House Republicans Cope With Immigration Bills

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 07:00 AM

By Elliot Jager

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The GOP-controlled House of Representatives is set to vote on a series of measures that would provide emergency funding to address the border crisis, while restricting the administration's capacity to stop deportations for illegal migrants, Politico reported.

Lawmakers will have an opportunity to vote to keep President Barack Obama from expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), the June 2012 executive order that paves the way for some migrants who arrived illegally as children to stay in the country.

First, they will need to vote on $659 million in emergency funding.

The House decision comes after Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas made restricting DACA a condition for answering the administration's request for emergency funding for the border crisis. Several House conservatives consulted with Cruz in his office Wednesday night on efforts to undercut the DACA program.

"That is the right thing to do," Cruz said, according to Politico.

Republicans have argued that the Obama executive order and a 2008 law that makes it cumbersome to deport illegal migrant children who arrive from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador have spurred the border children to make the journey to the United States.

Republicans are further angered that Obama intends to legalize by executive action the presence of some 5 million illegal immigrants, Roll Call reported.

For some House members, the chance to limit DACA alone is unsatisfactory. GOP Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama does not believe the emergency funding sufficiently provides for border security.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of California told Politico, "Republicans have now boxed themselves into a trap where they are now having a fight between their far right and their far, far right.

"And as a result," he continued, "they can't get anything done and the shutdown, do-nothing politics has come back to bite them."

The House is scheduled to adjourn on Thursday for its August recess.

Assuming it passes the House, the Senate will next take up the funding measure. It is unlikely to pass if it includes language that would roll back DACA.

In addition, the White House said the president would veto any bill that included requirements that it views as undercutting due process for migrant children, Roll Call reported.

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