- The Washington Times - Monday, January 22, 2018

The second-ranking Democrat in the Senate said Monday that casting a vote to shut down the government over the weekend was a very difficult decision for his colleagues, but the concern over whether to legalize millions of illegal immigrants amounted to a “civil rights” issue.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, took to the chamber floor minutes before the Senate proceeded to reopen the government after shutting it down on Friday.

“The issue of the Dreamers is the civil rights issue of the time,” said Mr. Durbin, speaking to his colleagues. “You stuck your necks out ,and said I’m willing to go on the record even if it’s hard to explain back home.”

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said his caucus would vote with Republicans to reopen the government Monday afternoon with the promise of taking up legislation addressing the illegal immigrants by Feb. 8.

Mr. Durbin said there have been bipartisan talks over the weekend, which gives him hope they’ll reach an agreement.

“For the first time in five years, we will have a debate on the floor of the Senate on the Dream Act and immigration. To all the Dreamers who are watching today, don’t give up,” Mr. Durbin said.

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