Durbin: President Trump's Wall Won't Fix Broken Immigration System

Senator Notes Visa Overstays Highlight The Need For Comprehensive Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ranking Member of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, slammed the Trump Administration’s simplistic approach to immigration, arguing that a border wall would do little to stop people overstaying visas, who make up the majority of recent unauthorized immigrants. Senator Durbin recalled that the comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the Senate in 2013 - which he helped author as a member of the "Gang of 8" - would have increased border security, created a system to track overstays, and provided a path to citizenship for law-abiding immigrants with deep roots in the United States. The House Republican leadership blocked that bill, preventing electronic tracking of visas and leaving 11 million people at risk of deportation. 

“[A]n obsession with a ‘big, beautiful’ border wall would not come close to solving our immigration challenges – it doesn’t even address the issue of overstays.  Even if we built a wall across the entire Southern border – at the cost of $70 billion or whatever – hundreds of thousands of people who come to our country legally would still be overstaying their visas,” Durbin said. “[The 2013 Senate bill] would have required electronic tracking of visa overstays.  And it wasn’t an unfunded mandate with no teeth. The bill would have appropriated millions of dollars to implement electronic tracking of visas.” 

“Unfortunately, many Republicans didn’t support it and the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives refused to even consider it,” he added.  

Video of Durbin’s remarks before the Immigration Subcommittee are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks before the Immigration Subcommittee is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks before the Immigration Subcommittee is available here for TV Stations.