The U.S. Government shut down on Friday, January 19, 2018 when the U.S. Senate failed to pass a budget. While the Senate voted at 12pm on Monday, January 22, 2018 to re-open the government by agreeing on a temporary, 3-week spending plan, the government’s immediate stability is still uncertain. President Trump signed the bill ending the shutdown on Monday night, January 22, 2018.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a key agenda item on Congress’ mind as they begin negotiations on both a long-term spending plan and the future of DACA, both by February 8th when the temporary budget plan concludes. What does this mean from an immigration standpoint?

  • Senator Mitch McConnell agreed to vote on DACA in the coming weeks ahead of the February 8th deadline. While this is not a legally binding assurance that the Senate will propose a solution to President Trump’s plan to end DACA in March of this year, the threat of another government shutdown on February 8th if DACA is not addressed is a good motivator for senators to finally agree on a DACA solution.
  • In recent days, President Trump has both been open to finding a path to citizenship for Dreamers and his White House has been filing lawsuits with the Supreme Court as a way of circumventing pro-immigrant judges. News sources have reported that President Trump has tentatively agreed to expand Dreamer protections, though at this time it still appears uncertain if the White House truly endorses a solution for DACA and path to citizenship for Dreamers.
  • Because the spending bill is only a temporary fix, there is the possibility of another government shutdown come February 8th. If this is the case, please refer to this link to see how a shutdown impacts various government agencies, including USCIS and CBP.