Symbolic Vote By House Against President’s Immigration Plan

The House of Representatives in a party-line vote passed a resolution rebuking President Obama for issuing an executive order providing deportation relief to millions of undocumented individuals. Although the measure won approval by a 219-197 vote, it is unlikely to have anything more than symbolic value for Republican congressmen who promised to oppose the President’s unilateral action. The Senate, still under control of Democrats until 2015, will not entertain the resolution during the balance of this term. And, even if such a bill was passed next year when a new Senate with a Republican majority takes office, the President would veto it.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest warned Thursday that the bill “would actually roll back some of the president’s proposed reforms to the immigration system in a way that would actually devote law enforcement resources to deporting ‘dreamers.’ The president does not believe it is an efficient or effective use of law enforcement resources to try to separate these individuals from their families.  Earnest wondered why the House GOP was taking the time to pass a measure to “roll back the president’s initiatives rather than voting on a bipartisan immigration bill passed by the Senate last year.

The House of Representatives faces two thorny conundrums in figuring out a way to satisfy its base in opposing the President. It is currently considering an omnibus spending bill which would keep the government open beyond December 15, 2014. In another effort to thwart Obama’s executive order, they may defund the Department of Homeland Security which includes the agencies which deport illegal aliens.  The problem for these Congressmen is that the maneuver could actually reduce border enforcement, contrary to their stated goals . Also most of the funds that are to be used to provide deportation relief, as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program does, come from fees paid by applicants seeking residency or citizenship status not from the general revenues of the federal government which Congress appropriates.

The upshot is that neither the resolution just passed in Congress nor its plans to defund the Department of Homeland Security are likely to achieve its goal of stopping deportation relief. But these tactics in the context of the latest budget showdown could cause another government shutdown.

The Shulman Law Group endeavors to ensure its clients be kept abreast of all significant developments relating to the process of immigration to the United States. Edward Shulman, Esq, founder of The Shulman Law Group, LLC is a national speaker for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).  AILA is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice.  In the course of Mr. Shulman’s involvement with AILA, he has been dedicated to educating other immigration attorneys about the import of helping intending immigrants to navigate a new cultural system. He meticulously follows all of the developments occurring in the battle over immigration reform so that he will be prepared to effectively assist his clients obtain residency if a new system is enacted.