- 1 Committees
- 2 CoC support in 1996 run
- 3 IPA endorsement
- 4 Citizen Action "champion"
- 5 Opposed Iraq War
- 6 Save Our Security Illinois Coalition
- 7 DREAM Act
- 8 Supporting Coalition of Immokalee Workers
- 9 Support for Barack Obama
- 10 Crossroads Fund
- 11 Delivered Greeting from Obama to Timuel Black
- 12 Quentin Young
- 13 Working with communist Bea Lumpkin
- 14 Supported by Council for a Livable World
- 15 2014 endorsement
- 16 Fair Elections Now Act
- 17 NEXT AGENDA Conference
- 18 America's Future Now!
- 19 Quoting IPS report
- 20 Hi IPS rating
- 21 Progressive bridge
- 22 Trip to Cuba and Haiti
- 23 Nancy Pelosi Award
- 24 Housemates
- 25 Radical Affiliations
- 26 PDA contact
- 27 China visit
- 28 JStreet endorsement
- 29 ARA endorsement, 2014
- 30 Honduras letter
- 31 Cuba's removal from terrorism list
- 32 Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015
- 33 The "Jihad" Caucus
- 34 CAIR
- 35 Endorsed CAIR, 2016
- 36 2016 Cuba visit
- 37 Korean connection
- 38 "Closed stragedy meeting"
- 39 Campaign Contributions
- 40 Staff
- 41 External links
- 42 References
Dick Durbin is a Democratic member of the United States Senate, representing Illinois. Durbin was originally elected to his position in 1996 and was re-elected in 2002. He is the Assistant Majority Leader, or Majority Whip.
He is married to Loretta Schaefer Durbin. The two have three children and one grandchild and reside in Springfield.
Born in November 1944 in East St. Louis, Richard Durbin was raised in southern Illinois by parents who were active trade unionists. After earning his undergraduate degree (in Foreign Services and Economics) at Georgetown University in 1966, he attended Georgetown Law School and received his Juris Doctorate in 1969. Durbin worked as Legal Counsel for the Illinois Lieutenant Governor from 1969-73, and for the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee from 1972-82, before serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983-96. He has been a Democratic U.S. Senator representing Illinois since 1996.
In 1999, Durbin was called "Legislator of the Year" by the American Public Health Association. In 2001, he received the American Medical Association's Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service.
Elected to the U.S. Senate on November 5, 1996, and re-elected in 2002 and 2008, Durbin fills the seat left vacant by the retirement of his long-time friend and mentor, U.S. Senator Paul Simon.
- Appropriations Committee
- Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government
- Agriculture, Rural Development Subcommittee
- Defense Subcommittee
- Legislative Branch Subcommittee
- Transportation/HUD Subcommittee
- Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education
- Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations
- Judiciary Committee
- Chairman of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law
- Subcommittee on the Constitution
- Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Refugees
- Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security
- Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs
- Rules and Administration
CoC support in 1996 run
When Durbin first ran for the US Senate in 1996, he was supported by the Chicago chapter of Committees of Correspondence.
- Finally, the Steering Committee feels that the U.S. Senate race for the seat vacated by retiring Senator Paul Simon is important enough--and the difference between the candidates significant enough--to merit attention. Democrat Dick Durbin is the best hope to beat Al Salvi, a wealthy "pro-life" ultra right Republican...Polls show Durbin with a significant, but by no means secure lead...Please consider what you can do in the time remaining, to mobilize support for these quite different, but all important campaigns!
As Chicago Democratic Socialists of America's representative to Illinois Public Action, Ron Baiman drove to Peoria for the IPA's 20th annual convention, held on the weekend of December 8th and 9th, 1995. Illinois Public Action is the Illinois affiliate of Citizen Action.
The conference had to choose between endorsing two candidates for the US Senate. They heard from Dick Durbin, the Congressman from the 20th District, endorsed by Paul Simon, and a representative from Patrick Quinn's campaign. The Quinn / Durbin endorsement choice was the major issue of the board. Durbin ultimately got the endorsement despite Dr. Quentin Young's eloquent speech in favor of Quinn.
Citizen Action "champion"
In 2009, Citizen Action/Illinois thanked the members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation, "in particular our champions Senator Durbin and Representative Schakowsky, for their tireless efforts in leading the health care bill in Washington D.C.
- We will continue our efforts to ensure that 2010 will mark a turning point in our country’s 100 year battle to make quality and affordable health care a reality for all Americans.
Opposed Iraq War
Six of the eight U.S. Senators from the four upper Midwest states voted against the resolution to authorize force against Iraq, all of them Democrats or progressive Democrats: Mark Dayton and Paul Wellstone (Minn.), Russ Feingold (Wis.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), and Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.).
