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Durbin Statement on Governor Abbott’s Continued Political Stunts & Exploitation of Migrant Families, Calls for More Funding for Chicago

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement after Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) sent a letter to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot stating that he will continue his inhumane practice of busing migrants from Texas to Chicago:

“It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the Texas Governor is again choosing to inflict further suffering upon immigrant families.  He also continues to waste taxpayer dollars on a political stunt that only makes the problem worse.  Chicago has shown humanity and compassion to these migrants.  But we need more support for our city and the organizations that are trying to help. 

“These migrants don’t want a handout – they want a job.  Instead of exploiting families who are fleeing for their lives, we should work together to create bipartisan immigration reform that reflects the best values of America.”

Last September, Durbin visited the Salvation Army Freedom Center in the Humboldt Park neighborhood in Chicago to meet with migrant families who were forced to come to Chicago from Texas by Governor Abbott.

The Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Omnibus Appropriations Act included a new $800 million Shelter and Services grant program, which Durbin pushed for.  The program includes funding for cities, states, and nongovernmental organizations that provide shelter and respite to recently arrived migrants. 

Durbin continues to work with his colleagues to enact comprehensive immigration reform. Durbin, along with seven of his Republican and Democratic colleagues, authored a comprehensive immigration reform package that would have addressed many of the challenges our nation faces at the border today.  That legislation passed the Senate with bipartisan support in 2013, but did not receive a vote in the Republican-controlled House.