Two Republican plans to stop Obama’s amnesty

The Washington Examiner — On Tuesday Republican Rep. Martha Roby filed a bill, the “Prevention of Executive Amnesty Act of 2015,” to block President Obama’s unilateral action on immigration. Now, another House Republican has filed another proposal — this one more far-reaching — that would stop the president’s plan to offer quasi-legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.

The new bill, the “Repeal Executive Amnesty Act of 2015,” is from Rep. Robert Aderholt, who, like Roby, is from Alabama. The 44-page measure “not only defunds the president’s actions towards amnesty but also removes the president’s discretion in the ability to grant work permits, Social Security, and other federal benefits that go along with his order,” Aderholt said in a press release Wednesday. In addition, the proposal will “put limits on the president’s future ability to enact such wide-reaching actions that circumvent the Constitution’s separation of powers,” Aderholt said.

Roby’s bill is a simple, three-page measure intended to be part of the upcoming appropriation for the Department of Homeland Security. In a few paragraphs, it prohibits the Department from using any funds to enforce the administration directives issued on Nov. 20 and 21 of last year in which DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and President Obama ruled out deportation and offered a number of federal benefits to immigrants in the country illegally.

Aderholt’s bill does the same thing, but in addition voids a number of other administration immigration memoranda, dating from 2011 and 2012. In addition to that, Aderholt would put new limits on the ability of executive branch officials to offer “humanitarian parole” to immigrants who have entered the United States illegally.

The bill would also restrict the eligibility of illegal immigrants for permits to work, for Social Security, for transfer payments and other federal programs.

Beyond that, the bill would put pressure on state and local governments to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in detaining illegal immigrants. It would also restore the “Secure Communities” enforcement program that Obama ended.

Finally, the bill would amend the 2008 law known as the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, which allowed the relatively quick return of unaccompanied minors who enter the United States illegally from Canada or Mexico, but set up elaborate and lengthy procedures for children who come to the U.S. from non-contiguous countries. (Almost none of the children and adults who surged across the U.S. border illegally from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador last summer have been returned.) Under the Aderholt bill, they could be sent back to their home countries more quickly.

The Aderholt and Roby bills present the House Republican leadership with a choice. Should the GOP propose a limited, specific measure to rescind only the president’s action of last November? Or should it do that and in addition undo more of the damage the president has done to immigration enforcement during his six years in office? Right now, there’s no indication of the leadership’s preference.

But Republicans pledge that something will be done, and soon. “It’s a very, very high priority,” said a House leadership aide on Wednesday. “I think there will be some announcements on the path forward shortly, but not quite yet.”