Obama to host young immigrants aided by executive actions

President Obama will host young immigrants who benefit from his executive actions deferring deportations on Wednesday as he seeks to pressure Republicans to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security.

The president will meet in the Oval Office with six young people from around the nation who qualified for his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program defers deportations for some young people who entered the country illegally.

"The meeting is an opportunity for the President to hear directly from young immigrants whose lives have been positively affected as a result of receiving deferred action or DACA," said the White House.

A White House official added that the president would use the event to "reiterate that his executive actions are lawful."

The event comes as Republicans vow to roll back Obama's actions delaying deportations for as many as 5 million illegal immigrants.

Last month, the GOP-controlled House passed legislation that would reverse Obama's immigration actions, attached to a DHS funding bill. But the president has vowed to veto that bill.

Without a new funding measure, the DHS would partly shut down after Feb. 27. While many employees would continue to report to work as essential personnel, Republicans hope to avoid a shutdown that could be politically damaging.

Earlier Tuesday, Senate Democrats blocked legislation reversing the executive actions, leaving House leaders with little time to find legislation acceptable to conservatives on immigration that also keeps the agency funded.

Democrats have warned that allowing DHS to shut down could harm national security.

On Tuesday, Obama said the GOP strategy "makes absolutely no sense."

"The Department of Homeland Security contains numerous agencies that every single day are keeping the American people safe," he said at a Cabinet meeting. "They need certainty in order to do their jobs."