Sen. Wellstone, the only member of the Senate voting "Nay" who was facing election that fall, died in a plane crash just prior to the 2002 election; his seat was taken by Republican Norm Coleman. But Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat, joined the war resistance a year later by voting against the $87 billion supplemental appropriation for the Iraq War.
Save Our Security Illinois Coalition
In 2005, left opposition to Social Security privatization was organized in Illinois around the Save Our Security Illinois Coalition, which included Chicago Democratic Socialists of America. The Coalition’s first action in Illinois was a 90-person picket line outside the downtown Chicago offices of the Charles Schwab brokerage, a major advocate of privatization. A town hall meeting, with an overflow crowd of 400, on February 28 at Loyola University’s Water Tower campus featured Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama and Representative Jan Schakowsky. There was also a major rally in April.
In 2005 the DREAM Act, a narrowly tailored, bipartisan measure that Dick Durbin sponsored with Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), would permit undocumented students to become permanent residents if they came to the US as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and attend college or enlist in the military for at least two years.
Supporting Coalition of Immokalee Workers
In March 2008, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' petition drive to end sweatshop conditions in Florida's tomato fields received a warm welcome in Washington, DC. Senator Dick Durbin joined Senator Bernie Sanders, Representatives Dennis Kucinich and John Conyers, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and representatives from dozens of human rights, religious, labor, and student organizations joined the CIW's call to end sweatshops and slavery in the fields.
Senator Sanders decried the "desperate conditions, conditions that in some cases are so extreme that even the Bush Administration has brought slavery charges," in Florida's fields, and announced that a hearing into those conditions is scheduled for April 15th.
Senator Durbin announced that a letter had been sent to "seven companies -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., Kroger Co., Publix, Safeway Inc., US Food Service, Supervalu Inc., and Sysco Corp. -- asking them to join McDonald's and Yum Brands in the extra penny a pound program."
Support for Barack Obama
Durbin has a long and close relationship with Barack Obama.
Speaking alongside Obama at Labor Event
Speaking in a vernacular and cadence that showed the Harvard Law School and Columbia University trained Barack Obama can connect with working class people, the third year U. S. Senator wowed and energized a mostly labor union crowd of about 1600 supporters this morning...
The event attracted some of Labor’s big hitters to join Obama on the dais and speak, including John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO and Gerald McEntee, President of AFSCME. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky [D-Evanston, 9th CD], an early and big-time supporter of Obama’s in the 2004 Senate Primary and Senator Dick Durbin [D-IL] also spoke...
Eight other individuals spoke at the rally, including local labor leaders and health care workers, as well as a local favorite for liberals, Dr. Quentin Young.
Cong. Jan Schakowsky [D-Evanston, 9th CD]: … Employers can intimidate, fire, threaten to move people from the day shift to the graveyard...it is a new day in our nation’s capital, it’s a new day for Resurrection workers and their friends, it’s a new day for immigrant workers, it’s a new day for all our working Americans who dream of the justice that ONLY the Union Movement can deliver. And, to the doubters I say, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Just wait until we have a Labor Department under President Barack Obama.
Of those speaking with Obama, John Sweeney and Quentin Young are confirmed Democratic Socialists of America members. Gerald McEntee is a reported member and Jan Schakowsky has been a member. Only Dick Durbin has no known DSA ties.
Sponsoring Barack Obama
- Barack has some real left-wing street cred in Chicago. He is probably the only person running for president who could identify, say, Antonio Gramsci, and that should count for something shouldn’t it?
- He has often attacked for being less outspoken than the Senior Senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin, but Obama actually takes his cues from Durbin who, along with DSA-friendly Jan Schakowsky, has been his main political sponsor.
Obama for America, National Co-Chair
February 22, 2012, Obama for America, announced the selection of the campaign’s National Co-Chairs, a diverse group of leaders from around the country committed to re-electing President Obama. The co-chairs will serve as ambassadors for the President, advise the campaign on key issues, and help engage and mobilize voters in all 50 states.
Senator Dick Durbin – U.S. Senator from Illinois , was on the list.
In 2007, Dick Durbin was an honorary host for the 25th Anniversary of the Crossroads Fund. The fund, founded in 1981 supports community organizations working on "issues of social and economic justice" in the Chicago area.
Delivered Greeting from Obama to Timuel Black
In December 2008, Timuel Black celebrated his 90th birthday on Chicago's south side;
- The Checkerboard Lounge on Chicago's south side, was jumping last night as a couple of hundred of us celebrated Tim Black's 90th birthday. The party was organized by Tim's wife Zenobia and the Chicago Jazz Institute.
Congressman Bobby Rush hailed Timuel Black as the movement's "field marshal" and the crowd, "including politicians, community leaders and educators all joined in a rollicking version of Happy Birthday To Ya."
Chicago jazz legends, including Willie Pickens, Corey Wilkes, and Jimmy Ellis, entertained the crowd. But the high point of the evening was Sen. Dick Durbin's reading of a personal birthday greeting from the President-elect himself.
