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Sen. Durbin Tells Story of Juan Rios, DREAMer and Mechanical Engineer, on Senate Floor

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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.  Today Sen. Durbin told the story of Juan Rios, who was brought to the US when he was 10 years old.

In high school, Juan excelled in Air Force Junior R.O.T.C., becoming group commander and armed drill team captain, and rising to the rank of Cadet Lieutenant Colonel.  In 2010, Juan graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in aeronautical engineering.  After graduation, Juan was forced to put his life on hold because he couldn’t enlist in the military or work as an engineer.

Today, thanks to DACA, Juan is working as a mechanical engineer in the semiconductor industry.  At the age of 27, he learned to drive and bought his first car. After living in Arizona for 17 years, he was able to visit the Grand Canyon for the first time.

As Juan said recently:

I am fortunate to have found the opportunity to prove myself as a professional and to work in a place where I feel my contributions are valued and recognized.  The past two years have changed my life in every way imaginable.  I think DACA is a responsibility, a privilege, and an opportunity for everyone who receives it to demonstrate that we as a community of Dreamers have so much to contribute to society.

Why, then, is the GOP trying to deport DREAMers like Juan — and holding up national security funding to do it?

Watch Sen. Durbin speak about Juan below: