CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — During the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin says he’ll be focused on what Trump has to say about immigration.
Durbin says he’s invited a student from the Loyola University School of Medicine to attend the annual address. Cesar Montelongo is among the so-called “Dreamers,” those who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents as children and risk losing protections from deportation.
“Some 50,000 people in the state of Illinois are counting on DACA so that they can continue their education, they can continue to work,” Durbin said. “I hope Cesar’s presence reminds President Trump what’s at stake in the debate over DACA: the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent young people who want to contribute to our country’s future.”
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), created in 2012 under former President Barack Obama, is a federal government program that allows people brought to the U.S. illegally as children the temporary right to live, study and work in America.
“It’s very difficult to wake up every day and see the headlines telling me that my future may play out in any given manner and just having to think about what’s going to happen every single day,” Montelongo told CNN.
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Durbin says he’s also interested to hear about Trump’s plans to stop immigrants from illegally crossing the Mexican border. And while he agrees that more can be done to secure the border, he said a combination of physical barriers, technology and more highly-trained border personnel are a more practical approach than the wall Trump has promised.
“I’m not excited about a wall. But I’m prepared to move forward in some parts of a fence or barrier or wall that makes sense. I don’t want to throw away billions of dollars on some empty campaign promise that was supposed to be paid for by the Mexicans, if you’ll remember.
“We want Americans to be safe. We want our border to be as sound as possible. We’re prepared to invest in things that make sense,” Durbin said.
Tuesday will be Trump’s first official State of the Union address before Congress.