Amnesty supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham is working with Democrats to extend the quasi-amnesty for illegal aliens which was started by outgoing President Barack Obama in 2012.
Graham — who barely won any voter support in his failed run for the 2o16 GOP nomination — and Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin are calling their amnesty bill the “BRIDGE Act.” The term is a forced acronym for “Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow Our Economy Act.”
They’re also joined by Republicans Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Jeff Flake. Both Graham and Flake were part of the failed “Gang of Eight” immigration expansion and amnesty bill, which was marketed as “comprehensive immigration reform” in 2013.
Democrats and business groups are trying to stop the gradual repatriation of the roughly 1.7 million illegal immigrants aged-up-to-35 who claim they were brought to the United States by their parents before they were age 16. The group comprises roughly one-seventh of the estimated 11 million illegal aliens residing in the United States.
Graham wants incoming President Donald Trump — who ran on a ten-point platform on immigration, including an end to Obama’s amnesty — to sign his extension into law, instead of choosing to halt Obama’s June 2012 policy of allowing the younger illegals to get work permits and free education from U.S. taxpayers.
Obama’s amnesty is not a law. It is merely a policy, and it can be reversed by the new president. The amnesty policy is labelled “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” or DACA.
If Trump “repeals [DACA] then we ought to immediately pass legislation to extend their legal status,” claimed Graham, who is strongly supported by his home state’s business community. “I’m willing to do that. I’m going to support legislation that will continue legal status for these kids until we can find a fix to the overall program,” he continued.
“The overall problem” is an immigration system that Graham and other Republican Senators, plus their business allies, say is not bringing in enough cheap blue-collar workers, nor enough foreign white-collar professionals, nor enough welfare-aided consumers — despite record levels of immigration into the United States.
The bill is designed to help deter Trump from following through on campaign promises to reduce immigration and boost wages. It also is intended to raise the bargaining price for any Capitol Hill immigration reform which would allow the younger illegals to stay, in exchange for reductions of the annual inflow of more than two million legal and illegal workers.
Those effective measures would include reducing legal immigration far below the current one million per year inflow, sharp cutbacks to the annual inflow of roughly one million temporary “guest workers,” plus predictable legal penalties and lawsuit liability for employers who hire low-wage illegals instead of young Americans.
Four million young Americans begin looking for work each year, as the federal government brings in one million new immigrants plus one million new temporary workers.
Some top Republicans are looking for ways to keep the younger illegals in the United States. Congress will not “pull the rug out from under” the illegal alien DREAMers, according to House Speaker Paul Ryan, who hopes there will be no “ugly disruption” to the program.
Durbin plans to reintroduce the bill in early 2017.
Graham is a close ally of former Gov. Jeb Bush. In 2015, he ran in the GOP primary campaign alongside Bush, but failed to reach even one percent in national polls. Like Bush, he favors mass immigration and amnesty policies that are deeply unpopular with voters.
One poll found 54 percent want annual immigration levels halved or reduced to zero, including 45 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of Hispanics. Another 58 percent said illegal aliens should not be allowed to stay in the U.S. — even if they do not commit a “serious crime” while here illegally.