Breaking News Bar
updated: 6/13/2014 4:36 PM

Homeland Security chief visits detention center

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Luis Gutierrez listen as Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson speaks during a news conference regarding federal policy on deportations Friday in Chicago.

      Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Luis Gutierrez listen as Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson speaks during a news conference regarding federal policy on deportations Friday in Chicago.
    Associated Press

  • Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat, accompanied Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson on his tour of the Broadview Immigration Detention Center.

      Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat, accompanied Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson on his tour of the Broadview Immigration Detention Center.
    Associated Press

  • Rep. Bill Foster, an Naperville Democrat, says House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's shocking primary defeat shouldn't be viewed as a strike against immigration reform.

      Rep. Bill Foster, an Naperville Democrat, says House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's shocking primary defeat shouldn't be viewed as a strike against immigration reform.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said his visit Friday to a Chicago-area immigration detention center will help him as he reviews federal deportation policy at President Barack Obama's direction.

Johnson made the visit to Broadview Immigration Detention Center after an invitation from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Springfield, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Speaking to reporters after the tour, Johnson described meeting families about to be separated by deportation, saying the interaction "brings home some of the heartbreak" for him. Minutes after talking to one man on the verge of deportation, Johnson said, "we walked out to the family visiting area and spoke with his mother who was trying to catch a glimpse of him before he was deported."

Johnson called on Congress to pass an immigration reform bill. But he added that he's looking for ways to reform the system "within the confines of existing law."

Durbin and two Democratic congressmen, Luis Gutierrez and Bill Foster, accompanied Johnson on the tour and spoke to reporters afterward. Gutierrez and Foster said the surprising election defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, has been misinterpreted as a death knell for legal changes to existing immigration laws.

"We should not use a primary in Virginia to determine the national policies of our country," Gutierrez said.

Johnson spoke about children crossing the border alone from Central America, a problem that has overwhelmed the Border Patrol.

"Those who might be contemplating sending their children to the southwest border to cross into our country illegally, that's not a safe situation," Johnson said. "Turning your child over to a criminal smuggling organization is not a safe thing to do."

He stressed that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program doesn't apply to newly arrived immigrants.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here