Democrats in the Senate this week came together with Republicans and voted to fund the government until at least Feb. 8.
The overwhelming cause of this shutdown was the refusal of Republicans to codify DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. While the program is something I agreed with, the method used to enact it was untenable — its existence depended on every successive president choosing to keep it intact.
That is precisely why the Congress ought to take it up for a vote, independent of this government funding debacle. Depending on the poll, somewhere around three-fourths of Americans think Dreamers, those protected by DACA, should have permanent legal status. Half of Republicans in the poll believe the same. Immigration hardliners within the GOP seem to call the shots more than Speaker Paul Ryan, and even if the Senate reaches a deal, there’s no guarantee in the House.
You can see how it will be difficult for the GOP — particularly in the House — to accomplish those divergent goals.
If the Democrats can stomach reasonable trade-offs on DACA for border security — emphasis on reasonable, Stephen Miller — they should make a deal. Taking Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at his word is dangerous, but if both sides continue to lament the dysfunction of Washington, here’s their chance to do something the old fashioned way, with open amendments and a normal process.