Durbin Meets with Northside Refugee & Asylum Seeker Coalition

CHICAGO – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today met with the Northside Refugee & Asylum Seeker Coalition (NRASC) to discuss ways to provide the Coalition with the necessary resources to assist the large number of refugees and asylum seekers in the Chicago area.  This meeting comes amid Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s inhumane practice of busing migrants from Texas to Chicago.

“Chicago and Illinois have shown humanity and compassion to these migrants—while the Texas Governor chooses to inflict further suffering upon them,” said Durbin.  “Instead of exploiting families who are fleeing for their lives, we should work together to offer support for our city and the organizations that are trying to help, like the Northside Refugee & Asylum Seeker Coalition.  During today’s meeting, I reiterated my commitment to work to secure additional resources for our city, state, and these organizations.”

The Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Omnibus Appropriations Act included a new $800 million Shelter and Services grant program, which was advocated for by Durbin.  The program includes funding for cities, states, and nongovernmental organizations that provide shelter and respite to recently arrived migrants.   Durbin also introduced the Border Management, Security, and Assistance Act of 2023 with Senator Peters and ten other Senate colleagues, which among other provisions, provides $1.9 billion dollars in additional funding to the Shelter and Services program in support of local communities.

Last September, Durbin visited the Salvation Army Freedom Center in the Humboldt Park neighborhood in Chicago to meet with migrant families who were forced to come to Chicago from Texas by Governor Abbott.