In Speech On Senate Floor, Durbin Rebukes Russia's Attack On Ukraine, Speaks Out In Support Of Granting TPS For Ukrainians

In his remarks, Durbin thanked Ukraine’s neighboring countries for taking in Ukrainian refugees

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Co-Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, today delivered a speech on the Senate floor expressing his full support to the Ukrainian people as they push back against Russian military forces brutally attacking cities across the country. In his remarks, Durbin recognized Poland for taking in Ukrainian refugees and called on the Biden Administration to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukrainians already in the United States. Durbin’s floor speech follows his return from the Munich Security Conference and a visit to NATO allies, Poland and Lithuania.


“Eastern European allies know the Russian threat far better than we do… Poland, in particular, is already generously hosting hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees pouring across the border. It is an inspiration to me to see the country of Poland reach out to accept these Ukrainian refugees. The United States has to step into this picture with humanitarian assistance for Poland and all the other countries—Moldova, Romania, and others—taking Ukrainian refugees. We've got to help them feed and clothe these people during the period of the invasion by the Russians. Russia is unleashing a brutal war of choice against a free nation that wants to choose its own path,” Durbin said.


Durbin continued, “It isn’t lost on us because we have a wonderful Ukrainian community in Chicago… I was there on Friday [in Chicago], and I spoke to many people about the situation they’re facing in Ukraine. They would come up to me and say they had been on the telephone with members of their family who are frightened for their lives and didn’t know if they could survive this aggression by Vladimir Putin… NATO stands unified now in defense of Ukraine and confronting the aggression of Vladimir Putin.”


Durbin went on to call on the Biden Administration to immediately grant Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainians in the United States.


“I want to thank President Biden for his leadership…The first thing I’m going to do is send a letter which will be heading out this evening, signed by colleagues on both sides of the aisle. What we are asking the President to do, and it’s within his authority, is to grant Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainians now on visas in the United States. Some of them are tourists, some of them are students, some are on work visas, but often times they expire and they’re supposed to return to their home countries at the moment of expiration. If there are circumstances in those home countries, the President has the authority to give Temporary Protected Status to allow them to stay in the United States. The Senators who are joining on this letter will ask President Biden to extend Temporary Protected Status to the people of Ukraine who are on visas in the United States and are present in our country. That, to me, is a way to give them some peace of mind,” Durbin said.


“We certainly wouldn't want them to return to that war scene that we've seen over and over broadcast on television. And there's more to do, whether it's humanitarian assistance to countries like Poland or lethal aid to help the insurgents in Ukraine defend their country, the United States needs to be there,” Durbin concluded.


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


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


Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.