Twenty House Republicans are attempting to force a floor vote on the DACA program, which protects “Dreamers” brought to the U.S. as children by their parents from being deported. The effort spurred the Heritage Foundation’s political arm Heritage Action to send an email to conservative activists accusing those Republicans of being part of a liberal plot to “grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.” The alert was sent to people on right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro’s email list.
Some context from the Boston Globe:
When the Trump administration announced the impending end of DACA last fall, meaning that the Dreamers could again face deportation, GOP lawmakers were full of talk about fashioning a legislative compromise to replace the Obama administration’s executive-action program. But though President Trump showed initial enthusiasm, the White House soon backtracked and began making big demands in exchange for Trump’s support for DACA legislation. When a federal judge stayed the administration’s hand on dismantling the program, the urgency for a DACA fix evaporated.
But now, with the congressional midterm elections on the horizon, Republicans in competitive districts with a significant presence of immigrants want to see the issue addressed, for fear it could otherwise be their undoing. Thus they’ve signed onto the discharge petition.
If all 193 Democrats would join the petition, it would take 25 Republicans to force a floor vote. On Tuesday, Heritage Action sent an alert to conservative activists calling the discharge petition a “serious threat to our national security” and asking for money to help Heritage Action “block amnesty.”
On Monday, Heritage Foundation analyst David Inserra warned that the House leadership might be planning to schedule votes in June to stave off the discharge petition and preserve Republican leaders’ ability to control what happens on the House floor. Inserra said the immigration bills under consideration amounted to “amnesty” and “would betray the conservative immigration reforms that the nation has long needed.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Steve King has introduced legislation that would subject public officials who warn communities about federal immigration raids to up to five years in prison. King has named his legislation for Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf, who in February tipped off the immigrant community about a planned raid by U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE).