The Bar Removal of Immigrants who Dream and Grow the Economy (BRIDGE) Act has been introduced in the Senate, with an increased showing of bipartisan support. The incoming Trump Administration has said it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, which Republicans deem to be an overreach of presidential authority. The Supreme Court split 4-4 on this question, in last term’s U.S. v. Texas et al.
So, now comes the BRIDGE Act, cosponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY). A companion bill has been introduced in the House.
The BRIDGE Act does not legalize status, but it would allow qualifying undocumented young people to apply for work authorization for three years, just like DACA. Further, it provides that information submitted will not be used against the applicants, with some exceptions, such as national security. Approximately 750,000 people have applied for benefits under the DACA program since 2012.