Posted on January 29, 2021

Durbin, Graham Teaming Up on Immigration Bill

Jordain Carney, The Hill, January 28, 2021

Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are introducing DREAM Act legislation next week, as senators look for a long elusive immigration deal.

Durbin told reporters on Thursday that it would be the starting base for broader negotiations within the Judiciary Committee and the Senate.


Durbin, who also serves as Senate majority whip, said that the forthcoming bill “will resemble our similar efforts in the past.”

Graham and Durbin have previously introduced Dream Act legislation that would provide permanent residency, and eventual citizenship, to immigrants brought into the country as children who meet education or work requirements.


The Senate proposal would be substantially narrower than Biden’s immigration proposal that would provide pathways to citizenship for 11 million immigrants, as well as expanding refugee protections and more border technology. The Biden administration has also reportedly signaled a willingness to break the proposal into pieces to try to make it easier to pass Congress.

But Biden’s proposal is largely considered a non-starter for congressional Republicans.

Durbin, asked about going broader on immigration, warned that some things “will be too much of a reach.”

In addition to Graham, Durbin has said that he’s reached out to roughly half a dozen Republicans, but pointed to the Dream Act and Temporary Protection Status as two of the highest priorities.


Immigration has long been viewed as a white whale for Congress, with both sides interested in getting a deal but never able to reach an agreement. Trump, in early 2018, opened the door to accepting a pathway to citizenship for immigrants brought into the country as children in exchange for $25 billion for the border wall.