We applaud the bipartisan bill legislation Senator Lindsey Graham (R-N.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced late last week that would provide provisional protected status for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients.
The 2012 program allows unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States as children—also known as “DREAMers”—who have completed or are enrolled in high school, and who have not committed serious offenses, to obtain temporary protection from deportation, as well as a work permit, renewable every two years. Since DACA’s implementation, almost 740,000 DREAMers have received temporary deportation relief.
Watch Sen. Dick Durbin speak on the Senate floor today to demand a “clean” version of a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, one that doesn’t include provisions to undo the president’s administrative relief.
Despite a general consensus at Monday’s fifth Senate Judiciary Committee immigration hearing this year, a voice of opposition came from minority-side witness Kris Kobach, the current Secretary of State of Kansas. Aside from Kobach, a diverse set of witnesses expressed their support for the recently introduced bipartisan immigration bill and urged the Senate to move forward with reform.
Kobach, however, stands out among his fellow panelists. He is best known for being the brains behind the slew of devastating anti-immigrant laws adopted in several states over the past few years, including Arizona’s SB 1070 in 2010 and similar laws in Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri. More recently, he served as immigration policy advisor to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and is largely credited for the “self-deportation” policy embraced by the Romney campaign.