The House of Representatives approved two bills Friday night, one that allocated only a fraction of the funds needed to address the humanitarian situation surrounding unaccompanied children and another that strips deportation relief for more than half a million young immigrants. Both passed on largely partisan lines. The funding bill only provides $694 million out of the $3.7 billion President Obama earlier requested, including $35 million in funding for states that send National Guard troops to the border on their own, and rolls back due process protections for unaccompanied children. The bill has little chance of passing the Senate, and President Obama said earlier on Friday he would veto if it came to his desk.
The second bill ends the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, through which 580,000 young immigrants had received temporary legal status, and makes the beneficiaries eligible for deportation. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) said they should end programs that enourage children to cross the border illegally if they “truly care about these kids.” But Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said on the House floor, “Only cowards scapegoat children and only those who are ashamed of themselves do it after hours on a Friday night.”