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Alabama’s Aderholt delivers bill defunding Obama’s immigration actions

Robert Aderholt (R-AL4)
Robert Aderholt (R-AL4)

WASHINGTON — Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL4) will introduced legislation Wednesday that takes direct aim at President Obama’s executive orders on immigration. The Alabama congressman plans to defund the President’s immigration orders by attaching his bill to funding for the Department of Homeland Security, taking a major step toward delivering on a promise Republicans made late last year.

In December, prior to Republicans taking control of the Senate, Congress passed the so called “CRomnibus,” funding the government through September, with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security, which it only funded through Feb. 27.

In spite of opposition from staunch conservatives, backers of the bill said it put Republicans in a position to roll back the President’s immigration orders by waiting until the GOP assumed control of the Senate.

Aderholt’s bill seeks to deliver on Republicans’ promise, and will likely garner the support of hardline conservatives.

One of the challenges Republicans have faced in defunding the President’s executive orders is that he could simply reword and re-issue them under a different name.

Aderholt’s bill would not only defund the current orders, but would also take away the President’s ability to issue similar orders moving forward.

“I am introducing legislation today that not only defunds President Obama’s Executive Amnesty orders but also removes his discretion in granting the benefits that goes along with them,” Aderholt told Yellowhammer on Tuesday. “My goal was to draft a conservative bill that addresses the executive amnesty issue and that is what we have done.”

The most notable part of Aderholt’s bill blocks the benefits granted to illegal immigrants in the President’s executive actions, denying, for example, the issuance of green cards and work permits.

It also creates penalties for lack of enforcement in handing over criminal illegal aliens to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and speeds up the deportation process by applying the humanitarian standards (religious persecution, sex trafficking, etc.) at the beginning of the deportation process instead of at the end. Aderholt’s office says that will “save hundred of millions of dollars by returning the illegal entrants to their home country within weeks instead of months and years.”

Other House members are expected to propose immigration solutions that do not go as far as Aderholt’s, but could receive the backing of House leadership. Last summer, it was Aderholt’s tougher enforcement language that made it into the House’s final border bill, in spite of House leadership’s early objections. However, that bill was not taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate and Aderholt’s language was not included in the CRomnibus.

His challenge now will be to rally enough support from his colleagues to get the bill attached to Department of Homeland security funding bill, which is no easy task. But with the introduction of his bill on Tuesday, Aderholt has joined Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as one of Washington’s most important players in the current immigration debate.