DHS Funding, Texas vs. US, and House hearings on immigration

DHS Funding

Congress returns from recess this week with just days left to pass a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill and avert an agency shutdown.

Funding is set to expire Friday, February 27th for DHS unless lawmakers can move past their stalemate on immigration to pass a spending bill for the agency.  While nearly 80% of the department’s employees would still report to work during an agency shutdown, they will not get paid.

Texas vs. US

Today, the Obama administration moved to lift Judge Andrew Hanen’s ruling blocking the expansion of Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), both part of the President’s Executive Action on immigration. In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Brownsville, Texas, Justice Department lawyers asked Hanen to stay the preliminary injunction issued last week.  While the stay is unlikely, it is the first step the Administration must take in seeking relief from a federal appeals court or the Supreme Court.  The motion also requested that Judge Hanen narrow his ruling to apply only in Texas, the lead plaintiff in the case.

Congressional Hearings

The House will hold more hearings on immigration this week.  On Wednesday, February 25th the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing entitled “The Unconstitutionality of Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration.”  Also on the 25th, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security will hold the hearing “A Review of DHS’s Policies and Procedures for the Apprehension, Detention, and Release of Non-Citizens Unlawfully Present in the US.”