WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today delivered an opening statement during “The Essential Role of Immigrant Workers in America” Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety hearing. U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), Chair of the Subcommittee, made history as the first Latino Chair of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee. During his opening statement, Durbin highlighted the need for Congress to pass legislation providing a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented workers who have kept our communities running during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to FWD.us, undocumented immigrants are one of the largest groups among the immigrant essential workforce, making up 5.2 million essential workers, of whom nearly one million are Dreamers.
“I had to be here today. Not just because of the importance of the topic that is at hand, but because I’m watching history in the making. Alex Padilla, you’ve become the first Latino Senator in the history of the United States Senate to chair the Immigration Subcommittee. That is no small thing, it is the right thing and I’m glad that you are here.”
“I personally believe in a God of second chances. In fact, I’m counting on it. And these people today – these essential workers – are asking for a second chance. They may have come to this country in an undocumented status, illegal circumstance, or semi-legal circumstances. But they have tried to prove that they can earn their way to a legal status and really walk away from this fear of deportation.”
“What more can we ask of them than to risk their lives for us? How can we turn them away? Will there ever be a day where they have paid their debt to this society and deserve a chance to become legal parts of America? I think that’s what Senator Padilla’s bill is all about and that’s why I’m proud to sponsor it.”
Video of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.
Audio of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.
Footage of Durbin’s opening statement is available here for TV Stations.