A picture of Senator Richard J. Durbin
Richard D.
Democrat IL

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  • Executive Session

    by Senator Richard J. Durbin

    Posted on 2013-12-20

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    DURBIN. Will the Senator yield for a question? Mr. CARPER. Please.

    Mr. DURBIN. Through the Chair, I want to ask a question of the Senator from Delaware because he has touched on an issue that is important to everyone, but especially to this Senator from Illinois.

    It was 12 years ago when I introduced the DREAM Act, and it was a little over a year ago the President issued an executive order which said they would defer the deportation of those eligible under the DREAM Act, but there was also a little wrinkle to it. They said the fees we were going to collect under this DACA, they called it--this executive order--had to pay for the administration of this executive order. This is extraordinary. We were basically saying this was a pay-as-you-go effort that has drawn more than 600,000 applications and over 450,000 approvals. This went right through Mr. Mayorkas's responsibility and jurisdiction.

    So I would say to the Senator from Delaware, not only is the morale good in his agency, but the job they have done is extraordinary. They were given an extraordinary responsibility, and they rose to the challenge and handled it professionally. I can tell you, with firsthand knowledge, having met with him, watched him, this man is a capable administrator, and the people who work for him--clearly, as a result of this survey--are very happy with his performance.

    I would just say to the Senator from Delaware, what absolutely confuses, mystifies, and infuriates me, is the notion that unidentified people will make nonspecific charges against this man, and he is supposed to wait for month after weary month? If we talk about the basic standard of justice in America, when the government makes a charge against someone, there is a complaint--a bill of particulars. You know what the charge is, and fairness and justice requires that you can confront your accusers and hear from them the information and evidence against you.

    In this situation, as best I can understand--and what my colleague has said repeatedly on the floor, I say to the chairman--is that this never took place. You have waited month after weary month for these accusers to come forward and at least tell Mr. Mayorkas what they think he has done wrong. Their silence, their refusal to do so, speaks volumes to me.

    I am sorry they didn't make their report more fully, but I think, as I said the other night on the floor, you are an honorable person. I know you, and I have worked with you for over 30 years both in the House and in the Senate. When I hear you say on the floor you do your best to be fair and bipartisan in everything, and when I hear you stand on the floor and say this man has been treated unfairly, he deserves his chance, that is what I need to hear.

    I would just ask the Senator from Delaware: Has he had a chance to confront his accusers? Has your committee had a chance to even know the allegations against him at this point? Mr. CARPER. The answer, Madam President, sadly, is no, we have not. No, we have not.

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