Jim's Blog

Senate Fails to Consider DHS Funding Bill that Defunds Amnesty

Rep. Jim Bridenstine

f t # e
Washington, February 3, 2015 | comments

This afternoon, the U.S. Senate refused to listen to the American people.


The Senate failed to invoke cloture on the Motion to Proceed to consider HR 240[1], the House-passed bill which funds the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the balance of Fiscal Year 2015.  Invoking cloture is the first step to allow consideration of the bill in the Senate.  By voting “No” all 46 Democrats and 1 Republican Senator indicated that they are not willing to even allow debate on the measure.


The bill that passed the House and was sent to the Senate in January reflects the will of the American people by funding DHS while defunding the President’s unconstitutional executive amnesty.[2]  Poll after poll has shown that opposition to the executive amnesty crosses party and demographic lines:


The Polling Company, Inc., August 2014:  “81% of voters support immigration policies that protect the American workers and allow workers a fair opportunity to do the jobs that illegal immigrants currently do. … 75% want more enforcement of current immigration laws, including 63% of Hispanics and over 50% of Democrats.”[3]


Battleground Poll by The Tarrance Group, August 2014:  “The August survey of 1,015 likely voters showed that Obama’s immigration policy faces lopsided ‘strong’ opposition and ‘somewhat’ opposition, yielding 57 percent opposition to 38 percent support.  … Independents in the Battleground poll split 2.6 to 1 strongly against Obama’s immigration policies.”[4]


Paragon Insights, January 2015:  “The poll reported that 54 percent of 563 independents, 29 percent of 575 Democrats and 81 percent of 455 Republicans said they would support ‘Republicans in Congress taking away federal funding for this executive order.’”[5]


The House provisions to defund executive amnesty are important for three reasons:

  • It is fundamentally unfair to American workers to introduce millions of new laborers into the workforce when unemployment is so high.
  • It is unfair to legal immigrants, who are obeying the laws and “waiting in line,” to divert DHS resources to processing illegal immigrants.
  • The President’s executive actions violate the Constitution, Article I, Section 8, which gives Congress the sole power to “establish a uniform rule of naturalization.”

The Obama Administration claims to have added 10 million jobs to the economy since 2009.  Over the same time, they have issued 5.46 million work permits to non-immigrant foreigners -- people not included in the count of new green cards and temporary worker visas.  Add the 5 million expected to be granted work permits under the President’s executive amnesty, and the entire job growth in the U.S. economy since the depths of the “Great Recession” will be offset by non-American workers.  Coincidently, roughly 5 million Americans have already dropped out of the workforce because opportunities are scarce. 


The Center for Immigration Studies studied data obtained by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from USCIS (U.S. Customs and Immigration Services) and data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  They concluded that, “These statistics indicate that the executive branch is operating a huge parallel immigrant work authorization system outside the bounds of the laws and limits written by Congress. It inevitably reduces job opportunities for Americans.”[6]


Democrats in the Senate as well as Republicans must understand that unconstitutional executive amnesty is a concern that crosses party lines.  Fairness and the rule of law matter to all Americans.  The Senate must at least allow debate on the President’s amnesty.  The American people are demanding that the President’s illegal and unconstitutional amnesty plan be defunded.  The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. 


I am disappointed that Senate Democrats and even some Republicans continue to tolerate the President’s unconstitutional executive amnesty.  I will support nothing short of full defunding of the executive amnesty in the DHS appropriations bill.  This language was passed in the House on January 14th.  If the Senate returns a version of the bill to the House that excludes the defunding, House Leadership must return to the language originally passed in the House.  I am proud to be a member of the House Freedom Caucus where my colleagues share this position.




f t # e