08.01.2014 1

The death of the border supplemental

free_stuff_borderBy Robert Romano

Failing to get the 217 votes needed to pass, Republican leaders on July 31 pulled the $659 million border supplemental off the floor of the House Representatives.

Republicans opposed the measure as doing nothing to secure the border or prevent the White House from taking yet more executive actions to grant legal status to illegal immigrants.

Democrats were said to be opposed because it would have expedited the deportation of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who have been granted temporary refuge by the Obama administration.

Apparently, to paraphrase the old adage, when you don’t try to please anybody, everybody is displeased.

And while those objections certainly played a role, what likely killed the bill was the July 28 Associated Press report that this fall, “White House officials are making plans to act before November’s mid-term elections to grant work permits to potentially millions of immigrants who are in this country illegally, allowing them to stay in the United States without threat of deportation.”

As a result, the phone lines on Capitol Hill were melted by concerned constituents. The demand? Stop the Obama amnesty. Stop the supplemental. They became synonymous.

At least one observer thought the House majority was missing an opportunity on the supplemental considering the current crisis on the border and Obama’s ambition to act without Congress, calling for “every conceivable rider that would prevent a repeat or worsening of the current crisis on the border and in our local communities.”

“House leadership was ready to push its border supplemental through without including any riders that will stop the White House from taking more arbitrary executive actions that might suspend deportations, grant legal status to millions presently here illegally, excuse visa overstays, or even grant refugee status,” said Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens.

Mehrens called on the House to reject any measure that did reestablish the rule of law. He also pointed said the supplemental ought to include a provision to defund a Department of Housing and Urban Development regulation set to go into effect in October conditioning eligibility for community development block grants on redrawing municipal zoning maps along racial and income boundaries.

“We know that La Raza believes implementation of this racial rezoning rule will benefit those who ‘have cited fear of deportation’ — meaning the rule will be used to move millions of illegal immigrants into communities across America,” Mehrens stated.

House leaders had attempted to draw conservative support by promising a separate vote on legislation that would have prohibited any administration policy for more deferred actions or work permits for illegal immigrants, but critics noted that not being attached to the supplemental made it a non-starter.

Nor would it have included “every conceivable rider” to preempt Obama executive actions on the issue. For example, that bill would not stop the White House from simply declaring millions of illegal immigrants to be refugees.

For now, it’s back to the drawing board for the House, but if members are truly committed to reestablishing the rule of law, they might try forcing a fight over every possible way Obama might implement an executive amnesty. Just a thought.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government. 

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