- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sen. Mitch McConnell warned Thursday that some would-be illegal immigrants could die trying to reach the U.S. thanks to President Obama’s plans to offer a temporary amnesty, saying it will amount to an invitation for a new wave of illegal immigrants to make the perilous journey from Latin America.

The Kentucky Republican, who will become Senate majority leader next year, also vowed he and his troops will take some steps to push back — though he didn’t say what they would so, and their options are somewhat limited.

“When the newly elected representatives of the people take their seats, they will act,” Mr. McConnell said.

In a speech on the Senate floor, he said the country has already had a taste of what’s to come based on the recent surge of illegal immigrant children and families who crossed the border this summer. He said they had been enticed by promises of legal status based in part on the president’s previous non-deportation policies, including one for so-called Dreamers, or young illegal immigrants.

“It was a factor in encouraging young people to risk their lives on a perilous journey some would never complete,” he said. “The effects of this action could be just as tragic.”

Reports of children being raped along the long journey from Central America, or worse, of being killed either by smugglers or by the harsh conditions of the trip, were prevalent during this summer’s coverage

Mr. McConnell’s promises of action next year signal that he is unlikely to insist on tying this year’s funding bill to language halting Mr. Obama’s orders.

Congress could try to revisit the issue early next year, but would lack leverage if they have already passed a year-long funding bill.

On Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, said Mr. McConnell has another power he could use — refusing to bring up most of Mr. Obama’s nominees for a vote on the Senate floor. That would apply to all but the most critical national security posts, Mr. Cruz said.

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