opinion   |   column

Schumer’s deal will not be enough to satisfy anyone



After a shutdown lasting three days, the government reopened by adopting a short-term bill, which will fund the government through Feb. 8, largely in part due to a deal offered by Senate Democrats to their Republican counterparts. 

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, allegedly promised minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, the Senate would take up legislation to deal with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in the very near future. 

This is the pertinent material at the hands of congressmen as the debate heats up over the right of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, commonly known as Dreamers, to stay in the country.

But there are some inherent problems in this claim from Democrats that may slow down the sort of results for which everyone is looking. 

They plan to get a bill on the floor that is an adequate compromise for both Democrats and Republicans by providing protections for those covered by DACA as well as increased funding for President Trump’s border wall. Schumer has repeatedly stated that if this is not resolved by Feb. 8, it is his “intention” to proceed with this compromising legislation. 

I am most afraid this bill may never even reach the president’s desk for signing. 

Sure, in theory, this bill is great. It seems obvious that no one wants their government to be shut down; it causes nothing but problems for the American people.

During a government shutdown, people cannot get food through federal nutrition programs, get military death benefits, become a new National Institutes of Health patient or do any number of miscellaneous government-run things.

Likewise, a majority of voters support DACA and even want to strengthen it; a poll shows that 58 percent of voters say that Dreamers should be allowed to stay and become citizens if they meet certain requirements.

But the problem is this may not happen — at least not before Feb. 8, which may result in rights lost from more undocumented immigrants, even worse border control, and ultimately, a Congress that is even less willing to cooperate. 

If it is only Schumer’s “intention” to get this bill on the floor in the Senate, then there is no assurance that it actually will be. But even assuming he does successfully get an adequate, bipartisan bill to the floor and passed in the Senate, there is even a less likely chance that it will succeed in the House. The House has a Republican majority and is much more ideologically conservative overall. If Schumer wants to make some sort of compromising bill, he would have to aim to please the House Republicans, which may be a task that is impossible while continuing support for DACA. 

Finally comes level three, and good luck achieving this one: getting Trump to sign off on the bill. This is the man who immediately spoke of repealing DACA during his campaign.  Trump tweeted Monday, “Big win for Republicans as Democrats cave on Shutdown. Now I want a big win for everyone, including Republicans, Democrats and DACA, but especially for our Great Military and Border Security. Should be able to get there. See you at the negotiating table!” 



Schumer would have to seriously consider the president’s wishes for a stronger military and border control, at which point may leave little to no room for DACA and completely deter Democrats from supporting the bill.

Ultimately this deal that Schumer has made to reopen the government is just looking impossible and may worsen problems in the near future. 

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