- I wish I could be with you all in person today to celebrate the life of a dedicated teacher and one of the preeminent oral historians of our time, a man who keeps the soul of the South Side alive and shares his stories still, Professor Tim Black.
- The Great Migration brought his family to Chicago's South Side, and the Great Depression started him down the long path of social justice. As a student at Burke Elementary School, he'd often walk across the street to hear the orators in Washington Park argue with passion for jobs that pay a fair wage, for protections to keep workers safe, for an economy that would allow families to live in dignity and dream of a brighter future.Little did they know among their greatest lasting impacts would be the achievements of the man we honor today.
- Like my grandfather, he joined the army as a fresh-faced young man in World War II. And like my great uncle, he helped liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp. It was a moment that left a mark on this man; that left no doubt as to his destiny.He returned convinced by his life experiences that the greatest impact he could make on the next generation would be to teach our youth about their communities, about the world they live in, and about how to be responsible citizens of each.
- For forty years, he shaped our young men and women into those citizens. And though he may have retired from the teaching profession nearly two decades ago, he never stopped being a teacher. We are all his students in a classroom that never closes.
- Because of Professor Black, jazz has a place to call home in Chicago. Because of Professor Black, the rich and vibrant chronicles of Bronzeville and the greater South Side live on. Because of Professor Black, generations of youth have grown up with a better appreciation of their neighborhoods and the history they inherit.
- The man we honor today grew up in the midst of Depression and war, yet considers himself part of a fortunate generation. And he's made it his life's mission to give each successive generation every possible chance in this world.
- "I never lose hope," he once said. "I believe that I have responsibilities to help younger people to obtain hopes and dreams. Their present condition may be very discouraging; my aim is to help them regain a sense of hope for the future. My main interest is in building a better America, building a better world."
- Tim, for your birthday, I promise you this: that will always be my mission too. Thank you for a life well-lived. I wish you all the best for the stories you've yet to tell.
- Happy Birthday,
- Barack Obama
Timuel Black support for Durbin
To commemorate Dr. King’s birthday, the Day in Remembrance of the Accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (DREAM) Committee of Northwestern University School of Law and Feinberg School of Medicine planned a series of events that started on Monday January 11th, 2010. The breadth of the program was impressive, and began with a week of daily panel discussions on issues of social justice. Panel events included a panel discussion comprised of Dr. Omar B. Lateef, Dr. Quentin Young, Dr. Luis Munoz, Professor Dorothy Roberts, Esq., and Senator Dick Durbin.
Working with communist Bea Lumpkin
Cooperating on drug program
On May 3, 2004 Sen. Dick Durbin cautioned seniors against rushing to buy one of the dozens of new discount drug cards available to Medicare recipients.
"Frankly, as soon as you sign up and pay your fee, you're stuck for a year," the Springfield Democrat said during a news conference at a Chicago pharmacy with two other members of the Illinois congressional delegation. "What may look like an appealing discount for a drug right now might, in fact, disappear in the next week."
Also joining Durbin was Chicago Congressman Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat who advocates the re-importation of cheaper drugs from Canada, and Bea Lumpkin of the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans. All agreed that Illinoisans may be better off using a new state program that offers drug discounts to people 65 and older and the disabled.
Nursing home rally
In 2008, Communist Party USA member Bea Lumpkin was elected state secretary of Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans. The ARA was leading the fight for higher standards for nursing homes and home care. In 2009 she appeared at a press conference with Senator Dick Durbin to protest cuts in federal aid to nursing homes.
Supported by Council for a Livable World
The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Dick Durbin in his successful Senate run as candidate for Illinois.
The Council wrote of Durbin;
- During his time in Congress, Durbin has built up impressive progressive credentials on national security issues. In 2002 and 2003, he questioned the Bush administration’s intelligence on Iraq, and was eventually was one of 23 Senators to vote against the Iraq war.
- Between 2009 and 2012, Sen. Durbin accrued a perfect 100% on the Council for a Livable World’s Senate voting scorecard. He has supported the Council’s position on a number of issues related to arms control and national security. Notably, Durbin voted to ratify the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia, as well as to accelerate the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
- In addition to his national security record, Durbin has been a leader on other progressive priorities. He has been active on immigration reform and is a vocal supporter of the DREAM Act. Durbin also supports stronger financial regulation, and worked with Sen. Elizabeth Warren to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- In 2008, the Council endorsed Senator Durbin in his bid for reelection against Republican challenger Steve Sauerberg. Among other issues, the candidates clashed over the future of the US war in Iraq, with Sauerberg calling for an extended troop presence and Durbin espousing a “systematic, sensible withdrawal.” In the end, Sen. Durbin's long history serving Illinois in Congress propelled him to victory.
