Sen. Durbin on DACA: 2018 Midterm Elections ‘Will Decide Fate of This Issue’

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 23: U.S. Senate Minority Whip Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) speaks to members of the media after a weekly Senate Democratic Policy Luncheon January 23, 2018 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Senate Democrats held a policy luncheon to discuss the Democratic agenda. (Photo by Alex …
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Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), longtime amnesty advocate and co-sponsor of the Dream Act legislation to give legal status and a pathway to citizenship for some 700,000 illegal aliens, now believes the fate of the DACA recipients will be decided at the ballot box.

“The election of new members to the House and Senate will decide the fate of this issue,” Durbin told NPR’s All Things Considered on Wednesday.

Durbin and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have been promoting amnesty for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients who say they were brought to the U.S. as children.

And despite the narrative pro-amnesty open border groups have been pushing — that the deadline President Donald Trump gave Congress to deal with DACA is March 5 — NPR’s report acknowledges that the threat to so-called Dreamers is non-existent.

“Some Dreamers did get a reprieve, though,” NPR host Ari Shapiro said in the interview. “Courts decided that those with short-term protections under the DACA program can renew their status while legal challenges play out.”

“That means President Trump cannot end DACA on March 5 as he had promised,” Shapiro said, asking Durbin if Congress is less likely to act without a “firm deadline.”

Durbin admitted the sense of urgency had gone but claimed there is still uncertainty. When asked what the strategy is going forward, the senator tried to blame Trump.

“The president said, well, let’s help these young people,” Durbin said. “We need to do something to fix DACA. And yet, given that opportunity, he rejected it.”

“It turned out that this debate was not about a wall,” Durbin said. “It was about a new immigration policy in America.”

In fact, Democrats rejected Trump’s framework for solving the DACA dilemma, which included amnesty and an eventual pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal aliens. The framework also included funding for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico and the end of chain migration and the visa lottery system.

Durbin said he would “seize every opportunity” going forward, and Shapiro asked what that means.

Durbin said he didn’t know but that he thought the midterm elections might bring more Democrats who favor amnesty to Congress.

“I don’t know what lies ahead in terms of the midterm elections,” Durbin said. “But I remind all of my friends who feel as I do about this issue, this election, the election of new members to the House and to the Senate, will decide the fate of this issue.”

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