Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has reportedly joined forces with Democrat Dick Durbin to introduce an immigration bill next week that could provide permanent residency and eventual citizenship to so-called DREAMers.
DREAMers are people who were brought to the United States unlawfully as children.
The bill will serve as a starting point for further negotiations, according to comments made by Durbin (D-IL).
“If we can reach an agreement soon, very soon, we will have the base bill reintroduced and then that will be our starting point to build support as well as consider any additions, too,” he told reporters.
Graham (R-SC) told The Hill that the new legislation will mirror previous efforts the two worked on together. He added it would have to address border security.
That said, the Hill notes that the previous legislation mentioned by Graham “would provide permanent residency, and eventual citizenship, to immigrants brought into the country as children who meet education or work requirements.”
— The Hill (@thehill) January 29, 2021
Lindsey Graham And Dick Durbin To Introduce Pathway To Citizenship For DREAMers
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Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin expressing hope on striking an immigration deal that would provide a path to citizenship for DREAMers is striking, considering former President Trump urged this kind of bipartisan reform effort repeatedly during his term.
“If the Democrats would stop being obstructionists and come together, we could write up and agree to new immigration laws in less than one hour,” Trump tweeted in 2018.
“Look at the needless pain and suffering that they are causing,” he added. “Look at the horrors taking place on the Border. Chuck [Schumer and] Nancy [Pelosi], call me!”
In June of that year, House Democrats killed an immigration reform bill that “offered young undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship and partially addressed the family-separation crisis at the southwest border.”
“No Democrat supported the bill,” the Wasington Post reported at the time.
The Democrats never cared to stop being obstructionists as Trump had hoped. They simply did not want to hand a bipartisan political victory to Donald Trump.
Telling that Sen. Durbin, aka one of the biggest immigration reform supporters on Capitol Hill, is pushing a piecemeal approach.
He’s working w/Graham on a Dreamer-related deal. “If we can reach an agreement soon, very soon, we will have the base bill” as starting point.
— Sabrina Rodríguez (@sabrod123) January 28, 2021
Durbin and Graham were both part of the infamous Gang of Eight – a group of bipartisan senators who passed an immigration reform bill in the Senate in 2013, though it later expired in the House under then-Speaker John Boehner.
The Gang of Eight deal also provided a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
Four members of that gang – Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Schumer (D-NY) and Durbin – along with other Republicans, recently attended an “immigration reform” event.
Rubio denied taking part in immigration discussions, a necessity since his Gang of Eight affiliation haunted him during his presidential campaign of 2016.
President Biden has vowed to provide “a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people in America” becuase “we owe them.”
“We made a mistake. It took too long to get it right,” Biden says when asked why voters should trust him to deliver on immigration reform after the Obama administration presided over record deportations and failed to deliver on this promise. https://t.co/sfK5s5ZOTW #Debates2020 pic.twitter.com/MQEtGE0sQB
— ABC News (@ABC) October 23, 2020
Graham famously told conservatives who opposed immigration legislation involving he and Durbin in 2017 that “I don’t want you to vote for me.”
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