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Sen. Durbin Says Supreme Court's Ruling Is Not The End Of The Road For 'Dreamers'


Just after 10 this morning, the Supreme Court threw a lifeline to people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. In a 5-4 decision, the court blocked the Trump administration's move to end the program known as DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.


Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts called the administration's attempt to end the program, quote, "arbitrary and capricious."

KELLY: Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is one of the architects of the DREAM Act, a bill introduced nearly two decades ago that included a pathway to citizenship for so-called DREAMers. It never passed.

CHANG: On the Senate floor today, Durbin welcomed the court's ruling. But he said for DACA recipients, this is not the end of the road.


RICHARD DURBIN: Thanks to the Supreme Court, they have some more time. And now it's up to the president and up to us to solve this problem once and for all - to do the right thing for them and for the future of America.

KELLY: Senator Durbin told NPR's Morning Edition he hopes the administration will not make a new attempt to dismantle DACA. He is calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take up legislation that would write a permanent fix into law. But bipartisan legislation fell apart in the Senate in 2018.


DURBIN: Remember - the Republicans are in majority in the Senate as I'm reminded every day when I go to work. And of course, the president's in the White House. He would have to give a signal that he's given before that if we can come up with a bipartisan solution by legislation, he'll support it. He's disappointed me in the past when he made that promise and didn't keep it. But I hope that he would do it this time. And I think many Republicans want to see this issue resolved in the right way. They understand this is a special category of people.

CHANG: That said, Durbin did not sugarcoat the prospects of passing a bill in the Senate right now.


DURBIN: It could happen. But let me be honest with you - an election which brings more people that feel as I do on the issue would make it a lot easier. Right now it'd be a death-defying act in the Senate, but we ought to try. For the sake of these 700,000 young people and their families, we owe it to them to give it a try.

KELLY: Senator Dick Durbin. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.