House panel bars funds for immigrant advocate

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican-led House panel is backing a bill that would prohibit any money for the public advocate for immigrants in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The move is drawing derision from Democrats pressing for comprehensive legislation to overhaul the nation's laws.

The vote was 17-14 along party lines in the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday night. The full House is expected to consider the measure next week, though it has no chance in the Democratic-led Senate.

Republicans say the bill is necessary because President Barack Obama has ignored Congress' previous move to eliminate the position. They complain about Obama's executive overreach.

Democrats say the measure is a poor excuse for the immigration reform legislation they have been seeking. They argue that the position aids immigrants held in custody by ICE.

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