What We’re Following
Open for the Public: Lawmakers have reached a deal to fund the government for three more weeks after disagreements over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, defense spending, and other matters led to a three-day shutdown over the weekend. Senate Democrats had been holding out for DACA protections in particular, but Monday’s agreement included only a promise to debate such legislation before the next funding deadline, leaving immigration advocates disappointed. For their part, Republicans are claiming a “Win for [the] White House,” although President Trump appeared to have very little to do with the deal.
El Salvador: The U.S. Catholic Church is pushing back against Trump’s recent decision to suspend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Salvadorans, which has put nearly 200,000 immigrants—many of them longtime U.S. residents and active parishioners—at risk of deportation. TPS protects people who are unable to return to their home countries out of fear for their safety. The dangerous conditions in El Salvador over the past few decades have included not only a devastating earthquake, but also a bloody civil war in which the U.S. played a role.
Diplomatic Deals: On a visit to Jerusalem, Vice President Mike Pence affirmed Washington’s support of Israel and called for continued work toward peace with Palestine—yet the Trump administration’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital may have complicated that process. Trump’s continued calls for improvements to the Iran nuclear deal likewise carry a risk of undermining the agreement. Meanwhile, North and South Korea have reached a historic breakthrough with their agreement to send a joint women’s hockey team to the Winter Olympics next month—but they’re on thin political ice.