WASHINGTON — On Thursday, the House Republicans voted to take a highly unusual step by intervening in a Supreme Court case over the deportation relief programs that they consider to be amnesty for the undocumented immigrants, something that many of them fervently oppose.
It is not about immigration, they insist.
“I recognize that this is a very extraordinary step. I feel it’s very necessary, though. In fact, I believe that this is vital,” Speaker Paul Ryan stated on the House floor ahead of vote. “This isn’t a question of whether or not we’re for or against any certain policy. Members who’re making the immigration policy arguments are missing the entire point here. … It’s about the integrity of our Constitution,” he added.
The resolution approved in 234 to 186 vote. 5 Republicans voted with the Democrats against measure: Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Rep. Richard Hanna of New York and Rep. Robert Dold of Illinois.
The general party line was that the deportation relief programs Barrack Obama had announced in year 2012 & year 2014 are amnesty — that is buzzword used to refer to any & all policies that are not aimed at deportation. This undeniably become an issue of policy & politics.
Republicans argued that their disagreement to Obama’s immigration programs is about defending the Constitution. Texas led twenty-five other states in filing the suit against federal govt., arguing that the Obama had overstepped his authority & was doing harm to the states.
However, Both the Democratic presidential candidates promised to expand that deportation relief, and Donald Trump said that he would kill the policies & seek the mass deportation.
The resolution approved on Thursday permits the House to file an amicus brief that sides with Texas. The Democrats argued that the members were voting to approve something they’d never seen, as vote was not on an actual brief, but only to authorize the House to create one.
Ryan argued that the brief was necessary because President Barrack Obama had violated the Constitution by being not able to execute laws & because the Congress, and not president, makes laws.
“We must defend the principle of self-determination, of self-government, of government by consent of the governed,” said Ryan on the House floor.
The House had previously as a whole to be part in litigation, but recently when it voted to sue Obama administration over the certain appropriations in the Affordable Care Act funding. But the congressional legal action is usually decided by bipartisan legal advisory group, and not by a vote of the full House.
Ryan’s office had told the reporters that law firm of Paul Clement was representing House pro bono & would likely ask Supreme Court to take a part in the oral arguments.
“They keep saying, ‘Well, Donald Trump does not represent us, he does not [represent] our views, he does not represent our values,’ & now they want to know where Donald Trump gets all of his anti-immigrant, xenophobic ideas from. Try the House of Representatives.” Rep. Luis Gutierrez.
Democrats have gotten involved in the case, though in a critically different way — not on the behalf of an entire chamber, but in the groups., Earlier this month, the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Harry & 223 other Democrats in Congress had filed their own amicus brief along with the leaders from nearly 120 cities & country.
Representative Luis Gutiérrez ahead of the vote said on a call with the reporters that the Republicans should take the same approach, if they want to get involved. He & other Democrats said that the Republicans were standing along with Donald Trump, whose rhetoric some of them have condemned, with the vote.
“The vote today is a political stunt disguised as a legal brief because Republican majority sees a crass political opportunity to stand with anti-immigration wing of their party,” said Gutiérrez. “They keep saying, ‘Well, Donald Trump does not represent us, he does not [represent] our views, he does not represent our values,’ & now they want to know where Donald Trump gets all of his anti-immigrant, xenophobic ideas from. Try the House of Representatives,” added Rep. Luis Gutierrez.