Immigration Executive Order News: House GOP Passes 'Clean' DHS Funding Bill, No Impact on Executive Actions
The House of Representatives passed a "clean" bill Tuesday to fund the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through September.
The House vote occurred hours after House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, reportedly told House Republicans to pass "clean" legislation to fund the DHS, therefore, having no written language in the bill affecting President Barack Obama's immigration executive actions.
Following a meeting with House Republicans on Tuesday morning, Boehner said, according to aides, "I am as outraged and frustrated as you at the lawless and unconstitutional actions of this president. I believe this decision -- considering where we are -- is the right one for this team, and the right one for this country."
Boehner's decision to move forward with a "clean" bill did not sit well with conservative politicians. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said, "This is the signal of capitulation. The mood of this thing is such that to bring it back from the abyss is very difficult."
Not all Republicans shared the same tone as King. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said, "Sanity is prevailing. I do give John Boehner credit." King has consistently called for funding for the DHS and criticized lawmakers for almost allowing the department's funding to expire last Friday.
The House voted 257-167, and it would come as Congress passed a one-week short-term funding for the DHS, which expires on Friday starting at midnight.
According to Boehner, the U.S. courts are capable of handling the legal authority of Obama's immigration executive actions. As Latin Post reported, Judge Andrew Hanen, from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas' Brownsville Division, issued a temporary injunction on Obama's two deferred action programs: the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) expansion and the new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).
Hanen's ruling goes in favor of 26 U.S. states suing to block Obama's immigration executive actions. The judge, however, has allowed for an appeal to be filed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court. The Obama administration has confirmed an appeal with the Fifth Circuit Court.
Boehner's decision also comes as Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, announced Senate Democrats will not go to conference with the House to negotiate funding for the DHS.
"Senate Democrats do not support going to conference because it will be counterproductive," said Reid on Monday. "Republicans have no intention of using a conference to craft legislation that will pass both Houses of Congress and prevent a shutdown of Homeland Security. House Republicans want to take a bill that they negotiated, a bill that was written by House and Senate Republicans and Democrats -- a bipartisan, bicameral bill -- and turn it into something that cannot pass."
House Republicans have originally passed DHS funding in January with H.R. 240. The House bill, however, included amendments to block Obama's executive actions such as de-funding DACA. Senate Democrats have blocked H.R. 240 on four occasions due to the amendments and called for a "clean" DHS funding bill. Last Friday, the Senate voted on a "clean" DHS funding bill on a bipartisan effort after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to separate the amendments from H.R. 240. The Senate's "clean" DHS funding bill passed, and the same version was finally voted by the House this afternoon.
News of the House GOP's support for the "clean" DHS funding bill was met with support but some had concerns.
"Funding one of our nation's critical agencies charged with protecting our borders, securing our airports and ensuring the safety of our nation against terrorist attacks is a national imperative. By allowing a vote on this important legislation, Speaker Boehner has heeded the calls of both Democrats and of moderate Republicans. In addition, Speaker Boehner has put the safety of our nation before party politics," said League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National Executive Director Brent Wilkes.
According to Wilkes, LULAC opposes provisions that would reverse Obama's executive actions, which would affect approximately 4.9 million undocumented immigrants.
"Thankfully, the harmful amendments were stripped, but the bill still allocates over $362 million to imprison thousands of mothers and children fleeing domestic abuse and lethal violence in Central America," said Joanne Lin, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.
"This is a very troubling development," Lin added. "Mandatory detention of people awaiting their immigration proceedings violates the right to due process and is inefficient and costly. Instead of funding immigration detention, Congress should appropriate money for community-based alternatives to detention with case management services, which have been proven to be effective and cost-efficient."
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: email@example.com.
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