The conservative editorial board of The Wall Street Journal reamed into congressional Republicans in an editorial published in Saturday’s paper, after the House passed a bill Friday night that effectively would put the status of nearly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants in limbo.
House Republicans passed legislation Friday night to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program established unilaterally by President Barack Obama in 2012. The program shields hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation.
House leadership added the legislation to a package that included a $US694 million bill to address the humanitarian crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border. The DACA legislation was meant as an enhancement to the package to sweeten conservative support.
The WSJ editorial board wrote, however, that the adding on of the DACA legislation to the package only provided “another spectacle of internal disarray” on what should be a path to a Senate majority in November.
From the editorial:
“The bill should have been a moment to redirect attention to President Obama’s cynical handling of the border problem and to the Democratic Party’s immigration divisions. Instead the GOP again gave the country the impression that its highest policy priority is to deport as many children as rapidly as possible back from wherever they came. […]
The GOP’s Deportation Caucus — led by Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions and Ted Cruz of Texas — lobbied House conservatives to resist any immigration compromise and pick a fight with Mr. Boehner. The dissenters demanded an array of policy changes, most notably new restrictions on the President’s executive order allowing some undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children to remain in the country.
Readers may recall that the last Republican in an election year to support deporting immigrant children brought here through no fault of their own was Mitt Romney. A splendid voter attraction that was.”
The vote on the DACA legislation indeed provided Democrats with fodder to claim Republicans were still the same party that had endorsed “self-deportation” as an immigration policy in 2012. The Journal argued it detracted from what should have been the messaging — noting how the Democratic-led Senate and Majority Leader Harry Reid had failed to act on President Barack Obama’s request for border funding.
“The episode is also sure to raise doubts among swing voters about whether Republicans would be prepared to govern if they do win control of the entire Congress,” the Journal’s editorial board wrote. “Let’s hope they spend August planning how to return in the fall like a party that looks ready to do something other than fight with each other.”
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