- In January 2013, Sen. Durbin was named chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. In this capacity, he is tasked with overseeing the Durbin has vowed to pursue a defense budgeting policy that “will make us safer and not cost us so much money.”
- Senator Durbin has been one of the Senate’s most important proponents of a progressive agenda. We’re pleased to support this effective leader for reelection in 2014.
Fair Elections Now Act
In 2010 Senator Maria Cantwell signed on as a Senate co-sponsor of the Fair Elections Now Act (FENA), S.752 - joining Senator Dick Durbin (original sponsor) and other Senate colleagues for a total of nine.
NEXT AGENDA Conference
NEXT AGENDA was held at the National Press Club, Main Ballroom, Feb. 28,2001.
- At Feb. 28 Conference on NEXT AGENDA, progressive activists, Congressional leaders will unite to forge strategy for "working families" agenda -- the day after President Bush delivers his plans to joint session of Congress.
- -- Calling themselves the real "democratic majority," organizers and thinkers, led by the Campaign for America's Future, to release new book outlining an agenda for changes they insist most voters endorsed in 2000 elections.
- On Feb. 28, a national conference on the NEXT AGENDA, will bring together progressive activists, intellectuals and allies in the Congress for the first time since the disputed election and battles over President Bush's cabinet nominees. It will frame the next two year's debate.
- Sponsored by the progressive advocacy group, the Campaign for America's Future and its sister research organization, the Institute for America's Future, the Conference on the Next Progressive Agenda has been endorsed by a who's who of prominent leaders from the labor unions, women's organizations, civil rights groups, environmentalists and individual members of the House and Senate. Their goal: to forge a progressive movement to fight for the "working family" agenda they insist was endorsed by a majority of the voters in the 2000 election.
MC: Cong. Barney Frank
America's Future Now!
Dick Durbin was one of the 148 speakers who addressed the 2010 America's Future Now Conference. The Conference was hosted by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future, and held from June 7 - 9 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert Street, Washington D.C.
Quoting IPS report
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senate Majority Whip, spoke about the Institute for Policy Studies Executive Excess report during a floor speech about how corporate accountability can help the U.S. overcome the current economic crisis.
- The 2011 Executive Excess report continues to make waves among members of the media and decision-makers in Congress. This time, Senator Durbin, a progressive democrat from Illinois, took to the Senate floor to highlight some of the findings of the report. He particularly zeroed in on General Electric, which has highlighted in the report as one of the top ten most creative tax-dodgers.
Hi IPS rating
In 2012 “Congressional Report Card for the 99 Percent" , the Institute for Policy Studies examined 40 different legislation actions in the House and Senate—votes and legislation introduced—to ascertain the real allegiances of sitting members of Congress. These include votes to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, levy a Wall Street speculation tax, invest in infrastructure, and protect workers and student financial aid.
The Report Card also graded politicians for their commitment to reducing inequality and boosting the 99 percent. The report’s “Honor Roll” gave an A-plus grade to 5 members of the U.S. Senate, including Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (VT-I), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
"I'd say we are the bridge," Borosage said. "We are attuned to the grassroots and in touch with the progressive leadership in Congress."
Trip to Cuba and Haiti
Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) was in Havana, Cuba, January 2012, where he held two days of high-level meetings with Cuban officials.
The trip focused on changes in Cuba - including Cuba’s substantial offshore drilling proposal - as well as discussions on improved relations between the US and the island nation. Durbin also pressed the Cuban government to release Alan Gross, a USAID contract worker who has been jailed since 2009.
Durbin, the second-highest ranking member of the Senate and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, President of the National Assembly Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, Archbishop Jamie Ortega, Members of the International Diplomatic Community, the staff of the US Interests Section and Cuban reformers.
Following his meetings in Cuba, Senator Durbin traveled to Haiti where he met with Haitian officials, aid workers and locals, to monitor US and international efforts to rebuild after the country was devastated by an earthquake.
Nancy Pelosi Award
The Honorable Dick Durbin, , was the Featured Speaker and recipient of the inaugural Nancy Pelosi Award for Immigration and Civil Rights Policy, at the 23rd Phillip Burton Immigration & Civil Rights Awards – , May 31, 2013, from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, in the Bay Area.
Miller owns a residence in Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. and rents rooms to other members of the U.S. House and Senate. As of April 2010, his tenant housemates are Senators Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin and Representative Bill Delahunt. Miller purchased the residence in 1977, and his past housemates have included former Representatives Marty Russo, Leon Panetta and Sam Gejdenson.
Dick Durbin has contracted Guy Molyneux who is a partner with Hart Research Associates. Molyneux has carried out survey and focus group research projects for a wide variety of nonprofit organizations, government agencies, political candidates, labor unions, and media organizations.
