WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the US House of Representatives voted on Friday to crack down on Central American migrants, including unaccompanied children, who are flooding to the US border with Mexico, as lawmakers passed a $694 million border security bill.
The 223-189 vote came one day after conservative Republicans balked at an earlier version of the measure, exposing a deep rift between Tea Party activists and more mainstream Republicans.
In passing the retooled bill, the Republican-led House ignored a veto threat from the White House. But with the Senate already on a five-week summer recess, this measure will advance no further at least until September.
“We couldn’t go home (for recess) and not have a decision,” said Representative Kay Granger of Texas, who helped draft the original bill.
Granger said the measure would serve as a marker for negotiations in September to resolve the humanitarian crisis that has seen nearly 60,000 children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala arrive illegally since October to escape criminal drug gangs and poverty.