal the legal status that these kids have,” Graham said Wednesday. “Whether you agree with them having it or not, they’ve come out of the shadows.”
President-elect Donald Trump made several campaign promises to deport all illegal immigrants in the country and unveiled a plan shortly after he was elected to remove millions immediately.
Graham told the news outlet he will wait to unveil the bill until the new Congress is in place next year. It will be intended as a short-term fix until lawmakers can figure out a better solution.
“It’s going to be basically, if you have legal status, you’ll continue legal status,” Graham was quoted as saying. “I think it would pass overwhelmingly.”
A Flake spokesperson told Politico the senator is working on several solutions to help DACA-eligible people.
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