House Passes Anti-Immigration Bills as Protest Grips D.C.

By Aura Bogado Aug 04, 2014

The House of Representatives was set to go on vacation last Friday–but decided to extend its recess one day in order to pass two anti-immigration bills.

H.R. 5230 would speed up the process for deporting Central American children crossing the border into the United States and use some of the $694 million allotted in the bill to reimburse National Guard troops in Texas. The bill passed with the support of Texas Representative Henry Cuellar, who was the only Democrat to vote for the bill. Four Republicans voted against the bill, but it passed the House 223-189.

H.R. 5272 would essentially block President Obama from taking executive action on immigration. Obama introduced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program the summer leading up to the last election in 2012, and is expected to expand the program this summer. The House bill, which passed 216-192, seeks to stop that.

The House is now on vacation for five weeks. Neither bill is expected to pass through the Senate. Obama has made clear that he believes the House is simply sending messages with the bills.

Meanwhile, activists continue to put pressure on Obama to meet with those most affected by immigration policy. Activists from various cities rallied in D.C. on Saturday in a march rally organized by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. Two people hoisted massive banners 50 feet in the the from flag polls calling for an end to deportations.