Earlier this week, the Obama administration delayed a review of the Department of Homeland Security deportation policies in order to give the House some space to pass an immigration reform bill. Well, the House decided to pass an amendment from anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King to investigate the Department of Homeland Security’s enforcement polices.
As reported by the Huffington Post’s Elise Foley:
“The House approved an amendment from King with a 218-193 vote to provide the Justice Department $5 million to investigate the release of criminals from immigrant detention. The amendment comes after a report that the Department of Homeland Security released 36,000 convicted criminals from detention last year while they awaited a final decision on deportation. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said earlier Thursday that he requested a review of those releases.
King’s amendment remains one of the only immigration-related moves the House has made over the past year, to the frustration of reform advocates, the White House and senators who passed a comprehensive bill in 2013.
Although House GOP leaders have said repeatedly they want to address immigration reform, they have not allowed votes on comprehensive bills or smaller measures. Most recently, three amendments on allowing undocumented immigrants to enlist in the military were blocked from getting a vote.”
This signals that the House of Representatives still does not trust the administration’s enforcement policy even though President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security has deported more people than his predecessor George W. Bush. It appears that the House of Representatives isn’t serious about pursuing immigration reform, and the administration is willing to play the game of pretending to give the House space to pass a reform bill when the House really has no intention of doing so. Meanwhile, the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has indicated that the controversial Secure Communities Program will continue; this program has been criticized by immigration advocates for because of issues with racial profiling and for making immigrants fearful of law enforcement authorities.
Photo credit: ProgressOhio via Flickr