Griffin: House Acts to Solve Current Border Crisis in Two Bipartisan Votes

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement today after the House passed two bills to address the current crisis on the Southwestern border and prevent the expansion of the President’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

“The President has encouraged this tragic, humanitarian crisis on the border by giving the impression through his executive orders, speeches and policies that our laws are optional and our border is open. The President has most of the tools necessary to address this crisis, but he refuses to act.  The House has acted: our bill improves a 2008 trafficking law, provides funding directly to governors to increase the National Guard’s border presence, eliminates President Obama’s restrictions on border patrol activities on federal lands and implements essential policy changes to effectively address the recent influx of unaccompanied minors to our border and expedite their return to their home countries. Further, combined with the House-passed bill to prohibit the expansion of DACA and ensure enforcement of our current laws, today’s bills will deter others from attempting the perilous journey to our border, preventing loss of life and future crises.”

H.R. 5230 passed the House by a vote of 223-189. According to a summary of H.R. 5230 from the House Rules Committee, H.R. 5230 provides funding for border security, enforcement of immigration and customs laws, humanitarian assistance and illegal immigration prevention. This funding is targeted to meet the immediate needs surrounding the current border crisis and will be sufficient to cover the estimated costs of these activities for the rest of the 2014 fiscal year. The legislation is fully offset through cuts and rescissions of existing funds within federal agencies and will result in no new or additional federal spending.

Also today, the House passed H.R. 5272 to freeze DACA as of July 30, 2014, a program that has effectively granted temporary legal status to certain unlawful immigrants who came to the U.S. before age 16. H.R. 5272 prohibits federal funds or resources from being used to adjudicate new applications under DACA, prohibits the Administration from using federal funds or resources to newly authorize deferred action for any class of aliens and prevents federal funding or resources from being used to authorize work permits for aliens not lawfully present in the United States. The bill passed the House by a vote of 216-192.