Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Ca., said Thursday that his party erred Wednesday when it voted to reverse President Barack Obama’s executive order deferring the deportation of young immigrants who were brought to the country as children.
‘I think by adding the deferred action amendment in here, it goes back to a situation that we’ve got kids that came here through no fault of their own that we need to have a full discussion and debate on that now are going to be put on the top of the list for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to deport, if this were to become law,’ Denham told reporters Thursday at a two-day House-Senate Republican retreat in Hershey, Pa., retreat. ‘I think that sends the wrong message to the American public on what our overall reform ideas are.’
The House of Representatives voted 236-191 Wednesday to fund the Department of Homeland Security. Lawmakers also approved an amendment to the bill that would defund the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Twenty-six Republicans, including Denham, voted against the amendment.
Denham said he expected immigration policy to dominate the retreat’s afternoon session. He blamed Obama’s executive actions for creating a difficult atmosphere on Capitol Hill for debating a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.
‘The president put a few hurdles in front of us,’ Denham said. ‘Until we get bills to the floor, have that discussion, have a couple of weeks where we deal with immigration as a whole, we will not be able to get into the details of deferred action, or E-Verify, or a guest worker program and what each of these pieces mean.’