The Lecture Fund hosted Senator Dick Durbin (SFS’66, JD’69), the assistant majority leader of the U.S. Senate, at an event titled “U.S. Immigration Reform 360: ‘Immigration Reform: Where we go from here’” on Tuesday, Oct. 29.
Durbin discussed his involvement in comprehensive immigration reform. He first introduced the DREAM act in 2001 and has been pushing for its enactment ever since.
“There may be some dreamers in here, and I just want to let them know that I’m never giving up on them and never giving up on the DREAM Act,” Durbin said during his speech.
In spite of Durbin’s optimistic view on the future immigration reform, a group from Dream Activist, an undocumented student action and resource network, interrupted the Senator at the conclusion of the Question and answer session.
“We’ve been trying to contact Durbin for weeks to gain his support. … We were in his office just this morning and he ignored [us]. He’s one of the most powerful senators in the U.S. Congress,” said Mohammad Abdollahi, one of the members of Dream Activist.
A police officer tried to remove the activists from Gaston Hall until the Senator decided to respond to their angry accusations.
“[The 30 individuals] are now going to have to go through the asylum process. There are real standards they have to abide by—they are not legal dreamers and they have chosen a different approach to get into the system,” Durbin said in response to the activists.