House Republicans vote to stop Obama’s immigration actions

Republicans also vote to unpick 2012 policy shielding hundreds of thousands more brought to US as children

President Barack Obama: the House of Representatives has voted to overturn his orders from November protecting millions of illegal immigrants from deportation

President Barack Obama: the House of Representatives has voted to overturn his orders from November protecting millions of illegal immigrants from deportation

 

The Republican-led House of Representatives has voted to overturn President Obama’s orders from November protecting millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

Setting up a fight in the Senate, House Republicans also voted to unpick a 2012 policy shielding hundreds of thousands more brought to the US as children.

In a 236 to 191 vote, the House voted on legislation covering the $40 billion (€34 billion) budget for the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the country’s immigration system.

The Bill contains amendments that would derail Mr Obama’s actions to provide temporary protection from deportation to more than four million “undocumented” immigrants, including, it is estimated, thousands of Irish, out of the estimated 11 million illegal migrants.

Challenging what they claim is illegal action by the executive branch of government, Republicans went even further, passing by 218 votes to 209 an amendment that would cancel Mr Obama’s 2012 protections for more than 600,000 immigrants who arrived as minors.

More than two dozen Republicans sided with Democrats in opposition to the measure, part of the first attack on Mr Obama’s immigration policies since Republicans took control of Congress last week.

“We do not take this action lightly, but simply there is no alternative,” said Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.

“It’s not a dispute between the parties or even between the branches of our government’” he added. “This executive overreach is an affront to the rule of law and to the Constitution itself.”

The Bill moves to the Senate where Republicans have a 54 to 46 majority but require six votes to overcome procedural obstacles to put it to a full vote by the upper chamber.

Some Senate Republicans have urged caution about passing any budget measures that would restrict the work of the Department of Homeland Security, which monitors American borders, airports and coastal waters, following the deadly terrorist attacks that took place in Paris last week.

Even if the legislation passes the Senate, the White House has said that the president would veto a Bill covering the department’s funding beyond February that carried restrictions on immigration actions.