At least two House Republicans intend to vote against a GOP bill on Friday to forbid legal status for anyone present in the U.S. illegally, including young people brought by their parents as children who have been granted temporary relief.
In separate interviews in the Capitol, Florida Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Díaz-Balart told TPM they’ll vote against the bill.
“I’m in favor of the Dreamers because I think they’ve been positive for our country,” Ros-Lehtinen said.
Díaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen are perhaps the two most outspoken pro-reform members of the GOP conference. Both hail from heavily Hispanic districts.
The two Republicans said they would vote for the border funding legislation, though, which will come up first. Both of them defended their colleagues who want to vote to deport Dreamers.
“I think many in our conference have long been frustrated with the president’s use of executive powers but with bestowing or not bestowing immigration status for certain groups. And I don’t see this as anything other than a manifestation of that frustration,” Ros-Lehtinen said.
Díaz-Balart said: “You know, people can vote however they want.”
The legislation, offered by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), would end the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, set up in 2012 to grant temporary work authorization for qualified young people who have lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007. It would gradually strip the legal status for existing beneficiaries and prohibit the executive branch from permitting anyone else to gain such a benefit.