Durbin Report: We Are A Nation Of Immigrants

Senator Durbin's eNewsletter
2015-02-27 17:29:13
Fellow Illinoisans: This week, Congress has been debating a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security. The Senate has done its work and passed a clean bill to fund the agency, but now it’s time for Republicans in the House of Representatives to do their job. They are continuing to hold this funding hostage over the President’s immigration policies. They argue that before funding this vital agency that protects the safety and security of America, we first must deport hundreds of thousands of young immigrants known as Dreamers. I couldn’t disagree more and I think it is the height of irresponsibility for Republican leadership to continue with this strategy. Many years ago, I authored the DREAM Act which would give undocumented students a chance to earn legal status if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and complete two years of college or military service in good standing. I am a strong supporter of the executive actions the President has taken to improve our broken immigration system, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which would put a temporary hold on the deportations of Dreamers. I have asked my Republican colleagues to go out into their communities and meet with these young people and their families. Recently, I spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate about four Dreamers in Illinois. Because of the DACA program, these young immigrants have been able to pursue their dream of becoming doctors at Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of medicine with the promise that they will serve in small towns or inner city neighborhoods in Illinois after they graduate. Loyola was the first university to accept DACA recipients and I applaud them for doing so. Click on the photo to learn more about their amazing journeys.
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Fellow Illinoisans:

This week, Congress has been debating a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security. The Senate has done its work and passed a clean bill to fund the agency, but now it’s time for Republicans in the House of Representatives to do their job. They are continuing to hold this funding hostage over the President’s immigration policies. They argue that before funding this vital agency that protects the safety and security of America, we first must deport hundreds of thousands of young immigrants known as Dreamers.

I couldn’t disagree more and I think it is the height of irresponsibility for Republican leadership to continue with this strategy.

Many years ago, I authored the DREAM Act which would give undocumented students a chance to earn legal status if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and complete two years of college or military service in good standing. I am a strong supporter of the executive actions the President has taken to improve our broken immigration system, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which would put a temporary hold on the deportations of Dreamers. I have asked my Republican colleagues to go out into their communities and meet with these young people and their families.

Recently, I spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate about four Dreamers in Illinois. Because of the DACA program, these young immigrants have been able to pursue their dream of becoming doctors at Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of medicine with the promise that they will serve in small towns or inner city neighborhoods in Illinois after they graduate. Loyola was the first university to accept DACA recipients and I applaud them for doing so.

Click on the photo to learn more about their amazing journeys.

These incredible stories don’t stop at Loyola or in Illinois. Visit my YouTube page to learn about all of the Dreamers whose stories I’ve told.

I’ve also asked Dreamers and others to tell me how DACA is helping them contribute to their communities by tweeting at me using #DACAworks. Many have responded and I thank them for doing so. I encourage you to join in the conversation this week using #DACAworks.

If Republican leadership has its way, 600,000 young immigrants will be deported, denying them the opportunity to work in the United States as doctors, teachers, or engineers. And denying us the opportunity to benefit from their many talents. Would America be a stronger nation if we deport them? The answer is no.

We are, and will always be, a nation of immigrants. That’s my story, that’s my family’s story, and that’s America’s story. Congress should fund the Department of Homeland Security in a responsible way and not with amendments that deport some of the best and brightest among us. I continued to highlight DACA stories this week. You can follow along at my handle: @SenatorDurbin or on my Facebook Page.

Sincerely,

Dick Durbin
United States Senator

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Sent from the office of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin