Durbin, Graham to Introduce DREAM Act As Part of Immigration Reform Effort

'“I hope we’re beyond the wall hysteria, where we were diverting funds from military families to build the wall...'

Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., plan to reintroduce the DREAM Act next week as a starting base for broader negotiations over immigration reform.

“If we can reach an agreement soon, very soon, we will have the base bill reintroduced and then that will be our starting point to build support as well as consider any additions, too,” Durbin, the incoming chairman of the Judiciary Committee, told reporters on Thursday.

Durbin added that the forthcoming bill “will resemble our similar efforts in the past.”

Graham and Durbin previously introduced this legislation, which would provide permanent residency and eventual citizenship to immigrants brought into the country as children who meet education and work requirements.

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This time, Durbin wants the bill to include additional provisions to prevent illegal immigrants from being deported. And Graham wants there to be provisions to increase border security.

Durbin, however, admitted some of the policies Democrats hope to pass “will be too much of a reach.”

“My hope is … that we can through the Judiciary Committee move on an expedited basis the highest priorities and I’m working to build a group that might be able to do that,” Durbin said.

Graham clarified that he views the bill with Durbin as a “starting point” for negotiations, and that it’s a “good way to get more people involved.” He stressed that he was not committing to anything just yet.

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“[It] is a good place to start the discussion and build out a compromise that will beneficial to the dreamer population and not incentivize a third wave of illegal immigration,” he explained.

Durbin said he believed more Democrats would be open to discussing border security investments now that former President Trump is out of office.

“I hope we’re beyond the wall hysteria, where we were diverting funds from military families to build the wall, and really thinking about border security in a more mature way,” he said.

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