House spending bill would block funding for immigration action

House Republicans on Wednesday introduced a spending bill that would block funds for President Obama’s 2014 executive action on immigration while a court injunction remains in effect.

The bill also doesn’t provide funding for the executive action, a summary of the legislation said.

Obama’s policy moves on deportations, unveiled last November, have been in legal limbo for months, due to a challenge that is playing out in the courts.

ADVERTISEMENT

Under a preliminary injunctive order in Texas v. United States, the Department of Homeland Security has not been able to expand the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. That program, which Obama created in 2012, defers deportations for some people who came to the United States illegally as children.

Under the House Homeland Security spending bill, the DHS also cannot use funds for Obama’s proposed Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, the 2014 program that would delay deportations of parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will hear arguments Friday in Texas v. United States and will consider lifting the injunction on the executive actions.

In February, a conservative group of House Republicans attempted to defund Obama’s immigration action, but were unsuccessful after GOP leaders caved to Democrats’ demands for a “clean” Homeland Security spending bill.

Just hours before the department would have shut down, Congress passed a measure funding Homeland Security for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

The bill Republicans introduced Wednesday would fund Homeland Security for fiscal 2016, which begins Oct. 1.

It would provide the Department of Homeland Security with $337 million less than current funding levels and $2.1 billion less than Obama’s request.

Customs and Border Protection would receive $11.1 billion, which is $417.7 million above 2015 levels and more than $346 million less than Obama’s request. The funding covers air and marine operations along the U.S. border and border security technology, among other things.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement would receive $5.8 billion, which is $157.8 million less than Obama’s request and $151.5 million less than current levels.

Citizenship and Immigration Services would get $119.7 million, which is $4.8 million below current levels and $10 million less than Obama’s request. The funding covers the E-Verify program, which helps companies check if their employees can legally work in the U.S. The legislation, however, does not fund other activities at the agency because they are funded through user fees.

The bill also funds the Transportation Security Administration and contains “rigorous oversight” of the agency in its efforts to address vulnerabilities within passenger security screening, training equipment and other protocols.

Cybersecurity programs would receive funding in the bill, as well as the Secret Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency

To find savings, the bill would cut funds for a civilian pay raise, reject a new climate change program and deny the consolidation of DHS headquarters.

The bill keeps in a provision that prohibits funds from being used to transfer or release detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

— This story was updated at 11:24 a.m.