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Split on Immigration Reform Policy Has DHS Edging Closer to a Shutdown

usdhsControversy over President Obama’s plans immigration reform continues to foment political partisanship. Obama’s executive orders on immigration have Republicans rallying to impede his administration’s progress. GOP lawmakers have set up roadblocks for the President’s proposed immigration reform policies by attaching riders to the funding bill of the Department of Homeland Security. The act would effectively defund Obama’s executive action on immigration. The ensuing schism between these political camps has the DHS bracing itself for a potential shutdown. The failure to pass the security bill will have the DHS teetering over the brink of a state of abeyance, effectively idling the agency’s 240, 000 federal workers who are deemed “inessential.”

Should Congress fail to pass the bill within a limited window of time, the agency’s funding will dissipate. Speaker of the House John Boehner expressed the Republican Party’s stance on the highly controversial orders issued by Obama. The Republicans move to reject or refuse the agency’s proposed $39.7 billion budget should the President continue to pursue his stance on immigration reform. Boehner articulated that should Obama opt to withdraw his proposed orders to protect millions of undocumented foreign nationals from deportation, the Republicans would cease to obstruct the passing of the agency’s security bill.

October 2013 Federal Shutdown

A shutdown within the DHS has occurred in the past. The federal shutdown on October 2013 effectively idled about 31, 300 DHS employees according to the Congressional Research Service. The agency retained about 85 percent of its workforce deeming them “essential.” During the 2013 shutdown, DHS workers who remained continued to work without pay. Should the funding for the DHS fail to pass, events that ensued during the October 2013 federal shutdown will recur.  Employees who are deemed “essential” will report for work without pay until the agency’s funding quandaries obtain a clear resolution; an aggregate estimate of indispensable DHS staff make up about 20 to 25 percent of the agency’s workforce.

Obama’s Stance on Immigration Reform

A continued enforcement of Obama’s executive orders may deepen the conflict that currently wracks the contemporary political landscape. The President’s proposed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) would effectively prevent the deportation of immigrants who were brought to the country by their parents when they were children. This condition applies to parents of U.S. citizens or lawful residents as well, provided they are able to pass the stipulated background checks and other applicable qualifications.

If you or any of your friends and loved ones harbor concerns and questions over shifting immigration policies, you may want to seek counsel legal counsel at the Lyttle Law Firm. Contact us today at 512-215-5225 for assistance.