Durbin: Don’t Deport People Who Haven’t Committed A ‘Serious Crime’

Stacy Thacker/AP

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) called on President Barack Obama to extend deportation relief to the parents and families of young undocumented immigrants who’ve received “deferred action.”

In an interview with Univision set to air Sunday, Durbin also called for granting reprieve to those who have been living in the U.S. but have not committed a “serious crime.”

“I know the President wants to do the right thing, and I support him. I want him to move to the point where we are not deporting for example the parents and families of Dreamers. Where we are saying, if you have not created or committed any serious crime, we are not going to deport you. Let us try to keep families intact until Congress meets its responsibility and passes an immigration reform bill,” the No. 2 Senate Democrat said.

Durbin said there’s “no connection whatsoever” between Obama’s 2012 deferred action program, or DACA, and the influx of unaccompanied minors at the southwestern border. Republicans have pushed to end DACA, blaming it for the recent surge of Central American migrants apprehended at the border.

Obama’s aides say he’ll announce a major executive action on immigration by the end of summer. Durbin, an original sponsor of the DREAM Act, is a staunch Obama ally; the two served together as Illinois senators.