Immigration Activists: Senate Must Not Back Down From Defund Effort

Anti-amnesty advocates have a message for Senate Republicans: Do not back down from the effort to defund Obama’s executive amnesty.

The Senate is expected to bring up a Department of Homeland Security bill that targets the president’s executive actions on immigration in the coming days. The bill faces an uphill climb: the entire Democratic Senate caucus this week called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring up a so-called “clean” funding bill that does not include riders taking on Obama’s executive amnesty instead.

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, McConnell should “not capitulate.” It argues that a DHS funding bill free of provisions combating Obama’s executive amnesty is in fact “dirty.”

“What the Senate minority is demanding is the antithesis of a ‘clean’ DHS Appropriations bill, and McConnell must not capitulate,” Dan Stein, FAIR’s president said Thursday. “What the Democrats are seeking is a dirty bill that actually funds the President’s executive amnesty. It allows the administration to divert money and manpower from the department’s primary responsibilities – securing the homeland and enforcing our immigration laws – to carrying out a massive amnesty program that was never authorized by Congress.”

If the entire Democratic caucus stands firm against a DHS bill defunding Obama’s executive actions, the effort to defund would fall short of the needed votes to overcome a filibuster.

FAIR highlighted a number of members of the Democratic caucus in the Senate who have expressed opposition or reservations about Obama’s executive amnesty: Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Warner (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Joe Donnelly (D-ID), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Angus King (D-ME.).

“Majority Leader McConnell’s focus should be on persuading these Democrats to join with Republicans to pass a bipartisan bill that ensures that DHS funds are spent on the vital task of securing the homeland, while protecting the Constitution’s Separation of Powers doctrine,” Stein said, going on to stress that McConnell must insist that the riders defunding executive amnesty remain on the DHS bill.

Roy Blunt (R-MO), a member of the GOP leadership team in the Senate, said Tuesday there would be an effort to persuade Democrats to join the effort to defund executive amnesty.

“I think we should do everything we can to persuade at least a half a dozen Democrats that they should join us to get this done,” Blunt said. “Sometimes you don’t know how these legislative battles go if you don’t have them, and we intend to have this one.”


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