Republicans have come to embrace these "DREAMers" in part because many evangelical Christians — who make up a quarter of Americans and are an influential conservative bloc within the GOP — have become more vocal about the topic over the last half decade.
The idea stems from the Bible: “Individuals are created within the image of God and have value and worth. So each person — regardless of their location and their birth and skin color, it doesn’t matter. That individual has value and worth in the eyes of God and they should be valued by other individuals as well,” Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, an evangelical Christian and former youth camp director, told USA TODAY.
Former president Barack Obama issued an executive order that gave protections to nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Republicans said the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), was unconstitutional because Congress is supposed to handle immigration — not the president.
In September 2017, President Trump ended the program, but gave Congress six months to find a solution to protect these DREAMers from deportation. Congress now is grappling with how to come to an agreement before the March 5 deadline that the president can support.