GOP senator says lawmakers reach immigration compromise

Cristina Jimenez speaks to demonstrators urging the Democratic Party to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA) rally outside the office of California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein in Los Angeles Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. California has the largest number of people who are affected by the law, also known as the Dream Act. (Reed Saxon/AP Photo)

Cristina Jimenez speaks to demonstrators urging the Democratic Party to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA) rally outside the office of California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein in Los Angeles Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. California has the largest number of people who are affected by the law, also known as the Dream Act. (Reed Saxon/AP Photo)

A group of bipartisan senators has reached a deal on legislation to protect younger immigrants brought to the country illegally, a spokesman for Sen. Jeff Flake said Thursday.

The group including the Arizona Republican, top Senate Democrat Dick Durbin and other pro-immigration senators has been working for months in hopes of securing legislation to extend Obama-era protections called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

The group was on track to address border security and other issues such as preferential treatment for family members of immigrants already in the U.S. Details were not immediately available on what the bargainers had agreed to.

“Sen. Flake’s bipartisan group — the only bipartisan group that has been negotiating a DACA fix — has struck a deal,” said Flake spokesman Jason Samuels. “The next step is taking it to the White House.”

A spokesman for Durbin, Ben Marter, declined to confirm that an accord had been reached. “Nothing to report yet,” Marter said.

Even if the Flake-Durbin group has reached an agreement, it’s not clear whether it would resolve the fight over protecting nearly 800,000 young immigrants. The White House declined to immediately provide comment, and it was not certain whether the group’s plan could pass Congress.

In a further complication, the group is but one faction on Capitol Hill working on the issue, which took on urgency in September when President Donald Trump reversed DACA protections put in place by then-President Barack Obama, saying Congress should address it.

 

Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

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