Durbin: Is This The Last Chrismas In America For Hundreds Of Thousands Of Young Dreamers?

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) again came to the Senate floor today to call on Congressional Republicans to pass the bipartisan Dream Act now. More than 12,000 Dreamers have already lost their DACA status at a rate of roughly 1,000 each week.  Beginning early next year, 1,000 additional young people will lose their protection from deportation each day.

Yesterday, one of my Republican colleagues looked me in the eye and said ‘we’re talking about amnesty. These are people who violated the law’,” said Durbin. “Some of them, by his definition, violated the law when they were carried in their mother’s arms to the United States at the age of two. Does that sound right? Does that sound just? Does it sound fair to say that these are people who have broken the law in America? I don’t think so. We owe it to these young people to do the right thing.”

Durbin told the story of Karen Reyes, the 104th Dreamer he has highlighted on the floor, who was brought to the U.S. from Mexico when she was two years old. She grew up in San Antonio, Texas, where she was in girl scouts, went to summer camp with her church group, and played volleyball. Karen didn’t even know she was undocumented until she was older—but she was an excellent student and graduated with honors from high school. In 2012, Karen graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio. In 2014, Karen graduated with a Master’s Degree in Deaf Education and Hearing Science. Today she works as a special education teacher in Austin, Texas. 

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

In July, Durbin and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced the bipartisan Dream Act, which would allow immigrant students who grew up in the United States to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually American citizenship. These young people, known as Dreamers, have lived in America since they were children, built their lives here, and are American in every way except for their immigration status.

Other Dreamer stories that Durbin has shared on the Senate floor are available here.