House votes 218-209 to freeze Obama’s delayed deportation program

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The House adopted an amendment Wednesday to freeze a 2012 program allowing illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to apply for work permits.

{mosads}Passage fell largely along party lines by a vote of 218-209. But 26 Republicans, many of whom represent districts with large minority populations, voted against the amendment.

Adoption of the amendment onto a $40 billion base funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security makes it unlikely to pass in the Senate, where it will need 60 votes to advance.

The amendment would prohibit funds for new or renewed applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Under the program, immigrants who came to the country as children can delay deportations for three years at a time. Those immigrants must have arrived in the country before the age of 16 and have lived in the U.S. since June 2007. They are also required to either be in school or have graduated.

The House passed similar legislation in August to roll back the DACA program. Eleven Republicans, 10 of whom are still House members, voted against the measure three months before the midterm elections.

House Republicans are set to leave Washington later Wednesday for their annual retreat in Hershey, Pa. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) noted that Republicans presented their own immigration principles at last year’s retreat, including to provide “an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children through no fault of their own.”

“Does it mean anything to you anymore? Don’t care about children?” Gutiérrez asked Republicans. “Because that is precisely what you are saying today.”

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (Mich.), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said the proposal would deport “Dreamers” who grew up in the U.S. and were in school or part of the American workforce.

“This is a vote to deport Dreamers,” Conyers said. “The amendment is one more of the same anti-immigrant type of rhetoric that has dominated conservatives and is further evidence that the majority is not interested in fixing our broken immigration system.”

But Republicans argued the DACA program has misled children from Central America to make a dangerous trek across the southern border with the hopes of being able to immigrate to the U.S. illegally.

“Make no mistake about it: this program has become a magnet for drawing children from Central America,” said Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.).

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), the amendment’s sponsor, said undoing the DACA program would help ensure immigrants who come to the U.S. under established legal procedure are prioritized.

“The Democrats like to say that this is radical. Let me ask you a question,” Blackburn said. “Is it radical to support the rule of law? Is it radical to fight for American workers who are going to lose their jobs to illegal aliens?”

The House also adopted an amendment, 237-190, to defund President Obama’s November executive action to expand the DACA program and delay deportations of up to five million illegal immigrants.

The 26 Republicans who voted against the amendment were:

Reps. Mark Amodei (Nev.)
Mike Coffman (Colo.)
Ryan Costello (Pa.)
Carlos Curbelo (Fla.)
Jeff Denham (Calif.)
Charlie Dent (Pa.)
Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.)
Bob Dold (Ill.)
Renee Ellmers (N.C.)
Chris Gibson (N.Y.)
Richard Hanna (N.Y.)
Cresent Hardy (Nev.)
Joe Heck (Nev.)
John Katko (N.Y.)
Peter King (N.Y.)
Adam Kinzinger (Ill.)
Frank LoBiondo (N.J.)
Tom MacArthur (N.J.)
Martha McSally (Ariz.)
Patrick Meehan (Pa.)
Devin Nunes (Calif.)
Dave Reichert (Wash.)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.)
Chris Smith (N.J.)
Fred Upton (Mich.)
David Valadao (Calif.)

— This story was updated at 12:36 p.m.

Tags Dave Reichert Immigration Mark Amodei Marsha Blackburn

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