Dick Durbin, U.S. Senator from Illinois

Dick Durbin

U.S. Senator from Illinois

Richard Joseph Durbin was born in November 1944 in East St. Louis, Illinois. He earned an undergraduate degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. During his senior year, he served as an intern at the Senate. He received his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center, after which he entered into private practice in Springfield, Illinois. He served as legal counsel to Illinois Lieutenant Governor Paul Simon and then as legal counsel to the Illinois State Judiciary Committee for ten years. Durbin was also an adjunct professor at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

Durbin was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 and served fourteen years there. He successfully ran for the United States Senate and has been Senator from Illinois since assuming office in January 1997.

Durbin is married to Loretta and they have had three children, one of whom died in 2008 from complications due to a congenital heart condition. He is a Catholic.

In the News…

Illinois  Senator Dick Durbin, a longtime stalwart of immigration-related legislation, joined with a bipartisan group of senators to introduce legislation to grant 40,000 unused green card slots to foreign healthcare workers needed to help U.S. medical professionals fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill would authorize up to 25,000 immigrant visas to go to foreign nurses and up to 15,000 for doctors who are eligible to come to the United States or who are already here on temporary work visas. These immigrant visas would lead to employment-based green cards. The legislation would also allow U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to give out slots from a pool of previously unclaimed green cards for the families of these medical workers.

“Consider this: One-sixth of our health care workforce is foreign-born. Immigrant nurses and doctors play a vital role in our healthcare system, and their contributions are now more crucial than ever. Where would we be in this pandemic without them?” said Durbin in a statement. “This bipartisan, targeted, and timely legislation will strengthen our health care workforce and improve health care access for Americans in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Every year, 160,000 employment-based green cards are slated to be given out, but not all of the slots get filled. The ones that don’t get used are taken off the table for that year. That has led to an accumulation of about 200,000 such unused green cards over the last three decades. Under the legislation, the government would be allowed to recapture around 40,000 of those visas.

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Senator Durbin today?  You can let him know at:

The Honorable Dick Durbin
Senator from Illinois
711 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20012


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