CHICAGO — U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) on Saturday praised the Biden administration for its willingness to welcome refugees into the United States.
The Democratic senator spoke at a World Refugee Day Chicago event in Rogers Park ahead of Monday’s 20th anniversary.
Durbin praised President Joe Biden for reopening the door to refugees after scolding former President Donald Trump’s administration for drastically lowering the number of accepted refugees.
“The number that was accepted in the United States went from 100,000 to 10,000 and 15,000 a year. It was terrible,” Durbin said. “At a time when we needed more acceptance of refugees from around the world, the Trump administration said, ‘we’re not going to accept any more.’ Well, the good news is we have a new president and the new president is determined to give back into leadership when it comes to the United States and refugees.”
Durbin’s mother was just two years old when his grandparents came to the U.S. as refugees from Lithuania in 1911.
In recent months, Durbin has championed refugee rehoming efforts in the Chicago region, overseeing the arrival and housing of dozens of Afghan refugee children.