House of Representatives Takes Shameful Votes on Immigration

Advocacy Central Need Action4Last Friday night, while most Americans were busy beginning their weekend, the House of Representatives was busy at work debating a supplemental appropriations bill to address the humanitarian border crisis at our border, and a bill to end the hugely successful DACA program that has helped more than 500,000 DREAMers. While the vote had no hope of becoming law (the Senate had already adjourned the day before and the president indicated he’d veto it), the debate on the vote displayed some of the most vehement anti-immigrant rhetoric we’ve seen to date.

In a statement, NCLR President and CEO, Janet Murguía condemned the House for it’s actions.

From the statement:

“It was an embarrassing and shameful display by people who are refusing to do their job and help the country. The House Republican Caucus today voted to send a message to the president and their constituents, but they also sent a message to America that we hear loud and clear: House Republicans are not interested in solving the immigration crisis and boosting the economy, they do not care about the plight of children and they do not want the Latino vote. That is the only conclusion we can make after Speaker John Boehner once again ceded control of this issue to the most extreme of the extremists in his party and passed legislation that cements the House’s obvious goal of making things much worse for everyone. It is appalling that this legislation only passed when the extremists decided it inflicted enough damage on immigrants and others in our community,”

“As I said last week at the 2014 NCLR Annual Conference, what Speaker Boehner has done, or more accurately has not done, on immigration is a clear dereliction of duty. He had numerous options, and he opted for the worst one: cowering and kowtowing once again to Steve King, Michele Bachmann and their allies in the hate-fueled anti-immigrant movement. John Boehner’s continued lack of courage will not only be his legacy as an ineffectual Speaker of the House but also harm the country he purports to love,” Murguía continued.

“And what the extremists have done with their power is unconscionable. Taking advantage of this situation to both block comprehensive immigration reform and undo programs that have nothing to do with what is happening at the border is just one more reason why the political future of the Republican Party in today’s America is decidedly bleak. I want to reiterate that fear-mongering and scapegoating isn’t going to get the Latino vote. Putting National Guard troops to confront children seeking refuge and enabling armed militiamen at the border isn’t going to get our vote. Repealing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and refusing to act on comprehensive immigration reform isn’t going to get our vote.”

“Given the extremists in charge in the House, the willful neglect of the House leadership and the failure to even consider constructive solutions, President Obama is right to act and fix as much of our broken immigration system as he can through executive action.”

House members in favor of immigration reform did try to insert an amendment that would have brought HR 15, the House bill on immigration reform, up for a debate, but their efforts ultimately proved unfruitful.

Ultimately, the supplemental appropriations bill passed 223-189, and the vote to end DACA passed 216-192.

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