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Democratic senators ask Biden to protect undocumented migrants amid Trump deportation threats

A group of Democratic senators are calling on the Biden administration to safeguard some undocumented immigrants from deportation they say would be imminent under a new Trump presidency. 

In a letter to Joe President Biden, more than two dozen Democratic lawmakers say the administration should take all available actions to open up legalization pathways for undocumented immigrants, including DACA recipients and spouses of U.S. citizens.

They say undocumented immigrants contribute more than $9.5 billion taxes — along with $11 billion in Social Security contributions. Meanwhile, more than a million U.S. citizens have an undocumented spouse and nearly 5 million children have an undocumented parent. 

The letter comes on the heels of a campaign speech late last year where former President Donald Trump promised to initiate the largest deportation in American history if he were re-elected.

Last September, an appeals court ruled in favor of a group of GOP-led states suing to end the DACA program — which has provided temporary protection and a work permit to more than 800,000 undocumented people brought to the U.S. as children. The case is likely headed to the Supreme Court.

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Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.