Summit Rep. Jared Polis slams amendment targeting DREAMers
Congressman Jared Polis, a Democrat, voted a resounding “no” Thursday on a Homeland Security funding bill that carried a Republican amendment intended to block President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration initiative. Polis publicly decried the revision.
“I was shocked today to see an amendment offered by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) pass the House floor, which would stop the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to provide DREAMers with deferred deportations and work permits,” Polis stated in a release issued Thursday. “The King amendment puts into question the ability of our government to help our most talented young people, who consider the United States home and contribute to our country.”
The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act sailed through the House with the amendment and without Polis’ support, passing on a vote of 245-182.
The measure would appropriate $38.99 billion for the department in 2014, including more than $5 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, $387 million more than requested. But it failed to address the sequestration, which hit Homeland Security divisions ranging from the Transportation Security Agency to FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund.
House Democrats called the King amendment a “poison pill” to a measure that took months of collaboration to put together.
But King said the amendment’s passing vote in the House was a message indicating the lack of Congressional support for Obama’s executive order creating the DACA program.
“Bipartisan support for my amendment is the first test of the 113th Congress in the House of Representatives on immigration,” he stated in a release Thursday. “If this position holds, no amnesty will reach the president’s desk.”
Polis staffers said the amended version of the appropriation act won’t survive the Senate or win the president’s approval.
“Despite this vote, the deferred action program will continue and my office will continue to help DREAMers with their DACA applications,” Polis stated.
A number of Summit County youth, including at least two who are or plan to attend Colorado colleges, have applied for deferred action and received documentation.
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