White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reacted to news that the House of Representatives was considering a vote to block President Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for children of illegal immigrants.
In a statement emailed to reporters, Earnest said:
It is extraordinary that the House of Representatives, after failing for more than a year to reform our broken immigration reform system, would vote to restrict a law enforcement tool that the Department of Homeland Security uses to focus resources on key enforcement priorities like public safety and border security, and provide temporary relief from deportation for people who are low priorities for removal.
The House vote on DACA has been floated by House leadership, if they can pass a border crisis funding bill.
House conservatives have adamantly demanded that legislation be passed to block Obama’s DACA, especially since the White House has signaled that Obama may soon act again to expand the program to over five million illegal immigrants.
Earnest defended Obama’s 2012 action, praising it as “the most significant progress we have made toward immigration reform in years.”
Earnest also criticized the House approach to block DACA, suggesting that it was insensitive to the millions of illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States.
By failing to act on an immigration reform bill that requires that people who are here illegally pay taxes, undergo background checks, and get on the right side of the law, the House is, instead, driving an approach that is about rounding up and deporting 11 million people, separating families, and undermining DHS’ ability to secure the border.