Dozens of House Democrats on Wednesday voted against a legislative proposal aimed at ensuring that illegal immigrants convicted of domestic violence, sexual abuse or child abuse are a priority for deportation.
The vote suggests that immigration-related issues trump other traditional Democratic priorities, such as efforts to protect people from sex or violence-related crimes, especially against women.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) proposed the language as an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security spending bill. He argued it was needed because Obama’s executive action on immigration created different priorities for deportation that need to be adjusted.
For example, illegal immigrants suspected of terrorism or espionage or other felonies are top priorities for deportation. But illegal immigrants who are convicted of three or more misdemeanors, or one “significant” misdemeanor such as sexual abuse or domestic violence, are on a second tier priority for deportation.