Congress Prepares to Sell Immigrants Out Yet Again in New Budget Deal

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Senate leaders from both parties have reportedly begun circling around a final budget deal that would see the federal government funded for the coming two years, averting a shutdown that was set to begin on Thursday.

According to the New York Times, the budget agreement will include increased military funding and money for areas affected by hurricanes and wildfires. Yet the deal conspicuously does not include any provisions that address immigration or DACA—the main sticking points of the budget battles which briefly shut the government down in January.


Democrats were given a guarantee by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he would hold a serious debate on immigration reform and DACA protections in exchange for their vote to avert a shutdown. But Democrats have admitted that there is no way to ensure that McConnell keeps that promise, and House Republicans have said they are not bound by it. It’s the latter point that prompted House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to give a lengthy speech on the House floor on Wednesday criticizing the deal.


“This morning, we took a measure of our Caucus because the package does nothing to advance bipartisan legislation to protect ‘Dreamers’ in the House. Without a commitment from Speaker Ryan, comparable to the commitment from Leader McConnell, this package does not have my support,” Pelosi said.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump threatened a second government shutdown if congressional Democrats don’t give in to his anti-immigrant proposals, including an end to family reunification programs, and his long-promised border wall between the United States and Mexico.

“If we have to shut it down because the Democrats don’t want safety and—unrelated but still related—they don’t want to take care of our military? Then shut it down,” Trump said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has insisted he would take action on immigration reform, as long as it aligned with Trump’s demands.


“We’re not going to bring immigration legislation through that the president doesn’t support,” Ryan said on Tuesday.