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Update on Immigration-related Amendments to the House Budget Bill

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 11021832 (posted Feb. 18, 2011)"

All week the House has been debating a budget bill to keep the government open for the remainder of the year (ending September 30). Last Friday, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) introduced H.R. 1, commonly referred to as the continuing resolution (CR). Either H.R. 1, or another budget bill, must be enacted into law by March 4, 2011, when the current short-term budget expires in order to prevent a shutdown of most of the federal government.

Since Monday, nearly 600 amendments were offered to the bill. Among them, more than 20 were immigration-related or affected the budget of the Department of Homeland Security. Here is an update on the status of key immigration-related amendments to H.R. 1:

The amendment filed by Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA) that would have prohibited government funds from being used to prepare for the FY 2012 Diversity Visa program was withdrawn and thus neither debated nor voted on.

The amendment filed by Rep. Poe (R-TX) that would have defunded the Department of Justice's litigation challenging Arizona's SB 1070 law was challenged on a point of order which was sustained. The amendment was found to be an attempt to legislate on an appropriations measure which is prohibited by the rules governing House legislative procedures.

As of this posting, the amendment filed by Rep. Kinzinger (R-IL) that also would have limited the use of any funds in the bill to participate in any litigation challenging Arizona's SB 1070 law remained pending. Given that the Kinzinger amendment was similar to the Poe amendment, it is likely to be struck on a point of order for the same reason. A second amendment file by Rep. Kinzinger, nearly identical to his other amendment (but prohibiting use of funds to participate "as a party in any lawsuit" challenging SB 1070) did not go forward.

Two amendments filed by Rep. Polis (D-CO) that would have cut spending for immigration detention and limited the number of detention beds that could be maintained by DHS were not debated either for filing or timing deficiencies.

The amendment filed by Rep. Price (D-NC) that would have prohibited funding for USCIS for the implementation of the REAL ID Act of 2005 was withdrawn.