House Republicans refused to pay their own bills over their alleged fiscal principles, and yet, time and time again they demonstrate a lack of understanding about math. This brings us to Friday night, when House Republicans decided that the limited resources the government has should be spent hunting down DREAMers instead of deporting dangerous criminals.
The White House is not impressed. They issued a statement Friday evening condemning the priorities of House Republicans, whose bill prioritizes deporting DREAMers over hunting down dangerous criminals.
“The legislation put forward tonight by House Republicans does not responsibly address the problem of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border, and could result in the deportation of hundreds of thousands of DREAMers, young people who were brought to this country as children and are Americans in every way but on paper. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program prioritizes the limited resources of the Department of Homeland Security to deport dangerous criminals rather than DREAMers. It is extraordinary that House Republicans are demanding that we reverse that prioritization as a price for getting the resources needed to deal with the urgent humanitarian situation at the border, reduce the immigration court backlog, and address the root cause of child migration.
Republicans in Washington have repeatedly called the situation at our border a crisis; yet, tonight they are considering partisan legislation that will not address the problem and is sure to be rejected by the Senate. As the President said today, the Administration will continue to manage the border as responsibly as possible and address our broken immigration system, but no Administrative action is a substitute for Congressional action. That’s why the President will urge Congress to fix our broken immigration system once and for all upon returning from their recess by doing what the Senate did over a year ago and pass serious, comprehensive immigration reform legislation with bipartisan support.”
Republicans blame the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for the crisis on the border, so they added language to freeze the DACA program and make DREAMers eligible for deportation in two years. Republicans claim they must hunt down these DREAMers in the name of national security. This implies that their solution is the only one on the table and that it would actually improve national security more than other solutions. Neither is accurate, and their solution has been condemned as immoral even by Catholic Bishops. But for Republicans, “National security” is code for “Just vote yes and don’t ask any questions or else you hate America.” (See WMD.)
The White House is correct in this instance, as the Senate came up with bipartisan immigration reform in June of 2013 and even gave it a title that Republicans could love — “Border Surge”, but the House refused to act. Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Senate’s immigration bill would cut federal budget deficits by $158 billion over the next decade.
The Senate bill was bipartisan and cut the deficit. In other words, a no-go for House Republicans, who have been pushing to add hundreds of billions to the deficit in unpaid for tax credits for business. Additionally, House Republicans refused to give the President the money he requested for the border crisis, but they want it solved yesterday. This may be because they seem to have only become aware of this problem after Obama got elected.
According to House Republicans, when there is a crisis that all sane people saw coming years ago: a) Offer half of what the government needs because you’ve been told by the Heritage Foundation to make sure this President can’t solve any problems and to be sure not to do anything other than create scandals, lest the press actually discuss policy issues; and b) Use your authority over the purse strings to demand that the government use its limited resources that you just ensured stay limited to prioritize going after DREAMers over dangerous criminals, because your base resents DREAMers. Sell this as “national security” in order to shame the press away from asking questions.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.