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Flake says bipartisan DACA bill to be brought to Senate floor in January

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said he received a commitment from Senate leaders that a bipartisan bill for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients will be brought to the floor next month.

The announcement was made in a statement on Wednesday, shortly before the House passed a Republican tax reform bill — the biggest effort in three decades — for the second time in two days.

Flake was reportedly hesitant about voting for the bill, but was apparently swayed after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “committed to bring the bipartisan DACA bill” to the floor in January.

“While I would have written a much different bill, this bill lowers the corporate tax rate in a manner that makes us globally competitive,” Flake said.

“I am also pleased that the majority leader has committed to bring the bipartisan DACA bill we are currently negotiating to the Senate floor in January.”

McConnell confirmed Flake’s statement on Monday, saying “if negotiators reach an agreement on [DACA] by the end of January, I will bring it to the Senate floor.”

It is not currently known what the progress on the bill is.

The issue of securing a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children has been one that Flake has committed to for some time.

The Arizona senator voted for an earlier version of the tax bill after being promised a seat at the negotiating table by the White House to work toward a solution for the so-called DREAMers.

Flake also introduced a compromise bill in October that would have provided $1.6 billion in funding for border fortification and gave conditional resident status to DACA recipients and other children.

President Donald Trump announced the end to the Obama-era program that granted temporary work permits to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children in September.

Trump gave a six-month delay to the end of the program to allow Congress to decide whether it wants to write legislation to protect the so-called DREAMers. That will end in March.

Nearly 800,000 young immigrants had been granted a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the U.S. under the program created in 2012 by former President Barack Obama.

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