Senate Democrats halted a Republican attempt to pass legislation that would defund President Obama’s executive action on immigration. After a brief debate, the Senate voted 51-48, with every Democrat and one Republican, Nevada’s Senator Dean Heller, voting against it.
Listening to those 51 Senators, because of this immigration battle, the Department of Homeland Security hangs in the balance and without action by February 27, the department will disappear. The same thing happened in the fall of 2013 during a 16-day government-wide shutdown, that left our national parks and monuments dosed, but the DHS running.
Most people working for the Secret Service, the Transportation Security Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Coast Guard will continue operating. And while some employees may not get paid until a funding bill’s passed, others funded by fees, instead of by congressional appropriations, would continue their functions while still drawing a paycheck.
So what would stop during in a shutdown?
Mostly administrative staff would be furloughed. This includes support workers at DHS headquarters, Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers, research and development employees, those responsible for operating and maintaining the E-Verify system and staff who make grants to state and local governments.
The President’s plan will protect about 11 million illegal aliens from deportations. His plan will also allow illegal immigrants trained in high-tech fields to enter and stay in the U.S. and it changes rules on how foreign entrepreneurs can get a visa.
Meanwhile, 26 states are suing the federal government over Obama’s executive actions on immigration, including Nevada – though Nevada’s two Senators, Harry Reid and Dean Heller are failing to back their home state.