by Laura Litvan
Donald Trump’s pledges to deport undocumented immigrants and build a U.S.-Mexico border wall helped fuel Republicans’ surprising election victories, but they now face growing challenges from fellow party members.
Three Republican senators are working with Democrats to shield about 750,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation if Trump cancels a 2012 order from President Barack Obama that let them stay in the U.S.
Lawmakers want to “ensure that children who were brought here by their parents, through no fault of their own, are able to stay and finish their education and continue to contribute to society,” said Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona. Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are joining him on a measure drafted by the No. 2 Democratic leader, Dick Durbin of Illinois, that will be introduced after the new Congress convenes Jan. 3.
Trump’s campaign was largely powered by his get-tough stance on immigration. A Pew Research Center poll in August found that 79 percent of Trump voters want a border wall, compared with 38 percent of all registered voters.
But among lawmakers in Congress, the desire to build a wall along the entire 1,933-mile border with Mexico has evaporated. Republicans in both chambers instead support more fencing, border patrol agents, drones and other resources to curb illegal entry. House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul said he’ll offer a bill with some of those steps in January.