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Senator Dick Durbin wants to turn illegal aliens into American soldiers

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U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), delivered a speech on the Senate floor Monday that raised eyebrows at one point when he suggested illegal immigrants serve in the U.S. military.

The Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee was speaking on comprehensive immigration reform when he referred to a colleague’s bill that “says that if you are an undocumented person in this country, and you can pass the physical and the required test, background test, the like, you can serve in our military and if you do it honorably, we will make you citizens of the United States.”

The Democrat went on to note the low levels of recruitment currently being experienced by the U.S. military.

“Do you know what the recruiting numbers are at the Army, Navy, and the Air Force? They can’t reach their quotas each month. They can’t find enough people to join our military forces. And there are those who are undocumented who want the chance to serve and risk their lives for this country. Should we give them a chance? I think we should,” Durbin said.

He also made the case for jobs in industries like healthcare and agriculture, which need workers, to be able to hire those who illegally enter the U.S.

In my state of Illinois, in Chicago, [and] in the rural areas downstate, we’re holding our breath hoping that we can keep hospitals open. You know why? We don’t have enough medical personnel. And yet there are people all around this world who have medical credentials as doctors and nurses and skilled technicians who want to come to the United States, but we don’t give them the chance,” Durbin said.

He took shots at his Republican colleague for continuing to press for a stronger border and updated immigration policies that would strengthen the U.S., pushing again for legislation that would ensure illegal aliens can permanently stay in the country.

“The permanent solution is enacting a piece of legislation I first introduced more than twenty years ago: the Dream Act. It would provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers all across the country,” he said.

According to a press release from Durbin’s office Monday:

If DACA is struck down, experts predict that our economy would lose an estimated $11.7 billion each year in lost wages. And without continued immigration, the U.S. working-age population will shrink by over six million by 2040. As more Americans retire, this could contribute to a 23 percent reduction in the monthly Social Security checks that beneficiaries have been promised. With over nine and a half million jobs open last month, our farmers, hospitals, and small business owners desperately need immigrants to meet their workforce needs.

 

“To resolve these challenges, we should create additional lawful pathways for immigrants to work in the United States. We should also give our undocumented population—most of whom have been here for decades—legal status, so that they can fully contribute to our society. I am ready to negotiate with my Republican colleagues in good faith to solve our problem at the border. It needs a solution. I readily acknowledge that. But at the same time, I hope they [Republicans] will take a positive approach as well, knowing that we desperately need legal immigration. And if people are clear to come into our country for that purpose, we will be better for it at so many different levels.”

Durbin’s full remarks can be seen in the video below:

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