Thursday, April 18, 2024

House votes to flout Obama’s immigration action

America's New Congress

In what looks to be the start of a tenuous working relationship, the House voted on Wednesday to do away with major provisions of President Obama’s immigration policy. In a 236 to 191 vote with only ten Republicans working against it, the move revoked legal protections for undocumented immigrants once-guaranteed by Obama’s actions, and put them at risk of deportation. The measure was undertaken as an amendment to a funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Republicans who supported the legislation stressed that their vote had nothing to do with immigration, rather, the President’s overstepping of legal authority. “The people made clear they want more accountability from the president – enough is enough,” said House Speaker John Boehner. “By our votes here today, we will heed their will.”

Though the vote foreshadowed the style in which the Republican-led Congress might govern, the most contentious parts of the bill will likely be shot down by Senate Democrats. As stands, however, the legislation reverses the President’s executive action from late last year that allowed undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least five years to apply for work permits.

“It’s hard for the Republicans to call themselves ‘pro-family’ when they repeatedly vote to rip families apart,” said Dan Pheiffer, a senior advisor to the president. “This policy isn’t just unwise, it’s cruel, immoral and is not who we are as Americans.” Even Republicans who voted against the bill said that deporting children was a step too far.

There should be some solace taken in the fact that the bill, by all estimations, has no chance of becoming law, where roadblocks in the Senate and the presidential veto stand in the way of its passage. So for now, DHS is funded, Obama’s executive action on immigration is dismantled, and the political games ensue.

New York Times