Guy Molyneux has been heavily involved with Democratic Socialists of America, speaking at the organization's second National Convention, in Berkeley California in October 1983. In 1986 he was National Executive Director and National Office Contact for the Feminist Commission of the organization. By 1987 Guy Molyneux was Organizational Director of the DSA.
Carol Harwell has been a political activist for over 25 years. She has worked in many campaigns including: 1st ward coordinator - Harold Washington, Mayor 83 - 87; office manager - Danny Davis alderman, commissioner and congressman; campaign manager - Sam Burrell, alderman; campaign manger - Barbara McGowan, commissioner; campaign manager - Barack Obama, state senator; deputy campaign manager - Dick Durbin, U.S. Senator; volunteer coordinator - David Orr, county clerk.
In 2013 Progressive Democrats of America assigned activists to deliver their material to almost every US Congressman and several Senators, Debra Schrishuhn, was assigned as contact for Sen. Durbin. In June it was Jeanne Duray.
A bipartisan delegation of 10 United States Senators returned home late April following a week’s worth of meetings with high-level Chinese government officials, business leaders, U.S. Foreign Service officers and Peace Corps volunteers.
The historic delegation, led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, represented more than a third of the U.S. population and included some of the most senior members of the Senate. The delegation included Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).
Some of the Chinese officials the Senators met with include:
- Xi Jinping, China’s Vice President, who is widely expected to succeed Hu Jintao next year as China’s next President
- Wang Qishan, Vice Premier
- Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister
- Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature.
- Lu Yongxiang, Vice Chairman of the National People’s Congress
- Zhou Xiaochuan, President of the People’s Bank of China
- Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of Hong Kong
- Florinda Chan, Acting Chief Executive and Secretary for Administration and Justice of Macau
- Ge Honglin, Mayor of Chengdu, a city with a population of 14 million that is a leader in China’s renewable energy industry.
JStreet endorsed him again 2016.
- . Outside of Congress, Durbin is a Board Member of the United State Holocaust Museum. Durbin has earned a reputation as a tactful coalition builder with strong progressive principles.
ARA endorsement, 2014
On Thursday, May 23, 2013, U.S. Senator Cardin (D-MD) circulated a Senate sign-on "Dear Colleague" letter to Secretary of State John Kerry addressing deepening concerns about Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Honduras.
The letter states that violence and impunity for state security forces in Honduras has reached intolerable levels and cites concerns related to extrajudicial killings, linkages to death squads, and increasing militarization of civilian law enforcement. The letter also raises the concern that State Department certifications intended to ensure that U.S. foreign aid supports the rule of law in Honduras may contradict the reality on the ground.
The letter asks State Department to:
- provide Congress with a detailed assessment of the efficacy of current Honduran government efforts to address this issue as mandated by FY12 Appropriations language;
- conduct a detailed review of specific State Department actions to help ensure that no U.S. funds are being used to support police implicated in human rights violations; and
- make every reasonable effort to help ensure that Honduras' upcoming November 2013 elections are free, fair and peaceful.
In addition to Cardin, the letter was cosigned by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Mark Udall (D-CO), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Michael F. Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).
Cuba's removal from terrorism list
Sen. Dick Durbin: Cuba’s Removal “Is A Welcome Move Regarding The Relations Between The US And Cuba.” “After careful review by the State Department, the removal of Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list is a welcome move regarding the relations between the US and Cuba. That Cuba is no longer involved in such activities is a positive step forward in normalizing relations between our two nations and giving the Cuban people greater opportunities to join the global community. While no fan of the Castro regime, I continue to believe that opening up the island to American ideas, vibrancy, and trade is the most effective way to see a more open and tolerant Cuba.” [Durbin Press Release, “Durbin Statement On Removal Of Cuba From State Sponsors Of Terrorism,” 4/14/15]
Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015
By May 20, it had accumulated 33 co-sponsors, including 26 Democrats - Sheldon Whitehouse, Tom Udall, Dick Durbin, Thomas Carper, Amy Klobuchar, Barbara Boxer, Jack Reed, Debbie Stabenow, Jeff Merkley, Chris Murphy, Benjamin Cardin, Chris Coons, Dianne Feinstein, Jeanne Shaheen, Sherrod Brown, Mazie Hirono, Brian Schatz, Tammy Baldwin, Ed Markey, Heidi Heitkamp, Jon Tester, Claire McCaskill, Ron Wyden, Tim Kaine, Al Franken, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennet, Martin Heinrich . 
The "Jihad" Caucus
In May 2015, a group of 14 U.S. senators, led by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to allow 65,000 Syrians into the United States as refugees. This would require a dramatic expansion of the refugee program, and virtually guarantee that a sizable number of ISIS fighters would slip in among them. Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy called these Senators the "Jihad Caucus" because practically speaking, Jihad is what this request will bring.
The 14 senators demanding this massive influx of Syrians were: Dick Durbin, Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken, Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, Patty Murray, Robert Menendez, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeanne Shaheen, Chris Coons, Tim Kaine, Ed Markey, Sherrod Brown, and Mazie Hirono.
