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US House votes to bar Obama's actions on immigration reform

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-12-05 09:45

WASHINGTON -- The House of US Congress on Thursday voted to bar the executive branch from deferring the deportation of undocumented workers in the country, taking its first direct action against President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration reform.

The 219-197 vote was largely symbolic as the measure is headed for certain death in the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he won't take up the legislation, which could provide legal status and work permits to up to 5 million people.

The vote on legislation is intended to help House Speaker John Boehner move a bill next week that would fund most of the government through next September and avoid a government shutdown on Dec. 12.

US President Barack Obama announced two weeks ago a set of executive actions that will make roughly 5 million undocumented immigrants in the country eligible to avoid deportation.

The conservative Democrats hailed the president's actions, saying Obama's move will bring some accountability to the country' s broken immigration system. But Republicans have said Obama's actions would damage his relations with the incoming Republican- controlled Congress.

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