Sen. Durbin: ‘Of Course,’ a Pathway to Citizenship ‘Under Certain Circumstances’

By Elisabeth Nieshalla | July 29, 2021 | 4:28pm EDT
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

(CNS News) -- When asked whether illegal aliens should be given a pathway to citizenship, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said, “Under certain circumstances, of course.”

At the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, CNS News asked the senator, “Should illegal aliens be given a pathway to citizenship?”

Senator Durbin said, “Under certain circumstances, of course.”

When asked what those circumstances might be, he replied, “Well, first start with the Dream Act that I introduced 20 years ago. That’s one of the circumstances.”

The Dream Act is a bipartisan bill that Durbin introduced with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), which would allow “immigrant students without lawful status, who were brought here as children and grew up in the United States, to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually American citizenship,” according to a press release by Senator Durbin on Feb. 2, 2021.

In a follow-up question, CNS News asked, “And is our southwestern border secure now?”

“It’s getting better, but it still needs work,” said Senator Durbin.

Senate Democrats are pursuing a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 8 million illegal aliens, or “undocumented immigrants,” as part of a $3.5 trillion budget resolution aimed at achieving many items on President Joe Biden’s agenda. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said they will act on the resolution before the extended August recess.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

As part of the broad economic package, the Senate Judiciary Committee was charged with crafting a $120-billion bill for “making improvements on U.S. ports of entry, clearing out a backlog of visa applications, or other changes,” a Senate Democratic aide working closely on the plan told Bloomberg News. There was no mention of any funds going towards border security.

“Of the 8 million immigrants that Democrats want to aid in the economic package, 3 million would be young, undocumented immigrants known as ‘Dreamers,’ migrant workers, and some with ‘temporary protected status’ because dangerous conditions present risks, if they return to their home countries, the aide said,” according to Bloomberg News. “The other 5 million would be ‘essential workers’ who have yet to be defined.”

This immigration piece apparently is becoming increasingly crucial for the Senate Democrats to secure, as several House Democrats have said they will not support the larger economic package unless it is included.

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