These same 14 had sent another letter in April Demanding action on the Syrians.
“CAIR-Chicago advances a greater understanding of the Muslim culture and serves as an essential thread in the multicultural fabric of our nation. Your efforts to advocate for tolerance promote the civil liberties of all communities.” - Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) (April 2011).
Endorsed CAIR, 2016
2016 Cuba visit
Obama will be the first president to visit Cuba in 88 years, and the trip is a symbolic next chapter in his attempts to normalize relations with the country.
The House members will attend along with several senators who previously announced they will make the trip.
The House delegation includes Reps. Karen Bass, Cheri Bustos, Sam Farr, Rosa DeLauro, Barbara Lee, Charles Rangel, Kathy Castor, David Cicilline, Steve Cohen, Jan Schakowsky, Peter Welch, Alan Lowenthal, Jim McGovern and Lucille Roybal-Allard. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of California will also travel to Cuba along with Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Tom Udall of New Mexico are slated to join the trip. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who has been a leading advocate for normalizing relations with Cuba, will also attend. Additional House Republicans may also join.
Pelosi previously led the first official House delegation trip to the country after Obama announced the change in U.S. policy toward Cuba in 2014.
Dick Durbin is close to the Korean "progressive movement".
NAKASEC and its affiliates, the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center and the Korean Resource Center, applauded Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) for their letter to Department of Homeland Security asking for deferred action of DREAM Act-eligible students facing deportation. The DREAM Act is a bipartisan legislation that is part of comprehensive immigration reform and would allow eligible undocumented students pathway to citizenship. It was introduced by Senator Durbin and Senator Lugar on March 26, 2009.
EunSook Lee, executive director of NAKASEC said, “The current system is unbearable and unacceptable. We welcome this letter from Senators Durbin and Lugar which shows that bipartisanship is possible. As we work towards urgent reforms that will change our immigration laws, we urge the DHS to take decisive action immediately to stop the deportation of DREAM-eligible students.”
Judy Kim, a college student from Chicago, stated on behalf of NAKASEC affiliate youth group members: “I hear about the deportation of students like Rigo Padilla, Laura Perez and Herta Llusho and I wonder when it will happen to me. I am a full-time college student in Chicago and was brought to the U.S. when I was 9 years old. I am also a DREAM student. The letter by Senator Durbin and Senator Lugar really gives me hope that there are people out there, including our elected officials, that see that we need to fix our broken immigration system and do something so that students, who grew up here and want to give back, are not deported. I truly hope DHS responds to their letter and grants deferred action to DREAM students. This will bring comfort to thousands of families who came here for their children, including my family.”
Meeting Simon Cho
On April 27, 2010, Simon Cho, US Olympian for short track speed skating and the winner of a bronze medal for 5000m men’s relay spoke about his immigration experience. During a press conference organized by the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), in a packed room, Simon talked about his memories of crossing the border with his mother at the age of four as undocumented immigrants. Ali Noorani, and EunSook Lee also participated. .Following the press conference, Simon and staff of NAKASEC held face to face meetings with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to convey the need for immigration reform in 2010.
According to Sik Son, Dae Joong Yoon, and Olivia Park, May 11 2011, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) re-introduced the DREAM Act in the 112th Congress with the co-sponsorship of 32 members of the U.S. Senate, including California Senators, Senator Barbara Boxer and Senator Dianne Feinstein, as well as Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC).
NAKASEC and its affiliates, the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center in Chicago and the Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles thank Senator Durbin for his continued leadership on the DREAM Act and take this opportunity to continue to organize and strengthen our communities for reform while highlighting the need for immediate relief of immigrant youth.
“The DREAM Act holds the change that so many undocumented students have been waiting for and it is a start to reforming America’s nonsensical immigration policies,” says Chris Nguyen, member of Fighting Youth Shouting Out for Humanity (FYSH), which is the youth leadership council of KRCC. “Youth have been disheartened at the stalled progress of the DREAM Act, but recognize the bill’s great potential.”.
Sik Son, executive director of KRCC stated, “The people of this movement have endured many obstacles, but have built a spirit that is strong. We remain true to our hearts and yet again commit to tapping the potential and aspirations of our youth.”
“The re-introduction of the DREAM Act will allow us to continue the conversation on the need for reform,” said Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of KRC. “But we also know that while we recommit ourselves to this struggle, we need to ensure that our youth are safe and not feel the threat of deportation. We can do this with President Obama’s executive authority to grant deferred action.”
The first week of December 2016, Sen. Dick Durbin shared the story of Luke Hwang, a "gifted student and community leader who is currently a PhD candidate in chemistry at the University of Chicago" on the floor of the US Senate.
