The Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee has quietly informed Republican leadership that they cannot defund the president’s actions on immigration because the agency responsible for implementing it is not funded by Congress; it’s funded by user fees.
[The] committee said the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) agency would be able to continue to collect fees and carry out its operations even if the government shut down.
“This agency is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications,” the committee said in a statement. “Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the ‘E-Verify’ program. Therefore, the appropriations process cannot be used to ‘defund’ the agency.“
House Republicans have floated the idea of defunding the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to thwart the president’s actions, but that would have no effect at all.
Back to the drawing board?