Following up the last post — this is where the House is going today —
House Republicans pushed legislation on Friday that would clear the way for eventual deportation of more than 500,000 immigrants brought here illegally as kids and address the surge of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
After more than a year of inaction on the contentious issue of immigration, House GOP leaders were optimistic about securing tea party and other conservative support for two bills that Republicans can highlight when they return home to voters during Congress’ five-week summer break.
Votes were expected late Friday.
A revised, $694 million border security bill would provide $35 million for the National Guard and clarify a provision on quickly returning unaccompanied minors from Central America to their home countries.
The President had requested $3.7 billion, remember.
To appeal to hard-core immigration foes, Republicans also toughened a companion bill targeting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Barack Obama implemented in 2012 and Republicans blame for the flood of immigrants now.
The bill states that the president cannot renew or expand the program, effectively paving the way for deportation for the children brought here illegally.
Again, the DACA only applies to people who entered the country before June 15, 2012. The more pertinent law is one called the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, which was signed into law by President Bush in 2008. The law provides that any child entering the country, except for Canadian and Mexican nationals, must be given a full immigration hearing to be sure they aren’t human trafficking victims. That’s the law Congress expects the President to ignore and just deport children without a hearing.
Even if the House passes the bill on Friday, Obama’s request for more money to deal with the border crisis will go unanswered. The Senate blocked its version of a border security bill, and there are no plans to work out any compromise before Congress returns in September.
Emerging from a closed-door GOP meeting, Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., rejected the notion that it was a pointless exercise since the Senate won’t act.
“It’ll be the template for what needs to be done and also it might slow the president down,” Mica told reporters.
In other words they lack the political will to do anything, but they can manage to throw up roadblocks to stop anyone else from doing anything.
Also, some less extremist House Republicans are frustrated that senators Jeff Sessions and Ted Cruz are meeting with bagger members of the House and influencing their votes.
Democrats relished the Republican divide, with Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., derisively referring to “Speaker Cruz.