As its first major action in the 114th Congress, the GOP tea-party controlled House voted yesterday to deport the nearly 12 million people living in the United States illegally, including many families who have been U.S. residents for decades.
Republicans, who won additional seats in the House and control of the Senate in the midterm elections, claimed their action to overturn Pres. Obama’s executive action to stop mass deportations expressed the will of voters. In fact, the president did not issue his executive action until after the Nov. 4 elections. In their messaging about the bill, GOP representatives persistently referred to the president’s order as “illegal amnesty,” ignoring the fact that recent Republican presidents, including Ronald Reagan, issued 18 similar executive orders revamping immigration policies.
Despite the fact that terror attacks in Paris had drawn international attention less than a week earlier, Republicans gamed a crucial funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security with partisan ploys intended to force mass deportations. GOP amendments to the bill funding the government’s anti-terrorism activities targeted undocumented residents, especially the “Dreamers,” young people who were brought into the country when they were children or infants: