Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois has become the fifth member of the chamber to say he will not vote for the end-of-year spending bill unless Congress immediately addresses legislation protecting the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrant youth who are now at risk of deportation following Donald Trump ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program this past September—and he’s encouraging other Democrats to join him:
“That’s my position. There’s too much at stake here. We can’t let this to slip into January, February with a March 5 deadline. It should be done, it can be done, easily, simply and quickly,” Durbin said in an interview.
Durbin has repeatedly said in recent months that Congress needs to resolve the status of dreamers by the end of the year, but he is now the highest-ranking Democratic senator to raise the specter of a government shutdown sparked by an impasse over immigration.
In Durbin’s home state, more than 1,000 DACA recipients missed the government’s arbitrary Oct. 5 renewal deadline, meaning young people in Illinois have already lost their work permits and protection from deportation. Nationally, 10,000 DACA recipients have already fallen out of status, and without a clean DREAM Act, 1,400 DACA recipients will become at risk of being torn from their families and homes every single day.