Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump made immigration a central issue, promising to build a wall on the southern border and deport millions of undocumented immigrants.
As he tries to advance this agenda in the White House, it looks like he won’t just be facing Democratic opposition; Republicans are starting to line up against him, too.
According to Politico, GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake are working with Democrats to craft legislation that would prevent Trump from deporting nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who were given protection and work permits under an executive order issued by President Obama in 2012.
During the campaign, Trump promised to abolish this directive, potentially putting these individuals at risk of deportation.
More from Politico:
But should Trump follow through on that promise, some key lawmakers on Capitol Hill want to make sure those protections stay in place for the immigrants who willingly gave personal information to the federal government and went through background checks. One big fear among advocates is that the Trump administration could use that personal information to track down the immigrants to deport them.
The bipartisan measure is meant to prevent Trump from fulfilling his campaign vow to deport these immigrants.
“[The legislation is] going to be basically, if you have legal status, you’ll continue legal status,” Graham said, according to Politico. “I think it would pass overwhelmingly.”
Unfortunately, the legislation is not likely to be rolled out until next year, when there is a new Congress – and a new president.
While it may pass the Senate and House, it’s unclear if Trump would sign the legislation into law. He would be in the dire position of making a huge departure from a key campaign promise or be responsible for the deportation of tens of thousands of young immigrants.
This is another lose-lose situation for the incoming president.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.