Rep. Marsha Blackburn: Freezing DACA Would Halt Obama's Amnesty Moves

Saturday, 02 Aug 2014 11:16 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Rep. Marsha Blackburn said on Saturday that she wrote the legislation that could freeze President Barack Obama's executive order deferring the deportation of millions of illegal immigrants to prevent him from taking any further action while Congress was in recess.

Under the House legislation, which is unlikely to be considered by the Democrat-led Senate, "we are freezing the program — and as of July 30th, no federal money can be spent on the DACA program or on work authorizations to those who unlawfully enter the country," the Tennessee Republican told former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on his Fox News program.

Blackburn was referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program Obama created with his 2012 order. The effort spared the deportation for two years of many illegals who were brought to the United States as children. Obama extended the program for two more years several months ago.

Her legislation was approved Friday on a 216-192 vote. Eleven Republicans voted against the measure.

It could put more than 700,000 immigrants who've received temporary work permits in line for deportation. The bill also would block Obama from awarding work permits to other immigrants here illegally.

"We voted in such a way that it would handicap the president and keep him while we are away in August from trying to grant amnesty to another class or group of aliens entering the country," Blackburn said.

Her legislation was backed after the House agreed to give Obama $694 million to address the crisis created by the millions of illegals who have been detained at the U.S. border with Mexico in recent months.

The funding legislation was approved after Speaker John Boehner withdrew its original version from a vote on Thursday after intense opposition by conservatives.

The new bill also provides $35 million to border-state governors who call out the National Guard to help out besieged U.S. Border Patrol agents and redirects $40 million in foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to help return illegals to those countries.

The Senate is not expected to consider either House bill. Republicans blocked a $2.7 billion Democratic funding measure on Thursday. The Senate began its recess immediately afterward.

Obama, who had sought $3.7 billion from Congress, hinted on Friday that he might take executive action in light of Congress' inability to pass border crisis legislation. The move could come during the recess.

More than 57,000 illegal minors have been detained at the South Texas border between Oct. 1 and June 15. The figure is double the total from the same period the previous year. The illegals cross the Rio Grande River from Mexico, coming from those Central American nations.

The Obama administration now estimates that as many as 90,000 illegals could be apprehended by the end of September.

In her interview, Blackburn slammed the White House and said that DACA is the primary cause for the crisis.

"This is a lawless administration," she told Huckabee. "It is imperative that the U.S. House of Representatives take the lead in standing for the Constitution and saying, 'Mr. President, this is not an action you can take.'"

Meanwhile, the only House Democrat who supported the funding bill told Newsmax that it would have been irresponsible for legislators to leave Washington without providing some money for the crisis.

"Continuing to do nothing is not an option," Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar said. "It would have been irresponsible to return home for the month without passing a bill to address the humanitarian crisis at the border."

Cuellar, who has said that all of the illegals who have crossed the border have come through his district, was the only Democrat among the 223 House members to support the funding bill. Four Republicans broke ranks, being among the 189 who opposed it.

He did not support Blackburn's bill to freeze DACA.

Cuellar and his Lone Star State colleague, GOP Sen. John Cornyn, last month proposed legislation that would have changed the 2008 Wilberforce law to be able to return illegal minors to Central America without an immigration hearing and provide money for an expedited process.

The law sought to combat human trafficking. Nothing from their proposal was incorporated into the bill approved on Friday.

"This is the only bill moving forward that provided the necessary funds to keep [the Department of Homeland Security] from running out of money in the next 30 days," Cuellar told Newsmax. "I urge my colleagues and the administration to set aside politics and address this crisis in a common-sense manner."

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