Durbin Statement On Rigged Markup Of Cruel Trump-Graham Proposal Targeting Vulnerable Children

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee, today released the following statement after voting against the Trump-Graham asylum proposal in the Senate Judiciary Committee:

“The Trump-Graham proposal includes no assurances that children will be humanely treated or that they will be safe from violence once they are deported.  And this bill does nothing to address root causes that are causing migrants to flee the Northern Triangle in record numbers.  America is better than this.  We can have border security and still respect our heritage as a nation of immigrants.  We can have an orderly flow of immigrants to our border and still abide by our international obligations to protect refugees fleeing persecution, as we have done on a bipartisan basis for decades.”

In today’s Senate Judiciary Committee markup, Durbin also commented on Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) violating multiple Committee rules in order to jam through a partisan bill that targets vulnerable children for indefinite detention and deportation without due process.  During Durbin’s tenure on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the majority has never broken the Committee’s rules in order to advance legislation. 

“What you point to is the fact that it is difficult to move things in this Committee if they are strictly partisan.  The rules are written and accepted by Democrats and Republicans in the Committee that we have to go beyond the strictly partisan things and try to work things out between us,” Durbin said.  “Now today, we face the reality that these rules, for the first time since I’ve served on this Committee, are going to be cast aside on this legislative matter.  This is not a bipartisan approach.  It is not the best of this Committee.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks in Committee are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks in Committee is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks in Committee is available here for TV Stations.

The Trump-Graham Secure and Protect Act would:

  • Do nothing to address root causes that are causing migrants to flee the Northern Triangle in record numbers. 
  • Overturn the Flores settlement to authorize the indefinite detention of children and allow the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ignore state licensing requirements for immigration detention facilities.
  • Gut the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) so that unaccompanied children from the Northern Triangle can be quickly deported to dangerous situations with minimal due process. 
  • Raise the standard for asylum seekers to establish credible fear of persecution.