DACA Expiration Comes and Goes; Senator Durbin Says Solution Unlikely Any Time Soon — Chicago Sun-Times
On the day that protections were set to expire for people brought to the United States illegally as children, the man who has championed their cause — and given it a name — wasn’t giving up.
Sen. Dick Durbin said Monday he wants a promise from the Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of Homeland Security, that the so-called Dreamers will not be deported while their renewal applications are still pending under the expiring program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
“I want to have a clear assurance that those that come forward to renew their DACA be protected from deportation while that application is pending. I think that is not unreasonable,” Durbin, D-Ill.
The Trump administration announced in September that it would end the DACA program and not renew permits that expired after March 5, but a federal court ruled in January that the Department of Homeland Security must continue renewing permits as the matter continues to move through the legal system. Rival immigration plans that would have offered protections for Dreamers failed in the Senate last month.
Durbin helped start and name the “Dreamer” movement when he introduced legislation using that acronym in 2001; DREAM stands for “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors.”
Monday, he pledged that Senate Democrats will continue to try passing a permanent solution for Dreamers, even though he admitted they have little leverage with the GOP controlling both houses of Congress.
“We have tried everything that we can. We are in the minority,” he said. “Now the only way it moves forward is if the Republican leaders get a signal from the President of something he will accept.”