Lawmakers have reached a deal to reopen the government three days after Democrats forced a government shutdown over an illegal immigration issue. The Senate approved to advance a short-term funding bill to keep the government open through Feb. 8, on Monday. The vote was 81-18.
Senate leaders plan to address the illegal immigration issue, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), in the next three weeks.
“I think if we’ve learned anything during this process,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after the vote, “it’s that a strategy to shut down the government over the issue of illegal immigration is something the American people didn’t understand and would not have understood in the future.”
“So I’m glad we’ve gotten past that and we have a chance now to get back to work,” he said.
Both parties failed to reach an agreement on immigration and border security. On Friday, Jan. 19, hours before the deadline, Senate Democrats blocked the passage of a short-term funding bill, leading to a government shutdown at midnight.
As a precondition for supporting a budget deal, Democrats are pushing for a permanent solution for DACA recipients. DACA is the major sticking point in the negotiations.
DACA was introduced through an executive order by President Barack Obama in 2012, as a temporary measure, that gave recipients renewable, two-year work authorization and deportation immunity. It involved nearly 800,000 individuals—referred to as Dreamers—who were illegally brought into the country as children.
Meanwhile, Trump demands a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border as part of any immigration deal.