This afternoon, Friday, March 23rd, 2018, President Donald Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (HR 1625: 2018) approving federal spending for the fiscal year, after the bill was passed by a vote in the Senate. In spite of the Democrats having threatened to vote against a budget bill if DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) funding was not provided (see my previous article on this here), a considerable majority of Democratic senators voted in favour of the bill, including Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer.
Senator Schumer cites funding for education, infrastructure, research, and opioid epidemic funding as a huge victory for the Democrats with this bill. Another project which received funding was the Gateway Tunnel, a project that New York and New Jersey Democrats have been strongly pushing for. In spite of the many successes the Democrats were able to achieve, renewed funding for the DACA program was not one of them. Representative Nancy Pelosi stated that overall it was still a huge victory (video of Sen. Schumer and Rep. Pelosi discussing the spending bill can be found here).
Funding for DACA still remains open for negotiation, as the Republicans are still pushing for increased spending on border security and the border well expansion. Democrats will likely stick to their commitment on reaching an agreement on DACA funding, however, this lack of funding still leaves 800,000 people living in America without a safe and fair path to citizenship.
The Republicans also failed to negotiate for increased funding for ICE officers, a small victory for civil rights advocates. The ICE has been accused of using their investigatory and enforcement powers to disrupt communities and target non-violent and non-criminal migrants (see my previous article on this issue here). The fate of undocumented immigrants living in the US, however, still maintains a considerable level of fear and uncertainty.
This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCLA or PBSC