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Sen. Durbin Slams Ted Cruz for Campaign to End DACA: Deporting DREAMers is Not "What This Country is About"

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House Republicans have come after DREAMers again and again during this legislative session, voting no less than five times to end DACA and deport them.  Now, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wants to push the Senate to do the same thing, on the pretext that DACA caused the child migrant crisis on the border, even though everyone else has provided evidence that it didn’t.  Yesterday, Cruz came to the Senate floor to ask for ive consent on H.R.5272, a bill to prohibit certain actions with respect to DACA.

“You cannot solve the crisis at the border without ending the promise of amnesty,” Cruz said. “They are coming because they believe they will get amnesty.”

Luckily, a number of immigration champions were on hand to shut down Cruz’s bloviating, including Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).  Watch below as he shuts down Sen. Cruz, asking why Cruz wants to deport children who have grown up in the US and called the country home for nearly their entire lives:


DACA is a temporary suspension of deportation.  It’s temporary.  It must be renewed.  And in order to qualify for it, you must have been in the United States as of June 15, 2007.  There are 600,000 who’ve come forward, they have paid the fee, and they are allowed to stay here without being subject to deportation, on a temporary basis that needs to be renewed.  There are another 2 million who may be eligible.  And what you are doing is not addressing unaccompanied children at the border.  You are saying to the remaining 2 million, you don’t have a chance.  You gotta leave.  You’re illegal, you’re going to be deported.

This isn’t about amnesty.  This is about whether those who qualify under the DREAM Act — which incidentally was endorsed by the House Republican caucus, when they put out their statement of principles — whether those who qualify for the DREAM Act are going to have a chance to stay.  To think that your colleagues in the House stood and applauded themselves for denying 2 million people a chance to stay in the only country they’ve ever called home, to me doesn’t speak well of that caucus, or their sensitivity to the reality of their lives.  These children were brought here by their parents, some as infants, they didn’t vote on it, they were brought here, they have been raised in our schools, they have been taken care of in our hospitals, they pledge allegiance in the classroom in the only country they have ever known, and now you are glorying in the possibility that you can deport these children.  I’m a first generation American, I believe you have a similar claim to make.  Do you believe that’s what this country is all about?