Pro-immigrant activists reacted to news of a bipartisan pact to reopen the federal government with disappointment, resignation, and in some cases, outright anger at Democrats for agreeing to the deal.
“[Democrats] turned their back on us,” said Eliso Magos, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals beneficiary, and an organizer for CASA, a Maryland-based organization that focuses on Latinos and immigrants. “It’s stressful as a DACA recipient not to know what’s going to happen next.” Magos’s work permit is set to expire in December 2019; he’s waiting for his permit to be renewed.
On Monday, the Senate voted for a stopgap spending bill—three days after the government first shut down. “The Republican leader and I have come to an arrangement: We will vote to reopen the government,” said Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Democrats and a handful of Republicans had originally voted against funding the government unless the status of 700,000 young immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally, and who were protected by the DACA program rescinded by the Trump administration in September, was dealt with.
Three days into the shutdown, however, Democrats changed their tune after an assurance from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the chamber would consider a bill dealing with undocumented immigrants spared by the now-defunct Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program by the next funding deadline, February 8. “While this procedure will not satisfy all on both sides, it’s a way forward,” Schumer said. “I’m confident that we can get the 60 votes in the Senate for a DACA bill. And now there is a real pathway to get a bill on the floor and through the Senate. It is a good solution, and I will vote for it.”