A bipartisan group of US senators on December 9, 2016, introduced a bill -- the BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act which would grant 3 years of protection to certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children. President Obama's executive action formally known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program which was launched in 2012, allows unauthorized migrants who entered the US as children (subject to their fulfilling certain criteria) to get protection from deportation and obtain work permits for a fixed period of time. This temporary period of protection and grant of employment benefit is initially for two years with the option to file extensions. The status of these individuals who have secured protection under DACA could be threatened under Donald Trumps' administration if Trump follows through on his pledge to repeal Obama's executive action through which these protections were granted.
The BRIDGE Act would allow at least 740,000 immigrants or DREAMers who have secured temporary relief from deportation and work permits under DACA, to keep those benefits for three more years in the event that Trump were to repeal Obama's executive actions. Essentially, The BRIDGE Act would provide a new status of "provisional protected presence" and employment authorization to DACA-eligible individuals for a period of three years from the date of its enactment.
Senator Lindsey Graham who introduced the BRIDGE Act along with Senator Dick Durban has expressed that it would be "unfair to pull the rug" out from under the DACA receipents as these infdividuals came out of the shadows, placed their faith in the US government and provided the government with their personal information.
Although the BRIDGE Act is no long-time solution for the much-needed immigration reform, if passed, it will provide as a bridge from a DACA repeal, providing a temporary status and employment eligibility for individuals who qualify under the DACA. It is a measure to shield the DREAMers until the time that Congress can put together a comprehensive immigration reform program.
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