The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Project Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

A Vote Smart Guide to the "Gang of Eight"

2013 February 28

Immigration: it's an issue that's been on the minds of a lot of prominent people involved in politics lately. One group you've probably heard of is the so-called “Gang of Eight” in the Senate – four Democrats and four Republicans who have proposed a new framework for moving forward on comprehensive immigration reform. So what's the deal with this "gang?" You've heard a lot of back-and-forth bickering about their proposals and agenda, but how well do you really know them?

Luckily, here at Project Vote Smart, we've been keeping tabs on these guys for years. Here's a quick rundown of this “Gang of Eight,” including links to some of their key positions, statements, and votes on immigration issues.

Dick Durbin (D-IL)

As the Senior Senator from Illinois and the Senate Majority Whip, Durbin has been a driving force behind the current "gang's” negotiations. He led a press conference a few weeks ago to unveil this framework for a comprehensive immigration reform bill, including strengthening border security, reforming legal immigration, and establishing a pathway to citizenship for those undocumented individuals already in the country. Senator Durbin was also the original sponsor of the DREAM Act, which would have provided a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants brought to this country as minors. You can read a summary of that ultimately unsuccessful legislation here, and you can read what Durbin had to say about it, too. In the aftermath of the bill's failure, the Senator was also supportive of ...

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