Congressional Band-Aid to DHS Budget Crisis

Late Friday the 27th of February, the Department of Homeland Security was on the brink of shutdown. This crisis was on averted by an 11th hour maneuver in the House of Representatives extended the DHS budget by one week. So by this Friday, Congress will have to rip off the Band-Aid covering political posturing over immigration issues unrelated to the DHS budget. House Republicans have attempted, unsuccessfully, to block President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration Reform announced last November. The GOP could not even get their own DHS budget proposal passed in the fiasco of Friday, February 27, 2015.

What is interesting about the whole DHS shutdown crisis is that the crux of what the GOP is trying to accomplish, defunding DHS so it cannot execute Obama’s executive actions, would not even be effected by a DHS shutdown. USCIS, the division of DHS responsible for processing immigration cases, is not funded by the budget; it is self-funded through petition fees. So a shutdown would not stop visa processing. It would only effect divisions such as CBP (Customs and Border Patrol), which is responsible for protecting against such threats as illegal immigration, the very ‘rider’s that the GOP is attempting to attach to the budget proposal. Shutting down CPB, however, has a more dramatic effect on protecting against terrorist attacks.

It seems to be a very dangerous play for the GOP to jeopardize national security for political posturing.


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