Funding for the Department of Homeland Security is set to expire on Friday of this week unless the House and Senate can agree on how to keep the department funded. If they can't agree, what does that mean for America's safety?
Drama surrounding President Obama’s November 2014 executive order on immigration is to blame for a potential shut down at the the Department of Homeland Security.
According to the website of the agency responsible for implementing the executive order, the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services,
“On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions to crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.”
CBS News reports that the proposed immigration plan will
“Grant a reprieve from deportation for about 5 million immigrants [who are] in the U.S. illegally and allow them to apply for a three-year work permit if they can pass a background check, register with the government, submit biometric data, and establish [that] they are eligible for relief.”
The Republican controlled House and Senate oppose Obama’s immigration reforms and are holding the Department of Homeland Security hostage until the Democrats do as they say and reverse Obama’s executive order, which isn’t likely to happen.
Funding for the department was officially set to expire last Friday but was extended in the nick of time. Unfortunately, the clock is ticking again. The House and Senate have less than four days to come up with a DHS spending plan or the department will shut down at midnight on Friday, March 6.
Obama told Republicans,
“Instead of trying to hold hostage funds for the Department of Homeland Security -- which is so important for our national security -- let’s get on with actually passing comprehensive immigration reform.”
The Washington Post reports that,
“The [Republican] party has virtually no chance of forcing Obama to roll back his immigration plans.”
Twenty-six states also oppose Obama’s actions. Just last month a San Antonio federal judge blocked the president’s order by issuing a temporary court order to stop it as a result of a 26-state lawsuit challenging it. The order will be on hold until an appeal is heard by the Supreme Court, which could happen as late as next year.
So if the Department of Homeland Security does shut down, what does that mean for America’s safety?
According to DHS.Gov, the Department of Homeland Security employs 240,000 people in jobs that range from border security and emergency response to cyber security and chemical inspections. The department’s mission is to keep America safe. DHS agencies include the Secret Service, Coast Guard, and Customs and Border Protection.
But don’t worry. A report by The Atlantic states that,
“Even when [DHS] appropriations run out, employees whose activities directly relate to preserving the safety of human life or the protection of property must keep working. And most DHS employees are in that category.”
Want to hear the Governor's take on immigration? Check out the video below.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.
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