Last Friday, Senator Dick Durbin visited dozens of children who were separated from their families at the border and were being housed in the Chicagoland area. They were under the care of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with Heartland Alliance.
The senator said 22 of those children are under the age of 5.
"There are some 2,300, 2,400 children who have been separated from their parents as part of the zero-tolerance policy. The president has said he is changing that policy, but we are still waiting for clarity about what's going to happen to these children," Durbin said.
Durbin confirmed he will be heading back to Washington D.C. on Monday to meet with other lawmakers, on both sides, to see if there is any common ground they can reach to resolve the situation. The senator said his top priority was reuniting children with their families.
"We need to do it quickly. The longer these children are apart, the more stress they are going to go through, and the more likely they are going to have long-term pain from this experience," Durbin said.
He wanted to make sure families seeking asylum were entitled to a hearing, and make sure they seek counsel and have support groups to look to for help.
Durbin said he was also looking to talk to lawmakers about comprehensive immigration law. He said he believes the two bills currently before the House are not good enough.