The Republican Congress Is Holding DHS Funding Hostage in Reckless Effort to Undo the President’s Immigration Executive Action that Is Keeping Families Together
Washington DC – As a February 27 deadline looms for Congress to reauthorize funding for the Department of Homeland Security - the agency tasked with aviation and border security and many counterterrorism and emergency readiness efforts - Americans United for Change called on Sen. Kelly Ayotte and fellow Republicans in Congress to stop playing politics with public safety and pass a clean DHS funding bill. That means no strings attached, unlike in the DHS funding bill House Republicans passed earlier this month that would defund the President’s immigration executive action and resume deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced intentions to take up the legislation soon, but would be wise to remember the poison-pill House legislation has zero chance of becoming law.
How We Got Here: As Huffington Post reports, “In December, Congress approved funding through the end of the fiscal year for every department except DHS, which was funded only until the end of February. That decision was made because Republicans hoped to use the DHS bill to block policies advanced by the president that could allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. temporarily and work legally.”
Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “The Republican Party that gave us the government shutdown that sucked billions of dollars out of the economy is back with another manufactured crisis at the American people’s expense. This time, Republicans are needlessly holding up critical homeland security resources in protest of the President’s immigration action. Leader McConnell and Speaker Boehner know the President, like Reagan before him, acted well within his legal authority in giving an opportunity for undocumented immigrants who pass a background check to keep their families together, get right with the law and pay their fair share in taxes. But it’s clear the extreme anti-immigrant elements in the Republican caucus are the ones calling the plays and they’re even willing to compromise public safety to go backwards on immigration reform. It’s why we’re seeing political stunts like this to keep the fringe at bay instead of any effort by Republicans to pass a real comprehensive immigration reform bill. If they did that, there would be no need for the President’s executive actions. DHS funding is not something to be playing political football with especially in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in France and Canada, but here we are, the Party of Mass Deportation is ready to kick off. And New Hampshire voters deserve to know: Is Senator Kelly Ayotte going to go along with this troubling and irresponsible political brinkmanship? Will Ayotte vote to put politics, or public safety first? If the latter is her priority, Ayotte can prove it by joining Democratic calls on Mitch McConnell to hold a vote on a clean DHS funding bill. If it’s the former, she should be embarrassed and has some explaining to do back home.”