- The Washington Times - Friday, January 9, 2015

House Republicans announced Friday night that they have set up votes on several different ways to halt President Obama’s deportation amnesty, and will bring the fight to the chamber floor next week.

The move is a direct challenge to Mr. Obama, and makes good on GOP leaders’ pledge to try to use the spending process to halt the president’s amnesty, which the White House has said could grant up to 4 million illegal immigrants a new tentative legal status and work permits so they can legally compete with Americans for jobs.

The chief proposal, sponsored by Rep. Robert Aderholt, Alabama Republican, would prohibit the administration from spending any money to carry out the amnesty Mr. Obama announced on Nov. 20, or any of the other non-deportation policies his Homeland Security Department has carved out over the previous few years.

Another proposal to be voted on would also cancel Mr. Obama’s 2012 deportation amnesty specifically aimed at so-called Dreamers, the young adult illegal immigrants who were often brought to the U.S. as children by their parents, with little say in the matter. They are considered among the most sympathetic cases in the immigration debate.

Some critics had questioned whether the spending bills could be used to halt the president’s actions, since the agency that will administer the amnesty, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is fee-based. That means it pays for itself out of the fees it would collect, and some lawmakers had said that freed it from Congress’s power of the purse.

But the Congressional Research Service rejected that, saying that even the fees are considered taxpayers’ money, and Congress has the power to restrict spending.

Democrats said the GOP was being cruel to illegal immigrants by holding the debate.

“Rather than building upon the president’s bold move to keep families together, House Republicans have decided to threaten a partial government shutdown and play politics with the security of our homeland by appeasing the anti-immigrant and extreme right-wing of their party,” said Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The proposals will be offered as amendments to the homeland security spending bill, which the House will debate next week.

That bill boosts funding for immigration enforcement in the interior of the U.S. by 10 percent.

House Republican leaders have approved at least five amendments to be offered during the debate.

One of the other proposals would urge Mr. Obama not to give illegal immigrants preference over American workers. That stems from the fact that since the illegal immigrants would be granted work permits but still wouldn’t be eligible for Obamacare, it is cheaper for some businesses to hire them.

Another proposal would put Congress on record saying that illegal immigrants shouldn’t be given preference over those who have waited in line to come to the U.S. legally.

Both of those proposals are non-binding.

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