By Amie Parnes - 07/31/14 11:18 AM EDT
The White House on Thursday blasted House Republicans for their “extraordinary” plan to curb any executive actions by President Obama to defer the deportations of certain children who entered the United States illegally.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest in a statement accused the House of “driving an approach that is about rounding up and deporting 11 million people, separating families, and undermining the [Department of Homeland Security's] ability to secure the border.”
He slammed House Republicans for not only first “failing for more than a year” to pass a comprehensive immigration bill, but then voting to restrict a law enforcement tool used to provide “temporary relief from deportation for people who are low priorities for removal.”
“In the face of Congressional inaction, the administration's use of Deferred Action for DREAMErs in 2012, which has benefitted more than 500,000 young people who are Americans in every way except on paper, is the most significant progress we have made toward immigration reform in years,” Earnest said in the statement.
The House is expected to vote on legislation to prevent Obama from expanding his program delaying deportations of people who immigrated to the U.S. as children before 2007.
However, the vote will only happen if the House first approves a $659 million bill providing assistance to border authorities.
It’s not clear GOP leaders have the votes to pass that measure in the face of opposition from Democrats, and the vote on the deportation program is intended to sweeten the pot for conservatives wary of sending the administration any money for the border.