(CNSNews.com) -- “The President has the right to determine who is to be deported” when it comes to illegal aliens currently living in the United States, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stated during debate on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) funding bill on Monday.
“The President has the right to determine who is to be deported, and the families of these DREAMERS are way down the list,” Reid declared.
“DREAMers” refer to illegal aliens who were brought to the United States as children and are currently being granted temporary amnesty under President Obama’s 2012 executive action.
Reid also accused Republicans of “attacking families” that “pose no security risk” to the United States by not funding Obama’s amnesty programs, a plan Reid said is “destined to fail.”
In January, the House voted 236 to 191 to approve the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act for 2015, which will continue funding the department after the current spending bill expires on Friday.
However, the House bill included the Aderholdt Amendment, which prohibits any funds from being used by DHS to pay for President Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration, which would defer deportation for as many as 5 million illegal aliens currently living in the United States.
Obama's action would also grant them the right to work legally in the U.S. and expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, extending the current time period for deferred deportation from a renewable two years to a renewable three.
Obama also announced the creation of a new in-country program in which some qualifying persons from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras currently living in the United States, including current and upcoming recipients of deferred deportation, can request that their children who are still living in their home countries be brought to the U.S. as refugees or humanitarian parolees and be reunited with their families.
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, those granted refugee status will be able to change their status to permanent legal resident after one year.