The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) is the parent agency of several sub-agencies including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”); U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). These agencies are tasked with all of immigration-related affairs. In December 2014, DHS was the only agency that did not receive full-year funding in the federal spending bill, in the midst of the dispute over Obama’s executive actions related to immigration form.
DHS and its sub-agencies were facing a shutdown if a funding bill was not passed. Fortunately, earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a weeklong funding measure after the Senate passed a bill funding DHS through 2015.
Then last week, the House approved a 9 month funding bill for DHS, passing 257-167 (182 Democrats & 75 Republicans) which successfully beat the midnight Friday deadline for DHS funding to expire.
Those who voted against the funding did so in large part due to the lack of language to block Obama’s immigration policies. Back in November, Obama announced executive actions on immigration reform that would allow protections for undocumented foreign-born individuals who have children who are U.S. citizens and have lived in the U.S. for at least five years. Specifically Obama’s plan was:
We’re going to offer the following deal: If you’ve been in America more than five years. If you have children who are American citizens or illegal residents. If you register, pass a criminal background check and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation.”
His plan caused a stir amongst dissenters of immigration reform, and almost resulted in a DHS shutdown, which was thankfully avoided.