“YES” on Amnesty Stopping DHS Appropriations Bill (H.R. 240, as passed by House)

*** The original H.R. 240, as passed by the House would have blocked President Obama’s dangerous and unconstitutional amnesty.  The bill was subsequently amended by the Senate to strip the language blocking the executive amnesty.  Heritage Action key voted against the revised version of the bill. ***

On Wednesday, the House will vote on the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 240) and as many as five separate amendments.  Two of those amendments — Aderholt and Blackburn — would effectively stop President Obama’s dangerous and unlawful amnesty.

When President Obama took action to, as he said “change the law”, the outcry from Congress was widespread.  Republicans and Democrats alike took issue with the President on the process and the policy.  The half-measures and strongly worded statements that followed have been insufficient given the magnitude of the challenge.  As Mitch McConnell, the new Senate Majority Leader, observed, “The only tool we have is the power of the purse.”

By asserting such a sweeping expansion of presidential powers, President Obama has precipitated a crisis.  The only way Congress can retain its constitutional authority — and fight for hardworking Americans all across the country — is to swiftly deny funding and resources for the program.

The need for quick, decisive congressional action cannot be overstated. Proponents of Obama’s actions are already planning enrollment seminars.  Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) 17% and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, for example, plan to have “thousands upon thousands upon thousands” of illegal immigrants in the Chicago-area signed up by the “end of February” when current funding for DHS expires.

Additionally, the recent terror attacks in France serve as a reminder that no commander-in-chief should tie the hands of those attempting to keep our nation safe.  As The Heritage Foundation’s David Inserra explains, that is precisely what Obama’s unlawful amnesty has done:

“This leaves our immigration officers in a tough and highly frustrating spot. They have sworn to uphold the nation’s laws, but their president, secretary and director are telling them to ignore their duty. Instead, they are pressured to rubber stamp applications and follow procedural gimmicks that ensure most of those they arrest for violating immigration laws are never deported.”

Security officials should never be “pressured to rubber stamp applications,” especially when those applications come from individuals who reside unlawfully in the country.  The best way to secure our nation is to pass a DHS spending bill that takes concrete steps to stop the Obama administration’s dangerous and unlawful amnesty.  No lawmaker should prioritize granting quasi-legal status, work permits and Social Security numbers to those who are in the country illegally above protecting America and its citizens.

If the bill is amended to stop President Obama’s dangerous and unlawful amnesty as expected, Heritage Action will support H.R. 240 and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

Heritage Action’s Legislative Scorecard