Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Hispanics Oppose Faster Child Deportations in Border Crisis

The Hispanic Caucus met with Obama on Wednesday.

Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference June 12, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Rachel Roubein and Billy House
Add to Briefcase
Rachel Roubein Billy House
July 16, 2014, 11:48 a.m.

Pro­spects for any bi­par­tis­an House agree­ment on a plan to ad­dress the bor­der crisis hit a hurdle on Wed­nes­day as Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi and mem­bers of the Con­gres­sion­al His­pan­ic Caucus said they would not go along with a pro­pos­al to speed-up de­port­a­tions of chil­dren from Cent­ral Amer­ica.

“Lead­er Pelosi op­poses this le­gis­la­tion as it is not in fur­ther­ance of due pro­cess for these chil­dren,”  Pelosi spokes­man Drew Hamill said.

Earli­er this week, the minor­ity lead­er had not seemed so def­in­ite. But mem­bers of the Con­gres­sion­al His­pan­ic Caucus and oth­er Demo­crats have said they are op­posed, and they have been lob­by­ing Pelosi against it. On Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, the His­pan­ic Caucus met with Obama about their op­pos­i­tion.

“I am en­er­gized and op­tim­ist­ic after meet­ing with the pres­id­ent,” Rep. Lu­is Gu­ti­er­rez, D-Ill., said after the meet­ing. “We told the pres­id­ent the CHC will not sup­port a sup­ple­ment­al budget re­quest that un­der­mines the leg­al pro­tec­tion for chil­dren and we will work with him to get the re­sources our gov­ern­ment needs to re­spond to the hu­man­it­ari­an crisis we are see­ing with child refugees from Cent­ral Amer­ica.”

“The His­pan­ic Caucus feels these kids still should have their day in court,” said Rep. Joa­quin Castro, D-Texas.

In a state­ment sent out af­ter­ward of the meet­ing with the CHC, White House of­fi­cials did not dir­ectly ad­dress the is­sue of wheth­er Obama made any com­mit­ment to not go along with an ac­cel­er­a­tion of the de­port­a­tion pro­cess.

In­stead, it again em­phas­ized a need for ur­gency by Con­gress in ap­prov­ing his sup­ple­ment­al re­quest for hu­man­it­ari­an reas­ons. It also called for com­pre­hens­ive im­mig­ra­tion re­form, which the state­ment said has yet not happened be­cause of “the lack of Re­pub­lic­an ac­tion.”

The de­vel­op­ment is a sig­ni­fic­ant one.

The pres­id­ent has re­ques­ted $3.7 bil­lion in emer­gency fund­ing to ad­dress the surge of chil­dren and adults from Cent­ral Amer­ic­an coun­tries. House Re­pub­lic­ans haven’t yet an­nounced how much fund­ing they could go along with, though lead­ers in­dic­ate it won’t be as much money as Obama wants.

But among oth­er things they want to tie-in to any le­gis­la­tion deal­ing with the crisis — along with more bor­der se­cur­ity meas­ures — is a change to a 2008 law that would al­low im­mig­rant chil­dren at the bor­der to be vol­un­tar­ily and more swiftly re­turned to their home coun­tries rather than be held for de­port­a­tion hear­ings.

That pro­cess is already al­lowed for un­doc­u­mented young im­mig­rants from Mex­ico and Canada.

But if that change hap­pens, a rising num­ber of House Demo­crats now warn, Speak­er John Boehner and oth­er GOP lead­ers will not be able to rely on any votes from Demo­crats to get the pack­age through.

And that could be a big wrinkle, es­pe­cially if Boehner can­not con­vince fisc­al con­ser­vat­ives in his con­fer­ence to go along with whatever new spend­ing the Re­pub­lic­an plan might in­clude for the crisis.

De­tails of that plan, in­clud­ing its an­ti­cip­ated new bor­der se­cur­ity pro­pos­als and oth­er com­pon­ents, are ex­pec­ted to be re­leased by Tues­day, or per­haps even later this week.

House Ap­pro­pri­ations Chair­man Hal Ro­gers, R-Ky., on Wed­nes­day told re­port­ers that his com­mit­tee is about “ready on the money part; we have it craf­ted.”

But he said they are still do­ing the policy in­serts, and fi­nal cost cal­cu­la­tions, and would not yet re­lease a spe­cif­ic dol­lar fig­ure.

What We're Following See More »
$618 BILLION IN FUNDING
By a Big Margin, House Passes Defense Bill
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House this morning by a 375-34 vote. The bill, which heads to the Senate next week for final consideration, would fund the military to the tune of $618.7 billion, "about $3.2 billion more than the president requested for fiscal 2017. ... The White House has issued a veto threat on both the House and Senate-passed versions of the bill, but has not yet said if it will sign the compromise bill released by the conference committee this week."

Source:
SUCCEEDS UPTON
Walden to Chair Energy and Commerce Committee
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"Republicans have elected Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) the next chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Walden defeated Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Barton (R-TX), the former committee chairman, in the race for the gavel" to succeed Michgan's Fred Upton.

Source:
BIPARTISAN SUPPORT
Senators Looking to Limit Deportations Under Trump
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

"Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are working on legislation that would limit deportations" under President-elect Donald Trump. Leading the effort are Judiciary Committee members Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is also expected to sign on.

Source:
REQUIRES CHANGE IN LAW
Trump Taps Mattis for Defense Secretary
2 days ago
BREAKING

Donald Trump has selected retired Marine Gen. James 'Mad Dog' Mattis as his secretary of defense, according to The Washington Post. Mattis retired from active duty just four years ago, so Congress will have "to pass new legislation to bypass a federal law that states secretaries of defense must not have been on active duty in the previous seven years." The official announcement is likely to come next week.

Source:
MEASURE HEADED TO OBAMA
Senate OKs 10-Year Extension of Iran Sanctions
2 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login