One critical Executive Order that President Obama issued regarding immigration policy may garner some bipartisan support in the Senate. There were reports this week that Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) were discussing ways to protect more than 740,000 young undocumented students from any E.O. or action by incoming President Donald Trump action.
DACA or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was a presidential E.O. that attempted to implement a popular and bipartisan bill, the DREAMERS Act that had been stuck in the immigration congressional roadblock on legislation.
To be eligible, young undocumented immigrants must have entered the U.S. before their 16th birthday and before June 2007. They also had to be in school, a high school graduate or be honorably discharged from the military and be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2015. In addition, the person cannot have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or is considered a national security risk.
These young people came forward voluntarily and while they do not have legal status or a path to citizenship they are protected from removal. By mid-summer more than 740,000 students had applied for and received the protected status. The concern of many advocates is that these young people came forward voluntarily and the new Administration could use that information against them although there may be legal barriers to use the information in that way. Graham indicated that he was also discussing the issue with senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ).