Durbin: President Trump Is Continuing His Hate-Filled, Anti-Immigrant Agenda

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee, today spoke out against the Trump Administration’s new rule to quickly deport undocumented immigrants using a fast-track deportation process.  In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin also argued that President Donald Trump’s cruel and ineffective policies have made our southern border much less secure than when he took office. 

“Now today, as in almost every day, the Administration has announced a new rule that allows immigration officers to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants anywhere in the United States unless that person can prove that they have been in the United States for at least two years,” Durbin said.  “This procedure, known as ‘expedited removal,’ allows an immigrant to be deported without consulting with an attorney or counselor, or defending themselves in a hearing before an immigration judge – summary judgement on the street to deport people and tear families apart.”

Durbin continued, “America is better than this.  We can certainly keep America safe and respect our heritage as a nation of immigrants.  We can have a secure border and abide by our international obligations to protect refugees fleeing persecution, as we have done on a bipartisan basis for decades.”

Durbin also discussed his visit last week to McAllen, Texas, with a group of Senate Democrats in order to get a firsthand look at the humanitarian crisis on the southwest border.  Durbin toured McAllen Border Patrol Stations Donna and Ursula to evaluate the conditions at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention facilities and meet with immigrant families and children currently being held in detention.  While in McAllen, Durbin also met with border community leaders, including Sister Norma Pimentel, the director of Catholic Charities Respite Center.  

“It was an eye opener and an emotional experience to see the hundreds of people who were being held in detention at our border in McAllen,” Durbin said.  “When I saw these people, many of whom had struggled for weeks, a month, days and days to get to the border of the United States – they had gone through life experiences that we wouldn’t wish on anyone.  They were victims of assault and rape, of crimes that were committed against them, but they were leaving determined to come to the United States border.”

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

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

In April, Durbin visited the Port of Entry in El Paso, Texas, and a nearby Border Patrol Station.  In May, Durbin led 24 Senators in calling on the International Committee of the Red Cross and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Inspector General to investigate these Border Patrol facilities. 

In May, the DHS Inspector General’s Office released a report detailing the inhumane and dangerous overcrowding of migrants at the El Paso Port of Entry.  Earlier this month, the DHS Inspector General issued another scathing report, this time about multiple Border Patrol facilities in the Rio Grande Valley.