GOP Members Release New Anti-Amnesty Amendment

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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GOP members have released their draft amendment to defund President Barack Obama’s national amnesty.

“None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available, including any funds or fees collected or otherwise made available for expenditure, by this division or any other Act, or otherwise available to the Secretary of Homeland Security, for any fiscal year may be used to implement, administer, carry out, or enforce the [amnesty] policies,” says the short amendment.

The new anti-amnesty language is being pushed by Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon, South Carolina’s Rep. Mick Mulvaney and Virginia Rep. Dave Brat, who unseated the GOP’s pro-amnesty majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor, in a June 2014 primary vote.

They’re urging voters to call their legislators’ offices to demand passage of the amendment.

“Rep. Salmon is committed to fighting to ensure that our nation’s laws be faithfully enforced as written and voted on by our legislators in Congress,” said a statement from his spokesman, Tristan Daedalus.

Top GOP leaders want to block the popular anti-amnesty amendment, even though they have repeatedly denounced Obama’s unpopular amnesty, and have fought to include roughly other 100 other policy related amendments in the massive $1 trillion 2015 budget bill.

Those 100 riders are complicating the last-minute negotiations between GOP leaders and Democratic leaders. Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski “did such a good job in the caucus explaining what she’s been through with the nearly 100 [GOP-drafted] riders that she’s had to try to fight off,” Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid told reporters.

Those various riders would block marijuana legalization in the District of Columbia, provide government support for anti-terror insurance policies and change the 2010 bank reform bill.

GOP leaders want to block and complicate the anti-amnesty fight because the GOP might win the fight against Obama, said one GOP Hill aide. That victory would derail their plans for an GOP-designed amnesty in 2015, and complicate their efforts to keep immigration out of the 2016 election, the aide explained.

The fights over the other 100 riders help the leadership downplay the new anti-amnesty rider, he said. “Instead of a straightforward vote showing the GOP opposes amnesty and forcing the Democrats to vote with Obama or in opposition to him, we’ve got things muddled beyond recognition,” the aide said.

But numerous GOP legislators say they want to add anti-amnesty language to the funding bill.

The draft amendment bars various agencies from spending any money to implement Obama’s amnesty, including any fees paid by legal immigrants to immigration agencies.

No money could be spent to implement “the memoranda issued by the Secretary on Homeland Security on November 20, 2014, on any of the following subjects,” according to the amendment.

They include “Southern border and approaches campaign … Policies for the apprehension, detention, and removal of undocumented immigrants … Secure Communities … Personnel reform for Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers … Exercising prosecutorial discretion with respect to individuals who came to the United States as children and with respect to certain individuals who are the parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents … Expansion of the Provisional Waiver Program … Policies supporting U.S. high skilled businesses and workers … [and] directive to provide consistency regarding advanced parole.”

So far, the GOP leadership — which is allied to major business groups — has not tried to block Obama’s amnesty, despite many polls showing deep public opposition to immigration and foreign workers.

The amendment will be examined on Wednesday by the powerful rules committee, which sets the rules for debates.

Unless there’s huge wave of phone calls from voters to Congress, the request will likely be rejected by GOP leaders. That’s because the chairman of the rules committee, Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, told Democrats last week that he’ll push for an 2015 amnesty that would provide more foreign workers to U.S. companies.

Session is a close ally of Boehner, who has so far blocked efforts to defund the unpopular amnesty.

“Salmon hopes the Rules Committee will approve an amendment to the spending package, like Rep. Mulvaney’s, that would restrict the President’s executive amnesty,” said Daedalus. “He will continue to use every tool available to him to fight for an up-or-down vote on this language in the House.”

Obama’s Nov. 21 policy awards work permits, tax payments and Social Security cards to roughly five million illegals with children who are citizens or legalized. The five million will be free to seek jobs sought by the four million Americans who turn 18 each year.

Those Americans are already competing against the roughly 600,000 working-age immigrant who arrive each year, and the roughly 650,000 blue-collar and white-collar guest workers who arrive for short-term or long-term jobs.

This huge increase to supply of new Americans workers is favored by companies, many of whom want to hire foreign workers. Those workers will work for low wages, in part, because they need to be employed while they’re waiting to receive the very valuable prize of U.S. citizenship.

A large proportion of the five million illegals are former guest workers, who work as professionals in financial, medical and technology jobs sought by Americans.

Obama’s policy also puts some illegals on a fast-track to citizenship, boosts the inflow of foreign blue-collar and white-collar guest-workers, and dismantles Secure Communities program that repatriated illegals who were caught by local police for minor or severe crimes.

The new policy also directs border police to release border-crossers who claim to be eligible for the Nov. 21 amnesty, and it effectively bars agents from repatriating the many tourists and guest-workers who overstay their visas and try to get jobs in the United States.

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