US Representatives Undermine Obama’s Immigration Policy
Spanish On January 15, 2015, the US House of Representatives passed a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) until the end of fiscal year 2015, including several controversial amendments that override President Barack Obama’s previous executive actions on immigration.
Bill HR240, passed by 236 votes to 191, will effectively withdraw funding for two key Obama programs, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the November 2014 executive action to defer deportation and provide work permits for millions of unauthorized immigrants.
The bill includes provisions against any similar executive action, stating that “the Executive Branch should refrain from pursuing policies, such as granting deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program and work authorization to unlawfully present individuals, that disadvantage the hiring of United States citizens and those in a lawful immigration status in the United States.”
The Republican sponsored bill, supported by Speaker John Boehner, is in reaction to what he calls “an executive overreach [and] an affront to the rule of law and to the Constitution itself.”
In the 2014 midterm elections, the GOP won several House seats, giving them a 246 over 188 advantage. Although the Republicans have a majority in the both House and the Senate, the Democratic Party has enough Senators to effectively block the bill through a filibuster. According to GovTrack.us, the bill currently has a 44 percent chance of being enacted.
However, even if it were to pass in the Senate, White House sources have promised that Obama would veto it. Celia Munoz, White House domestic policy director told press that the Obama administration was “confident that we are going to implementing these executive actions.”
The last time a comprehensive immigration bill was passed was in 1986. Earlier efforts to reform the bill stalled in 2013, largely due to Republican opposition.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News.