The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing this week on immigration reform and the President’s executive action for immigrants — and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) used his time to take apart the arguments of the anti-immigrant crowd.
Watch the video below:
Speaking for opponents for executive action were John Eastman, Chairman of the Board of the National Organization for Marriage, and Jan C. Ting, board member for the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies, making the usual arguments that President Obama’s action is an “executive fiat” that will lead to a “lawless society.” And, Eastman flat-out admitted that he supported mass deportation. (You can see that revelation beginning at around the 4 minute mark.) Eastman acknowledged what so many anti-immigrant advocates try to hide: they do support mass deportation.
But as Sen. Durbin pointed out, there are exactly three options for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already here. Those who oppose executive action are left supporting mass deportation.
As Sen. Durbin said:
We can either stick with the current way of doing things, which separates families. There’s the position that Mitt Romney supported — self-deportation. Let’s tell these people to leave. All 11 million of them. Just leave.
Or there’s the President’s approach — create some priorities here. Immigrants can register, get a criminal background check, pay taxes, pay a fee for a temporary situation where you can work in this country. Which do you choose?
Eastman and Ting continued to argue the point and attempted to claim that similar actions done by previous presidents were actually different. But Durbin stuck to his point: the President is protecting — and has the authority to protect — families from deportation. And those who oppose the program should realize that they’re supporting mass deportation. As Durbin said:
Prosecutorial discretion is on the books as part of presidential authority. You have come out in favor of mass deportation. I don’t think it’s reasonable and I don’t think it’s good for this country.