Dick Durbin Attacks GOP Governors Over Transporting Migrants To Democrat Cities: ‘Broken Every Basic Standard Of Decency’
Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., asks a question during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled Police Use of Force and Community Relations, in Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, on June 16, 2020.
Tom Williams/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) accused Republican governors of violating “every basic standard of decency” by transporting migrants to sanctuary cities.

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Durbin railed against recent moves by Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) and Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) to relocate illegal immigrants from their states to heavily Democratic cities and Martha’s Vineyard. While he did not know whether the governors had broken laws, Durbin attacked DeSantis and Abbott for “jeopardizing” the migrants’ ability to remain in the country and allegedly breaking up families.

“It is pathetic that these governors are taking advantage of these helpless people, making promises to them to ‘get on the bus and life is just gonna be fine,’ and off they go to places far removed from where they are supposed to be appearing under the requirements of our law in a matter of weeks and months,” Durbin said. “So [they are] jeopardizing their stay in the United States when each governor makes this decision.”

“[W]hy is it that when the Republicans want to enforce their immigration theories, it’s always the kids that end up being the victims?” said Durbin. “[O]nce again it’s the kids and families that are put on these buses and transported for political purposes across the United States.”

“I don’t know if laws were specifically broken, but they have broken every basic standard of decency when it comes to dealing with children and families,” he added. “I just don’t think that, when you get down to the basic rules of politics, this passes the smell test.”

Democrats have been in an uproar over the two governors sending buses and planeloads of migrants to Democratic-run sanctuary cities like Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York City, and most recently, Martha’s Vineyard. However, they have not criticized leaders in Democrat-controlled El Paso, Texas, which has sent nearly 30 buses full of illegal immigrants to New York in the last month and are seeking reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the costs.

DeSantis and Abbott fired back at critics in recent days. “[A]ll of those people in D.C. and New York were beating their chests when Trump was president, saying they were so proud to be sanctuary jurisdictions, saying how bad it was to have a secure border, the minute even a small fraction of what those border towns deal with every day is brought to their front door, they all of a sudden go berserk and they’re so upset that this is happening,” DeSantis said at a press conference Thursday. “It just shows you their virtue-signaling is a fraud.”

“We have small communities of about 25,000 people who have thousands of illegal immigrants dumped into their community,” Abbott added in an interview with Fox News Friday. “And so, they were begging for relief. And that’s exactly why we began this busing operation to Washington, D.C.” Abbott also took aim at the Biden administration for failing to secure the border. “[I]f they will not go to the border, we’re taking the border to them so they can see the challenges they’re opposing to the entire United States of America,” he said.

The Biden administration has been busing and flying illegal immigrants who are awaiting asylum or deportation hearings to locations around the country for more than a year, the Wall Street Journal noted Friday.

Greg Wilson contributed to this report.

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