Peoria Public Radio News
12:38 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Durbin touts Senate-backed immigration reform bill

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman speak to reporters in-front of the replica 777D Mining Truck that serves as the Caterpillar Visitors Center Theater.
Credit Tanya Koonce / WCBU

  Illinois Senator Dick Durbin toured Caterpillar’s Visitor's Center with the company’s CEO touting the merits of the Senate-passed immigration reform bill. Durbin says the bill will have a dramatic impact on economic growth in the country, offering companies like Caterpillar, ADM and Kraft the opportunity for more skilled labor workers. But he says it's also not an easy path to becoming a citizen: 

“For anyone who thinks it’s amnesty, just (a) give away gift to illegal people, step back and look: register, background check, learn English, pay your taxes, receive no government benefits for ten years while you are paying taxes, no credit for any social security for time that you worked before this time. None at all. So these people are starting in that position.”

Durbin, a member of the bipartisan group of eight that crafted the Senate immigration reform bill, says it would also provide a broader means for people who come to the U.S. for advanced degrees to remain, and put their knowledge to work in America. Durbin says it’s good to hear Peoria Congressman Aaron Schock’s recent comments on immigration that closely mirror the path to citizenship offered in the Senate measure.