As the Senate prepares to begin debate on the comprehensive immigration reform bill, House Republicans continue to struggle with the changed reality of immigration politics. The Republican majority approved an amendment yesterday by restrictionist Steve King (R-IA) that would block funding for continued implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) policy that has been in place since last August. While the amendment has practically no chance of passing the Senate, it does reflect the difficulty that Republican leaders in the House are going to have with a segment of their party that will not even consider the most minimal legalization efforts. As has been the case with many recent House votes on a variety of issues, this was basically an exercise without meaning. If a reform bill passes the Senate this summer with significant support, pressure on the Republican leadership will increase tremendously to take a stand against the restrictionist elements of the party. In the meantime, Republicans seem happy to continue to alienate the Hispanic community by actions like today’s vote.
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