All 5 Oklahoma US House members support bill addressing migrant youths, work permits

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Each of the five members of Oklahoma's U.S. House delegation voted for Republican-backed legislation that would send migrant youths back home without hearings and that could lead to the deportation of more than half a million immigrants who were granted temporary work permits by the Obama administration.

The House passed the bills late Friday largely along party lines, with Oklahoma Republican Reps. Tom Cole, Frank Lucas, Jim Bridenstine, Markwayne Mullin and James Lankford voting for them.

With the Senate controlled by Democrats, both bills seemed unlikely to advance.

The votes came on what was to have been the first day of lawmakers' five-week summer recess. Senators had already left Washington after killing their own legislation on the border crisis.

The legislation includes language recommended by Cole that says military installations should not be used to house immigrants in the country illegally. Cole's district includes Fort Sill, where unaccompanied minors in the country illegally are being housed.

"I am very encouraged by the changes made to the final bill as it relates to use of military installations," Cole said in a statement.

"Ever since I learned of the border crisis and the president's plan to use Fort Sill in my district for housing illegal minors, I've thought it was an inappropriate use of military facilities."

Lankford called on the Senate to return and take up the measures.

"Senate Democrats considered their own border funding bill but could not come to a consensus, so they left town without taking action," Lankford said. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to immediately consider our proposal in good faith and help us actually solve this problem for the American people."

The spending measure would provide $694 million, far short of the $3.7 billion President Barack Obama initially requested. It passed 223-189 with only four Republicans voting "no" and one Democrat voting "yes."

The measure to end Obama's deportation relief program passed 216-192, with 11 Republican "no" votes and four Democrats crossing party lines to vote in favor.

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