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Ted Cruz fights to include anti-amnesty provisions in House border bill

Ted Cruz does battle on border bill
Ted Cruz does battle on border bill
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Washington Examiner noted on Wednesday that the House still does not have the votes to pass the emergency spending bill to deal with the southern border crisis. Hot Air suggests that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas has been plotting with House conservatives to insist that the House bill include a provision to stop President Obama from granting amnesty for child illegal immigrants under DACA. Cruz and many other conservatives believe that this is the root of the border problem, that the prospect of amnesty is driving the flood of illegal immigrant children from Central America.

House Republican sources are suggesting that adding the provision would lose as many votes, if not more, than it gains. The whole matter is academic, in any case. The border bill is not likely to pass both houses of Congress before the August recess in any case. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is said to be plotting to attach comprehensive immigration reform to the bill, which would make it a nonstarter for House Republicans.

At the same time, according to Byron York, the House is preparing to pass a separate bill that would preemptively forbid the president from unilaterally giving many illegal immigrants amnesty. The president lacks the power to do this under the strict letter of the law. Nevertheless Senate Democrats will certainly not support such a provision. In any case it would not pass over a presidential veto.

The House bill is being criticized by budget hawks because it makes the deportation process too convoluted and too easy to evade. That suggests that the smart thing to do would be to pass the bill with the Cruz provision, knowing that it will fail in the Senate with or without it. At least Republicans will have the issue by being on the right side on restraining presidential power to grant amnesty. Succeed or fail, Cruz certainly will have that issue.