House Republicans are prepared to move forward on a new plan to address the crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, a day after their original plan disintegrated in an embarrassing fashion and forced leadership to delay the start of their five-week recess.
According to reports and confirmed by House GOP sources, the House will vote on two bills as soon as Friday. House Republican leaders hope the beefed-up plan will satisfy previously skittish conservatives who had revolted against the original strategy, which GOP leaders shelved Thursday because they lacked support needed to pass it.
The two bills are the same ones that were part of the original plan, but each is expected to be significantly bolstered as part of the new package. Tweaks to the $US659 million border-security bill include more changes to a 2008 tracking law that would speed up deportations of unaccompanied minors from Central America, as well as sending money to deploy National Guard troops on the border directly to governors.
The House will also vote on a beefed-up bill written by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). That legislation would halt the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a unilateral directive from President Barack Obama that shields hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Many of the immigrants who have been part of the recent influx coming over the border have been unaccompanied minors. They are not eligible for the DACA program, but some Republicans have argued Obama’s policy has contributed to a perception among the border crossers that they will not be sent back. This year alone, tens of thousands of migrants from Central America — many of them unaccompanied children — have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border from Central American countries.
Some of the changes to the Blackburn DACA legislation, according to a House GOP aide, include freezing funding for the program, as well as preventing current young undocumented immigrants who benefit from the program from renewing their applications.
Neither GOP bill likely has any chance of becoming law. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid already said the DACA legislation would be thrown in the trash when it reaches the Senate — and that was before it was toughened up. And the White House has threatened a veto of the House’s border-security legislation.
The Democratic-led Senate, meanwhile, also failed to pass a $US2.7 billion bill aimed at providing emergency funding for the border crisis. It contained additional funding to aid western states dealing with wildfires, and for the Iron Dome in Israel. The Senate bill died, 50-44, on a procedural vote, amid mostly Republican opposition. It needed 60 votes to advance.
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