House Republicans passed a border security bill that would provide $694 million in funding and immediately deport about a half a million immigrants that were given temporary work visas. Obama said it is the most extreme, unworkable version of the immigration bill and that he would act unilaterally to fix the border crisis.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, when it was clear that comprehensive immigration reform was impossible, President Obama asked for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to support the border; senate democrats proposed a $2.7 billion package. House Republicans have now answered back with a $694 million bill that carries harsh measures to end the current border crisis.
The border security bill, which passed 223-189, will provide for more immigration judges and national guard troops, better housing and conditions for child immigrants, and, of course, improve security. The bill was controversial and hard fought, even within the Republican party. On Thursday, conservative leaders faced a near revolt, one that forced them to withdraw the border security bill from the floor and renegotiate some of the terms.
The controversy focused on two points: funding for the national guard, which Republicans ultimately increased, and the clarification of what this money was for. In the end, the bill calls for unaccompanied minors to be quickly returned to their home countries.
The security bill specifically targets the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and, if passed, would prevent immigrants from renewing temporary work visas granted by the program, making them targets for future deportation.
The bill was immediately used to score political points. House Speaker John Boehner took to the Twittersphere to push senate democrats to end their recess early and return to Washington to vote.
Of course, Democrats have declared the bill to be inadequate, even a sham. The White House said in a statement:
“The legislation put forward tonight by House Republicans does not responsibly address the problem of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border, and could result in the deportation of hundreds of thousands of DREAMers, young people who were brought to this country as children and are Americans in every way but on paper.”
With the senate out for a recess and Democrats almost universally opposed to the border security bill (one House Democrat voted in favor), the newest bill is essentially dead in the water.
Since all emergency border security bills are seemingly impossible to pass, President Obama has said he will shift funds from other accounts to pay the price for the immediate crisis.
[Image Credit: Lawrence Jackson/whitehouse.gov]