According to a letter Luke wrote to Sen. Durbin, “DACA did much more than shielding me from deportation and changing my immediate circumstances; it gave me a new faith, and brought out a new me to reject fear and continue worthwhile pursuits.”
“DACA has been tremendously empowering. Wherever I find myself in the future I hope to mentor, encourage, and ultimately empower others.”
From Senator Durbin's speech;
- In 2002, when Luke Hwang was 11-years old, his family brought him to the United States from South Korea. Luke grew up in Palisades Park, New Jersey. Luke said the following about growing up in Palisades Park: “It didn’t take long for me to adjust and assimilate because my elementary school offered bilingual classes in Korean and English. This is the kind of America I have known and experienced— not just mundanely accepting diversity but going above and beyond to serve the unique needs of a diverse community.”
- From an early age, Luke had a passion for science. He was accepted into a math and sciences magnet high school called Bergen County Academies which was ranked by Newsweek as one of the top five public high schools in the country. At Bergen County Academies, Luke won several awards at regional science fairs. He also volunteered as an Emergency Medical Technician in the local ambulance corps. Because of his academic accomplishments, Luke was accepted as a University Scholar in the Macaulay Honors College at the City College of New York. In 2013, Luke graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry and received an award for the highest grade point average of any chemistry major.
- This brilliant young man is currently a PhD candidate in chemistry at the University of Chicago. He also works as a researcher at the university. In his spare time, he volunteers with the Chicago Korean American Resource and Cultural Center, an organization that provides services to disadvantaged members of the community.
- Thanks to DACA, Luke is on the road towards making his childhood passion into a promising career as a scientist. In a letter to Senator Durbin, Luke wrote: “DACA did much more than shielding me from deportation and changing my immediate circumstances; it gave me a new faith, and brought out a new me to reject fear and continue worthwhile pursuits. DACA has been tremendously empowering. Wherever I find myself in the future I hope to mentor, encourage, and ultimately empower others.
HANA Center discussion
June 9, 2017 Senator Dick Durbin held a discussion at HANA Center with the members of the Chicago-area Korean community regarding his recent visit to South Korea.
Senator Durbin traveled to South Korea last week where he became the first member of Congress to meet with newly-elected President Moon Jae-in and other key officials. They discussed regional issues and the relationship between the United States and South Korea.
A main topic covered was THAAD.
"Closed stragedy meeting"
HANA Center July 24, 2017 Chicago, IL;
- HANA Center joined a closed stragedy meeting and press conference with Senator Dick Durbin about Dream Act which was re-introduced by bi-partisan support. #FightforDACA, #DreamAct.
Defending DACA in Chicago!
August 18, 2017;
- Calling to protect DACA in Chicago, HANA Center DACAmented leader Luke Hwang spoke at a press conference with Senator Richard Durbin and business leaders this morning. He said, “Thanks to DACA I felt a sense of hope and empowerment…it is a source of strength for the years ahead.”
- October highlights
- We continue to meet with elected officials to urge Congress to support a clean DREAM Act for 3.3 million young people, their families and communities. Thank you to Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth and Congress(wo)men Luis Gutierrez, Jan Schakowsky, Mike Quigley, Brad Schneider, and Raja Krishnamoorthi for supporting a clean DREAM Act!
December 2017 NAKASEC and affiliates visited the offices of Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY), Senator Tim Kaine (VA), Senator Mark Warner (VA), and Senator Dick Durbin (IL). Moved by the efforts of members of NAKASEC and HANA Center from Chicago, Senator Durbin confirmed publicly that he will vote “no” on the upcoming CR if the DREAM Act is not attached.
