House Republicans on Friday were preparing to pass legislation that would go further in preventing President Barack Obama from expanding an amnesty and work authorization program for millions of illegal immigrants.
Republicans are wary that Obama will try to expand his Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals policy to millions of illegal immigrant adults, which could allow them to obtain a quasi-legal status and even apply for a work permit.
The House failed on Thursday to advance a bill limiting Obama’s options to expand DACA, but that bill, plus a border funding bill, failed to advance because of objections from Republicans that it wasn’t tough enough.
GOP leaders are preparing a new version of the bill, from Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), to address those complaints.
The new version is expected to say that no part of the federal government can use federal money to consider any new or previously denied deferred action under Obama’s DACA program after July 30, 2014.
That language would essentially block new applicants from entering the DACA program, something the old language didn’t do. It also specifies a ban on funding and prohibits the creation of a new DACA-like program, which is seen by many as a tougher prohibition than what the older version provided.
The new proposal is similar to the older version in that it would stop the government from providing any newly authorized deferred action for any class of unlawful immigrants, or authorizing any such immigrant to work in the United States that is not lawfully admitted. However, the new language again contains a specific funding limitation on these activities.
In addition, it does not create an exemption for immigrants who are paroled. The prior version did include that exemption, which some saw as a possible loophole that could be exploited by the Obama administration.
Earlier in the day, the House approved a resolution allowing members to consider this bill, and a border funding bill, anytime in August. A House vote was expected sometime Friday evening.
The border funding bill is expected to undergo changes as well, including by making sure states have the right to summon the National Guard to help deal with the flood of illegal immigrants.
Read Blackburn’s new proposal here: