Earlier this month, House Republicans made funding for the Department of Homeland Security contingent on overturning DACA and DAPA — and now they’re waiting for Senate Republicans to do the same. More than half a million DACA-mented young people in the last two years have flourished as a result of being able to legally work and drive — but Republicans are now trying to take that all away, on threat of national security funding for the entire nation.
Sen. Dick Durbin has been taking to the Senate floor to explain just what a giant mistake Republicans are making. He’s been lifting up DACA stories — the successes of young immigrants across the nation who are living the American Dream because of executive action. Recently he highlighted the story of Carlos and Rafael Robles, Chicago-area brothers who embody the immigrant success story.
Both brothers were honor students in high school and community college. After community college, Carlos went onto Loyola, where he studied without any government assistance (undocumented students don’t qualify for federal tuition aid). He worked as a tennis coach and Chicago high school teacher before matriculating in graduate school, studying educational policy. As one of his teachers described him, “Carlos is the kind of person you want among us because he makes our community better…the kind of person you want to be an American.” As Sen. Durbin said of him, Carlos is a “bright, engaging young man who wants to make schools more effective.”
His younger brother, Rafael, was captain of the tennis team in high school, and played on the varsity swim team and soccer team. At the University of Illinois, he majored in architecture, and he will graduate this spring with a 3.8 GPA. As one of Rafael’s teachers described him:
Rafael is the kind of person I’ve taught about in my social studies classes, the American who comes to this country and commits to his community to make it better for others. During my 28-year-career as a high school teacher, coach, and administrator, I’d place Rafael in the top 5% of students I’ve ever come across.
Yet Republicans want to deport young immigrants like the Robles brothers. As Sen. Durbin said about this injustice and the danger of tying such a foolish plan to the DHS funding bill:
House Republicans want to deport two million young people, many of whom — just like the Robles brothers — want to make America a better place. And further, they say ‘we won’t pass the DHS bill to protect America from terrorism unless you deport the Robles brothers and young people just like them.’ What’s wrong with this picture? Have the House Republicans forgotten who we are as a country?
Why do the House Republicans have such a vengeance against these young men and women? It drives the House Republicans into a rage, to think the Robles brothers might stay in the US and make this a better country. I don’t get it.
Let’s do a different thing in the senate [than what Republicans did in the House]. Let’s pass a clean DHS appropriation bill. Take out the immigration riders. Let’s fund this department and let’s get it done now. For the safety and security of this nation, we need to come together in a bipartisan basis and put this political tactic by the House Republicans behind us.
Watch Sen. Durbin speaking about the Robles brothers, below: