Yet Another Ugly Amendment Directed at Our Immigrant Sisters and Brothers!

By Nicholas Moffa
June 08, 2015

On June 3, the House of Representatives passed its fourth spending bill of 2015, the Commerce-Justice-Science (CSJ) bill. However, it was not without an anti-immigrant attack, this time by Representative Steve King (R-IA-04). His amendment, which passed 222-204, prohibits the use of any funding by the Department of Justice to continue its legal battles concerning President Obama’s November 2014 executive actions. Sadly, these efforts to continue forcing our immigrant brothers and sisters to live in constant fear of deportation have become expected in this Congress.

What exactly does this mean moving forward? On May 26, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Department of Justice’s emergency stay request of the preliminary injunction issued by Texas federal district court judge Andrew Hanen. The aforementioned injunction halted all progress towards the implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA+). The next steps in the process are to appeal the injunction itself (which will happen in New Orleans in July) and to decide the merits of the case, or whether the states behind the lawsuit have standing to pursue it. Representative King’s amendment is designed to prevent the federal government from pursuing either of these steps!

Overall, this new amendment is a disgusting attempt to further marginalize and isolate parents and children who deserve the chance to fully participate in our society through an eventual pathway to citizenship. However, this amendment does not spell the end of the fight against the legal challenges to DAPA and DACA, and we look forward to a successful conclusion to these legal challenges that will allow the executive actions to move forward. We are mindful, however, that these executive actions are only a temporary fix to address parts of a broken system.

Congress should pass comprehensive immigration reform that fixes our broken immigration system and allows millions of undocumented men, women and children currently living in the U.S. an opportunity to fully participate in our society by providing a pathway to citizenship. In this way, Congress can heed our moral call to welcome the stranger and treat all people with dignity.

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