By Nicole Garcia.
January 20th marked President Donald Trump’s first year in power. While he had planned an elegant gala in his private Palm Beach golf club, his plans were sidetracked by the disagreement that continues to permeate throughout congress. A day prior to Trumps anniversary, the New York senator Chuck Schumer met with President Trump to discuss a permanent spending bill rather than the current stop gap measure which involves time consuming, constant budget re-negotiations. However their conversation was fruitless as President Trump decided Schumer’s immigration policies did not agree with his or his party’s stricter views on the matter. Consequentially the democrat party refused to vote on the spending bill, resulting in a government shutdown, something that hadn’t occurred since 2013 during the Obama administration.
The United States Government shut down that Saturday at one in the morning when the democrats refused to vote on a government funding bill unless the republican members of congress allocated funding to immigration policies concerning the “Dreamers”, those protected from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA).
DACA protects children who were taken into the United States illegally by their guardians, which the Republican party denied a debate on what’s going to happen to these 800,000 undocumented immigrants since Donald Trump rescinded the Obama-era programme. Amongst the funding that was to be approved, was a bill that would allocate billions of dollars to the building of the border wall. Consequentially, as an act of protest, the democrat party refused to vote on a bill which would fund the federal government and thus allow it to continue running.
When the government shuts down, several departments are forced to place their employees on unpaid furlough. The Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, and NASA were some of the departments affected by the shutdown. Sarah Sanders, press Secretary for the White House, reprimanded the democrats and blamed them for the shutdown. “We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands,” she expressed in the White House’s official statement. She referred to them as obstructionist losers and stated that “when Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform,”.
The problem is, clearly, that there isn’t a conversation surrounding the 800,000 dreamers, much less any pieces of legislation being created in order to replace the Dream Act. However in spite of their brief spell of solidarity the Democrat party caved on Monday, January 22, signing yet another continuing bill that would fund the United States government until February the 8th. The Republican Party promised to debate immigration reform and discuss the fate of the Dreamers, however there has been no news in this front.
The President declared the democrat’s yield a ‘huge win’ for the Republican party, however the government still lacks a permanent funding plan, there’s no clear resolution for the Dreamers, and Congress remains both divided and unable to reach efficient solutions.