Council for a Livable World
The following have worked as staff members for Dick Durbin:
- Sandra Abrevaya
- Valerie Alexander
- Michael Alexander (Mike)
- Mayra Alvarez
- Katherine Anderson
- Christina Angarola
- Sirat Attapit
- Cynthia Bajjalieh
- Alexis Saudargas Barrett (Lexi)
- Binta Beard
- Lauren Behan
- Angela Benander
- Sanchita Bhandary
- Priya Bhatia
- Laurie Borders
- Rianna Brown
- Sally Brown-Shaklee
- Alan Bruce
- Kambium Elijah Buckner (Kam)
- Brooke Bundy
- Justin Cajindos
- Jerry Capps
- Marlene Caldwell Carls
- Rachael Friedlieb Chaiken (Rachael)
- Gabriel Chavez (Gabe)
- Candice Cho
- Daniel Cisek
- Joshua Cohen
- Erin Collinson
- Elizabeth Cook
- Bridget Coyne
- John Daley
- Michael Edward Daly (Mike)
- Jaideep Dargan
- Caitlin Dean
- Andrea Del'Aguila
- Tequia Hicks Delgado
- Michael Joseph Delich
- Kevin Dixon
- Paula Doane
- Reema Dodin
- Steven Jerome Dollear
- Anne Dougherty
- Camille Dowdney
- Krista Donahue Drobac
- Talia Charlotte Dubovi
- Molly Dunn
- Clarisol Avila Duque
- Frank Dworak
- Donna Eastman
- Michael Edward Eastman
- Bart Ellefritz
- Jenni Engebretsen
- Jeffrey Esser
- Thomas Faletti (Tom)
- Thomas Ferrone (Tom)
- David Field
- Kenneth Forsberg
- Sara Nelson Froelich
- April Fulton
- Celeste Gabinski
- Michael Gaffin (Mike)
- Benjamin Garmisa (Ben)
- Kaylee Gholson
- Caleb Gibson
- Kelley Gilbert
- Sylvia Gillespie
- Matthew Glavin
- Cristina Gonzalez
- Ed Greelegs
- Heloisa Griggs
- Stacie Ann Barton Hackler
- Mary Elizabeth Hall (Betsy)
- Betty Hamilton
- Susan Soyka Hardesty (Sue)
- Rianne Hawkins
- Kathryn Herrmann
- Brian Hickey
- Christopher Hickling (Chris)
- Chris Homan
- William Houlihan (Bill)
- Margaret Anne Houlihan
- Ann Hwang
- Erum Ibrahim
- Naser Javaid
- Kathryn Jennings (Kate)
- Adrienne Jones
- Nicholas Jordan (Nick)
- Kyle-Etienne Joseph
- Ntina Kalogeropoulos
- Christopher Kang (Chris)
- Maureen Kelly
- Michael Kenny
- Anne Kierig
- Nancy Kohn
- Thomas Kotarac (Tom)
- David Kurczewski
- Melinda Laine
- Christopher Layloff (Chris)
- David Lazarus
- Laura Lefkow
- Jessica Lenard
- Leslie Lesner
- Elissa Gail Levin
- David Lieber
- Michael Longley
- Abigail Longstreet
- Kai Love-Davis
- Alexis MacDonald
- Alissa Markert
- Matthew McAnarney
- Brad McConnell
- David McDermott (Dave)
- Maria McElwain
- Michael Patrick McLaughlin (Mike)
- Brian McLaughlin
- Heather McLeod
- Puja Mehta
- Melissa Merz
- Bradley Middleton (Brad)
- Dena Morris
- Christina Mulka
- Jessica Mullan
- Anne Marie Murphy
- Lauren Myerscough-Mueller
- Lea Narramore
- Sarah Neimeyer
- John Normoyle
- Mark Palmer
- Lynh Nguyen Patterson
- Melissa Picciola
- Gill Pinkney
- Jessica Porras
- James Porter
- Catherine Potter
- Richard Purcell
- Mary Reilly
- Trevor Reuschel
- Claire Dickhut Reuschel
- Danika Robinson
- Christina Rogers
- Jennifer Rolniak
- Kathleen Rooney
- Molly Rowley
- Sarah Ryan
- Albert Sanders, Jr.
- Kristen Sarri (Kris)
- Phyllis Jan Saunders
- Katharine Scates (Kappy)
- Claire Serdiuk
- Jay Sethi
- Nida Shakir
- Joseph Anthony Shoemaker (Joe)
- Mara Ann Silver
- Michael Simmons (Mike)
- Andrew Simon (Drew)
- Sara Singleton
- Shannon Lee Smith
- Camille Smith
- Sendy Soto Gramajo
- Patrick John Souders (Pat)
- Lian States
- Anne Steckel
- Shirley Stevenson
- Ari Strauss
- Timothy Sullivan (Tim)
- Daniel Swanson (Dan)
- Carrie Lynne Tamashiro-Bush
- Loida Tapia
- Cecily Thompson
- Jessica E.B. Thomsen
- Bradley Torppey
- Donnice Turner (Donni)
- Yolanda Turner
- Monique Turner-Moore
- Marianne Clifford Upton
- Michael Vernon
- Anne Wall
- Hannah Walter
- Shannon Watson
- Daniel Weinstein
- Carmen White
- Nanette Wilkin
- Jacqueline Williams
- James F. M. Williams (Jimmy)
- Vaishalee Yeldandi
- Martin Yeung
- Joseph Zogby (Joe)
- Stacey Zolt
- Michael Zubrensky (Mike)
- About Durbin
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- SOAWatch, Ask your Senator to sign onto the Cardin Letter about Honduras
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- NAKASEC Press release: NAKASEC Applauds Senator Durbin and Senator Lugar for their Leadership to Stop the Deportation of Undocumented Students APRIL 21, 2010
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- [ https://www.hanacenter.org/news-events/2017/6/09/hana-center-hosts-senator-dick-durbins-briefing-following-his-visit-to-south-korea HANA Center, June 9, 2017 Hana Center Hosts Senator Dick Durbin's Briefing Following His Visit to South Korea]
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