Immigration Executive Action Update: Homeland Security Funding Expires This Week As Immigration Executive Action Debate Continues
The U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is only days away from a potential shutdown as its funding is set to expire at the end of the month.
Congress has made efforts to fund the Homeland Security's 2015 fiscal year, but Republican lawmakers have been attempting to attach amendments to prevent President Barack Obama's immigration executive actions. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 240 to fund the DHS, and it included an amendment to defund the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has given temporary protection for more than 600,000 undocumented immigrant youths.
H.R. 240 has entered the U.S. Senate, but has been filibustered by Senate Democrats on three occasions. The Senate is expected to vote on Monday evening for a debate on the DHS funding bill for the fourth time. Senate Democrats are likely to filibuster the bill again. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said H.R. 240 cannot pass the Senate and called for Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, to introduce new legislation for the DHS. Boehner, however, is not intent on introducing new DHS funding legislation.
"The House passed a bill weeks ago to fund the Department of Homeland Security. Now, Senate Democrats need to stop filibustering to block debate on that bill," Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel, via The Hill.
Boehner, himself, said the House accomplished its duties to fund the DHS, and the Senate is now required to act. He stated, "The Constitution makes it pretty clear that the House has to do its work and the Senate has to do theirs. The House has acted to fund the department and to stop the president's overreach when it comes to immigration and his executive orders."
Boehner said the Republican Party will not have the blame for the DHS' funding issues, instead, he placed the fault on Senate Democrats. He added, "Senate Democrats are the ones putting us in this precarious position and it's up to Senate Democrats to get their act together."
The House Speaker is scheduled to meet with his House GOP conference on Wednesday, which would give Republicans less than 72 hours to reconsider efforts to fund the DHS.
House Democrats Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard of California and Rep. Nita Lowey of New York introduced a new DHS funding bill, which excludes negative effects on Obama's immigration executive action. Known as H.R. 861, the bill would fund the DHS for the full year. According to Roybal-Allard, the Senate has insufficient votes to move forward with H.R. 240 due to the amendments.
"The clean, bipartisan, full-year DHS funding bill we are offering addresses the most pressing needs of the Department as it works to protect our country from harm. The President would sign that bill today, and we should send it to him," added Roybal-Allard.
The bill has not been introduced for a debate in the House and has been sent required House appropriations committees.
As Latin Post reported, Obama said he would veto legislation that would erase his immigration executive actions, which included an expansion of DACA and the creation of the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), which is for eligible undocumented immigrant parents with a U.S. citizen or permanent lawful resident child.
The expansion of DACA and DAPA, however, has been temporarily blocked by Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas' Brownsville Division. Hanen ruled in favor of 26 states, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, seeking to block Obama's deferred action programs, citing the defendants -- referring to the U.S. government -- failed to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act. He has allowed for the U.S. government to issue an appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court or pending Hanen's his final verdict.
Obama disagreed with Hanen's decision and confirmed the U.S. Department of Justice will issue an appeal.
"This is not the first time where a lower court judge blocked something or attempted to block something that ultimately was shown to be lawful. And I'm confident that it is well within my authority and position of the executive branch's prosecutorial discretion to execute this law," said Obama on last Tuesday. "This will help us make our borders safer, will help us go after criminals and those that we don't want in this country, will help people get on the right side of the law and get out of the shadows."
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: email@example.com.
Subscribe to Latin Post!
Sign up for our free newsletter for the Latest coverage!