Fifty-six percent of Americans want Congress to defund President Obama’s November executive action on immigration, according to a new poll conducted by ABC news.
The poll was conducted on Jan 13-15, coinciding with the time Republicans in the House passed a bill to defund the president’s November immigration order and overturn similar policies dating back to 2011. Forty-one percent of Americans said they support the president’s immigration policy.
In November, President Obama said he would take unilateral action to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation and allow them to obtain work permits, faulting Congress for failing to pass legislation that would achieve similar goals.
The move was condemned by Republicans as an egregious overreach of executive authority, and the leadership vowed to defund the president’s immigration order right after it was announced.
The president’s immigration order has been challenged as unconstitutional in court. In December, a District Court judge in Pennsylvania wrote in a court advisory that the immigration order violated the “separations of powers” clause in the Constitution, but did not issue any court orders against the policy.
Elsewhere, a U.S. District Judge threw out a case brought by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio suing the administration for damages caused by the November immigration order. The lawsuit also targeted the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which would likewise be gutted by the defund bill Republicans passed last week.
The legal rulings on the president’s immigration order mapped onto clear partisan lines. The Pennsylvania judge was appointed by George W. Bush, and the U.S. District Judge is an Obama appointee.
The Obama administration is also dealing with an ongoing lawsuit signed by 25 states challenging the constitutionality of the immigration order.
Standoff on Immigration
In the December omnibus spending bill, all sectors of government were funded for the rest of the year except for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), whose funding runs out in February.
Last week, Republicans passed a bill funding the DHS for the rest of the year with provisions to defund the president’s immigration order. The White House said it would veto any legislation that undermined the president’s immigration policies.
The Republican leadership in the Senate has indicated that it might amend the funding bill to make it more palatable to Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has told Republicans not to expect “a miracle” on the bill defunding the president’s immigration order, and Speaker Boehner would not rule out the possibility of a “clean” DHS funding bill without the immigration amendments.
The standoff on immigration policy could trigger a temporary shutdown of the DHS if a funding bill is not passed before the end of February. A shutdown wouldn’t pose a risk to national security. In October of 2013, 200,000 out of the DHS’s 231,117 employees continued work throughout the two-week government shutdown.
The complete ABC poll can be found here.