News Local/State

Sen. Durbin Supports Campus Efforts To Protect Students From Deportation


US Senator Dick Durbin says he supports efforts to protect students who may have entered the country illegally or overstayed their visa – as long as they haven't committed a crime.

Faculty and staff at the University of Illinois and other schools are asking to be declared sanctuary campuses. That would mean administrators would refuse to provide information to federal officials on the immigration status of their students.

Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate, says that appears to be perfectly legal.

"There are existing laws which prohibit university administrators from releasing student records," he says. "So if someone came and asked for those student records, there would have to be some litigation, some day in court to require the university to release records which might show undocumented status."

Hundreds of thousands of young people across the country are currently protected under what's called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. It was created by executive order, and could be overturned by the next president.

Durbin says he and others in congress hope President-elect Donald Trump will clarify a standard for deportation that includes only those with criminal records.

Durbin was a guest last week on WILL’s The 21st. The number two Democrat in the US Senate also weighed in on the outcome of the presidential election and what may have been diferent if Bernie Sanders had been the party's nominee: