NAICU Washington Update

With DACA Fate Uncertain, Bills to Protect Undocumented Students Introduced in House and Senate

January 25, 2017

While rumors continue to swirl in the press that President Trump may end the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program established under the Obama Administration, members in both the United States Senate and House of Representatives introduced bipartisan legislation that would protect these so-called DACA students from deportation for three years.  The BRIDGE Act would cover DACA students until a more permanent measure can be enacted.

Even if an Executive Order terminates the program, it does not mean these individuals will be targeted for deportation.  However, if their work permits are not renewed, they will face new economic limitations.  

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced the BRIDGE Act, which would protect individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children, and provide them with the opportunity to continue to live, work, and study in the U.S.  Companion legislation was introduced in the House by Representatives Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL).

If enacted, the BRIDGE Act would protect the individuals that registered under the DACA action, many of whom are college students.  The bills have the support of faith, business, higher education, civil rights, and immigration groups.  The bipartisan leaders and supporters of the BRIDGE Act are hopeful the legislation will find support from the Trump Administration.

NAICU joined others in the higher education community in sending a letter of support to the bill’s authors.

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