There’s been a lot of talk in Republican circles about Congress’s authority to stop President Obama’s unilateral executive action on immigration. Now, a GOP lawmaker has actually filed a bill to do it.
The lawmaker is Alabama Rep. Martha Roby, who on Tuesday, the first day of the new session of Congress, introduced a bill called the “Prevention of Executive Amnesty Act of 2015.”
It’s a short, simple measure — just three pages. It is intended to apply to the coming appropriation for the Department of Homeland Security, which Congress funded only until the end of February in anticipation of a move to stop the Obama immigration edict.
Roby’s bill is essentially a “none of the funds” clause, that is, it forbids the executive branch from spending money for a particular purpose. Instead of defunding the Department of Homeland Security as a whole, or any office within the department, the bill specifies that none of the funds available to DHS may be used to enforce two recent directives. The first is a November 20, 2014 memo from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson outlining new policies for the “apprehension, detention, and removal of undocumented immigrants.” The second is a pair of presidential memos issued November 21, 2014, “Creating Welcoming Communities and Fully Integrating Immigrants and Refugees” and “Modernizing and Streamlining the U.S. Immigrant Visa System for the 21st Century.”