In the political fight over how to address the surge of some 60,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America over the U.S.-Mexico border, undocumented immigrant youth known as DREAMers have become the latest target.
House Republicans scrambling to find agreement over how to deal with the surge before they break for a five-week recess, have now pledged to hold a vote on legislation that would rein in President Barack Obama's authority to halt deportations of some undocumented immigrants, including young immigrants known as DREAMers who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
That move—expected this afternoon when the House votes on two border-security measures—comes a day after the House GOP failed to pass a $659 million bill meant to help address the crisis. Conservative Republicans, led by Congressman Ted Cruz of Texas, balked against voting on the funding measure unless the GOP leadership agreed to a vote on a separate measure to strip funding for the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals program.
Deferred action—which the Obama administration approved in 2012—has delayed deportations and offered opportunities for legal work authorization to some 500,000 eligible undocumented youth who came to the United States as children.
The Senate—where Democrats had crafted a $2.7 billion measure to help the federal government deal with the surge of more than 57,000 unaccompanied minors flowing into the country—failed to act on crisis before adjourning for summer recess.
President Obama had requested a $3.7 billion aid package to address the border crisis.
The squabbles in Congress ensure that the federal agencies on the frontlines of addressing the border crisis will not get any new resources for at least another six weeks.