As House Republican leaders play games with our national security by attaching poison pill amendments to must-pass DHS funding legislation, here’s an interesting development: they are quickly losing support from their own Members. Several House Republicans are joining GOP Senators in opposition to the extreme, anti-immigration amendments that pander to the far-right wing of the party. From Politico:
“A Republican amendment that could leave hundreds of thousands of young immigrants open to deportations is running into stiff opposition in the House – a rare show of rank-and-file rebellion over the leadership’s catering to the right.”
“The measure – which would kill the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program – is scheduled to come to the House floor Wednesday as part of a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security through the end of September. But more than a dozen House Republicans have told the GOP whip operation that they will not vote for the amendment, according to people involved. These Republicans say the leadership is catering to the far-right elements of the party, and they disapprove of the underlying policy.”
“Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that he opposes the Blackburn legislation, as well as a separate measure that would gut the executive actions the Obama administration announced last fall and roll back immigration enforcement directives dating as far back as 2011. If those amendments are ultimately approved, Denham said he would oppose the underlying DHS funding bill.”
“‘It’s disappointing to see an overreach,’ Denham said of his own party.”
“The moderates in the GOP conference are taking issue, in particular, with a provision in Blackburn’s measure that would ban renewals under the current DACA program, which grants a two-year deportation reprieve and work permits for so-called Dreamers, young immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children.”
“‘It’s mean-spirited,’ one House Republican, granted anonymity to speak candidly about the situation. ‘Once people have come forward, and they have turned in all their information, their ID, where they live, they’re now planning their lives based on [the fact that] they can live here … it’s a step beyond what has to be done.’”
The underlying DHS bill has strong, bipartisan support. It is time for House Republicans to stop catering to the most extreme faction of their party, and instead work with Democrats (and their own Members!) to pass a bipartisan DHS funding bill that will end uncertainty and help keep our communities safe and secure.