Durbin Statement on Fifth Circuit Ruling on DACA

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and author of the Dream Act, released the following statement regarding the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to remand the case on the legality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to the District Court for further consideration.  For now, this decision maintains the status quo – current DACA recipients can continue to live and work under the protections of the program, while other Dreamers who are eligible for DACA are blocked from enrolling in the program.  The fate of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients remains in jeopardy and will be decided by the same court that previously ruled that DACA was unlawful. 

“DACA is a lifeline for more than 600,000 Dreamers who make America a better nation every day. The Fifth Circuit decision is a call to action for Congress. Pass the Dream Actnow and give these amazing young people a real path to legal status in the only country they have ever called home.”

Durbin first introduced the Dream Act 21 years ago.  Last year, Durbin and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced the Dream Act of 2021.  The Dream Act was also included in the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill that Durbin coauthored as part of the “Gang of Eight” – four Democrats and four Republicans.  The 2013 bill passed the Senate on a strong bipartisan vote of 68-32, but the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives refused to consider it. 

Over the years, Senate Republicans have filibustered the Dream Act at least five times.  Last year, Chair Durbin convened bipartisan immigration negotiations that failed after Senate Republicans made unreasonable demands to cut legal immigration and limit the Dream Act to only current DACA recipients.