Durbin: Our Immigration System Is Broken And The Time For Reform Is Now

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and lead author of the Dream Act, today highlighted the critical role immigrants play in our nation—including as essential workers who have risked their health and lives throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  Durbin also called on Congress to finally pass comprehensive immigration reform to fix our broken system.  Previously, Durbin has stated that he believes the only viable option at this time for passing a pathway to citizenship is through the budget reconciliation process due to Congressional Republicans’ repeated obstruction of bipartisan immigration legislation.

“We have not passed a significant immigration bill in the United States of America in 35 years.  But everyone concedes that our immigration system is broken,” Durbin said.  “There are parts of it that are just fundamentally unfair.  There are parts which do not serve our nation.  There are certain things we ought to all agree on—Democrats and Republicans.”

Durbin continued, “Now there are those who come to the [Senate] floor and say because so many people want to come into the United States, it’s a mistake for us to give anybody legal status in this country because it’s a green light.  It’s an incentive for even more to show up. That argument, I think, is not strong… Each year the orderly, legal process in America, the naturalization process, makes one million new Americans from immigrants.  It happens every year.  So to say we’re going to cut them off and no longer allow them to become citizens makes no sense.  And, secondly, immigrants are a critical part of America.”

Durbin concluded, “I hope that they’ll [Senate Republicans] keep an open mind to a process of creating a new immigration policy in America that really reflects our values, that is fair to the people who seek to be a part of our future, and recognize the great heritage which the immigrants have brought to this country.”

Video of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available here for TV Stations.