In an assault on one of President Obama's top domestic priorities, House Republicans approved measures today that would overturn his immigration actions and remove protections for immigrants brought illegally to the country as children. Despite a White House veto threat, Republicans attached language blocking Obama's immigration initiatives to legislation providing nearly $40 billion to finance the Homeland Security Department through the rest of the budget year. The broader bill was expected to be approved later in the day. One amendment that passed 237-190 would undo executive actions that Obama announced in November to provide temporary deportation relief to some 4 million immigrants in the country illegally.
A second amendment would delete Obama's 2012 policy that's granted work permits and stays of deportation to more than 600,000 immigrants who arrived in the US illegally as children, or "DREAMers" ("DREAM" stands for "Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors"). That measure passed more narrowly, 218-209, as more than two dozen Republicans voted nay to language House GOP leaders had aimed at assuaging far-right members. Some House Republicans acknowledged that some in the Senate—which, even with Republican control, is still six votes shy of the 60-vote majority needed to advance most legislation—have little appetite to deport DREAMers and will likely reject their approach, perhaps forcing them to pass a Homeland Security funding bill stripped of controversial provisions on immigration. "They're not going to pass this bill," says one GOP rep. (Read more immigration stories.)