Durbin: Reject House Republican Efforts To Hold Homeland Security Funding Hostage Over Anti-Immigration Amendments

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – With just one month until the short-term funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security expires, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the Senate Floor today to call on the Senate to reject House Republican efforts to create an artificial funding crisis in an attempt to force the Senate to accept extreme anti-immigrant amendments that they have attached to the Homeland Security appropriations bill.

“So what are these policies that the House Republicans feel so strongly about that they’re willing to put our homeland security funding at risk? They include the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program – also known as DACA – which is based on the DREAM Act, legislation that I first introduced 14 years ago to give undocumented students who grew up in this country a chance to earn their citizenship. The House Republicans feel so strongly about deporting Dreamers that they are willing to hold our homeland security funding hostage,” Durbin said.


Over the last few years, Durbin, the original sponsor of the DREAM Act, has shared the stories of more than fifty Dreamers on the Senate Floor.  In April 2010, Durbin was the first member of Congress to call for the establishment of DACA. Since House Republicans have threatened to eliminate DACA, Durbin has been updating the Senate regularly on the accomplishments and contributions of Dreamers who have received DACA. This week, Durbin will continue this tradition by updating the Senate about several Dreamers who are using DACA to give back to the country they love.


“It is shameless to play politics with the lives of these young people, who grew up in this country and know no other home. It is just as shameless for House Republicans to put homeland security funding at risk to pursue their radical agenda,” Durbin said.

Today, Durbin shared the story of Ola Kaso, a Dreamer who was brought to the United States by her mother from Albania in 1998, when she was 5-years-old. This spring, Ola will graduate from college with a double major in Biochemistry and Women’s Studies. Ola has become involved in nanotechnology – a cutting-edge field that holds great promise for future technological breakthroughs– and plans to attend medical school to one day become an oncologist.

Last week, Durbin provided additional updates on three Dreamers who have received DACA: Carlos Martinez, and Carlos and Rafael Robles. Carlos Martinez and his brother were brought to the United States in 1991 when Carlos was only 9 years old. He graduated with a degree in Computer Engineering with minors in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Spanish, and after being approved for DACA, now works at IBM. Video of Durbin telling Carlos’ story is available here.

Carlos and Rafael Robles were brought to the United States when they were children. After Carlos graduated from Loyola with a major in education, he worked as a teacher at a public high school in Chicago. Carlos is now attending graduate school at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, where he is studying education policy. Since receiving DACA, Rafael has been a full-time student while also working at Studio Gang Architects, an award-winning architecture firm in Chicago. Video of Durbin telling Carlos and Rafael’s story is availablehere.

More information about these Dreamers’ stories – and the stories of every Dreamer Durbin has spoken about on the Senate Floor – is available here.

Video of Durbin’s remarks today on the Senate Floor will be available shortly here.


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


Footage of Durbin remarks on the Senate Floor is available for TV Stations using FTP in high definition here and in standard definition here.