Government Shutdown Ends; Countdown Begins Again with Immigration Push in the Senate

In last Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Trump urged Congress to turn the White House’s framework into a bill. President Trump emphasized the “Four Pillar” plan in his speech, including: increasing border security funding ($25 billion trust fund for the border wall system), limiting family-based immigration sponsorship to only spouses and minor children, and terminating the diversity visa, in exchange for allowing 1.8 million DACA recipients to get legal status and eventually citizenship. It appears President Trump’s attempts at reaching a compromise on immigration will fail as Democrats booed at the mention of eliminating family reunification sponsorship for adult children, parents and siblings. Some Republicans were upset President Trump went back on his “no amnesty” pledge during his campaign.

Yesterday, Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Christopher Coons introduced a bipartisan compromise that would protect DACA recipients from being deported, provide a pathway to citizenship, alleviate the backlog in immigration courts, and provide new border security measures without funding for a wall. The legislation is a companion to a bill introduced by House representatives Will Hurd and Pete Aguilar which has 54 co-sponsors. However, President Trump tweeted that “[A]ny deal on DACA that does not include STRONG border security and the desperately needed WALL is a total waste of time.”

Some Republicans have backed the bill proposed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte last month. Representative Goodlatte’s bill is mostly in line with President Trump’s immigration plan.

Ultimately any bill or budget passed by Congress must be signed by the President.

Congress and President Trump are under pressure to pass a budget, which may include a short-term or long-term solution to immigration by February 8 to keep the Federal government from shutting down. EIG will continue to diligently monitor the situation and provide real-time updates.