Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham have reportedly teamed up and will be introducing an immigration law next week that could allow DREAMers permanent residence and eventual citizenship.
Dreamers are people who were illegally brought to the United States as children.
According to comments from Durbin (D-IL), the draft law will serve as a starting point for further negotiations.
"If we can come to an agreement soon, very soon, the base calculation will be reintroduced and that will be our starting point for building support and considering additions as well," he told reporters.
Graham (R-SC) told The Hill that the new legislation will reflect previous efforts the two have worked on. He added that it must be border security.
However, the Hill notes that previous legislation would "grant permanent residence and eventual citizenship to immigrants brought into the country as children who meet educational or work requirements."
Durbin, Graham, to introduce DREAM Act legislation next week https://t.co/kgCsWoq3Vd pic.twitter.com/0G6azwmkLx
– The Hill (@thehill) January 29, 2021
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Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin introduce dreamers to citizenship
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Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin, expressing their hope for an immigration deal that would provide DREAMers with a route to citizenship, are striking considering that former President Trump has repeatedly called for this kind of two-party reform effort during his tenure .
"If the Democrats stopped being obstructionists and got together, we could write and approve new immigration laws in less than an hour," Trump tweeted in 2018.
"Look at the unnecessary pain and suffering they cause," he added. “Look at the horrors on the border. Chuck (Schumer and) Nancy (Pelosi), call me! "
In June of this year House Democrats killed an immigration reform bill that "offered undocumented young immigrants a route to citizenship and partially addressed the family separation crisis on the southwest border."
"No Democrat supported the bill," the Wasington Post reported at the time.
The Democrats never wanted to stop being obstructionists, as Trump had hoped. They just didn't want to present Donald Trump with a bipartisan political victory.
Sen. Durbin, also known as one of the biggest proponents of immigration reform on Capitol Hill, is pushing for a phased approach.
He's working on a dreamer deal with Graham. "If we can reach an agreement soon, very soon, we have the basic calculation" as a starting point.
– Sabrina Rodríguez (@ sabrod123) January 28, 2021
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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, which later expired in the House of Representatives under then-Speaker John Boehner.
The agreement with the Gang of Eight also offered illegal immigrants a route to citizenship.
Four members of the gang – Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Schumer (D-NY), and Durbin – and other Republicans recently attended an "immigration reform" event.
Rubio denied participating in immigration debates, a necessity given that his Gang of Eight membership haunted him during his 2016 presidential campaign.
President Biden has vowed to "provide citizenship routes to more than 11 million undocumented people in America" because "we owe them something".
"We made a mistake. It took too long to get it right," Biden says when asked why voters should trust him to carry out immigration reform after the Obama administration led and record deportations has not kept this promise. https://t.co/sfK5s5ZOTW # Debates2020 pic.twitter.com/MQEtGE0sQB
– ABC News (@ABC) October 23, 2020
Graham told Conservatives who opposed his and Durbin's immigration laws in 2017: "I don't want you to vote for me."