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

About Sen. Richard
  • Nomination of Vivek Hallegere Murthy to Be Medical Director in the Regular Corps of the Public Health Service, Subject to Qualifications Therefor as Provided By Law and Regulations, and to Be…

    by Senator Richard J. Durbin

    Posted on 2014-12-15

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    Read More about Nomination of Vivek Hallegere Murthy to Be Medical Director in the Regular Corps of the Public Health Service, Subject to Qualifications Therefor as Provided By Law and Regulations, and to Be...

    DURBIN. Madam President, I don't understand this. I am glad the Senator from Alabama is still on the floor, but I just don't understand this.



    How many speeches have we heard on the floor of the Senate that the No. 1 priority on the Republican side is border enforcement? How many times have we heard over and over again that before we can have any conversation about those in the United States, we have to seal our borders from the illegal immigrants coming into our country? I have heard it from the beginning. In fact, I heard it every time a Republican Member initiated a conversation about immigration. Isn't this interesting.

    Two days ago we passed the budget bill for the remainder of this fiscal year that was initiated by the House of Representatives and sent over here. It was not called an omnibus spending bill, which would have meant all of the agencies of the government are in the budget. It had this peculiar name--CRomnibus. I don't know who came up with it, but what they were trying to say was that there was one agency of government that was not included in the overall budget. What was that agency? Well, it turned out it was the Department of Homeland Security.

    The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives refused to send any spending bill here that would give ordinary appropriations to the Department of Homeland Security. Well, what does the Department of Homeland Security do? They guard our borders and stop illegal immigration. They have a massive responsibility at the borders, which the Republicans have said repeatedly is their highest priority.

    So the first thing they do is send us a spending bill that has what is known as a continuing resolution to tie the hands of the Department of Homeland Security when it comes to spending money to enforce our borders and stop illegal immigration. But that was not enough. Now we hear the opposition of [[Page S6845]] the Republican side to filling the position that is responsible for enforcement of our borders, the position responsible for stopping illegal immigration. It is called ICE--Immigration and Customs Enforcement--which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. It was created in 2003. It is the largest investigative agency in the Department of Homeland Security. It is the second largest criminal investigative agency in the entire Federal Government. It has an annual budget of approximately $6 billion. It has more than 20,000 employees and more than 400 offices in the United States and 48 foreign countries. What is the responsibility of Immigration and Customs Enforcement? To enforce the border and to stop illegal immigration.

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