The federal budget of the United States is often used to achieve certain political goals of Senators and Congressmen and this year is no exception. However, one of the big items up for leverage this budget season is immigration reform.
Democrats are largely arguing to keep the issue of immigration reform out of the budget, specifically, they want to pass a budget that does not have any of the GOP’s ideas for immigration reform in it.
Republicans have mostly viewed President Obama’s recent immigration reform related executive actions as an attempt to rule by fiat, or to create laws where he has no business doing so.
Therefore, Republicans are threatening to withhold the passage of a budget as long as Democrats continue to pursue the new Deferred Action programs created by the president’s executive orders (DACA and DAPA).
A Texas Federal District Court Judge recently ruled for an injunction against the Federal government regarding DACA and DAPA and has effectively stopped those programs from moving forward, but Democrats are working on appealing that decision.
The problem with these political machinations is the potential blowback they may produce.
If the Republicans continue to stall the passage of a budget, the government (and in particular the Department of Homeland Security) may suffer from a shutdown.
The shutdown may further affect Republicans negatively as it may endanger regular American citizens and furthermore turn them against a government that would rather not work than solve an issue within itself.
Although the Expanded DACA program was to begin accepting applications on February 18, 2015, the program’s start will probably be delayed for a while. However, immigration advocacy groups have encouraged those who may be eligible for these benefits to be ready to apply when the programs do finally go into effect.