U.S. senators on Wednesday were debating on two bills that are expected to not get enough votes to re-open the partial government shutdown, now in its second month.
“Let me be very clear. These two votes are not equivalent votes. It’s not on the one hand on the other hand. The president’s proposal demand a wall and radical immigration changes in exchange for opening up the government,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer. “The second vote demands nothing in exchange for opening up the government. So the first vote, unless you do it my way, I’m keeping the government shutdown, that’s the trump amendment. Our amendment, open up the government and then let’s talk.”
The Democrats’ measure is to fund the various agencies until February 8th, but with no funding for Trump’s border wall.
The president’s proposal includes the $5.7 billion dollar funding for the border wall construction in exchange for limited protection for some undocumented immigrants including those who were brought here illegally when they were young.
But beyond the marble hallways of capitol hill, there are real-life consequences to the stalemate. Immigration lawyer Arvin Amatorio said he sees the faces of those being directly affected by the shutdown.
“I’ll give you an example those people who wants to apply for adjustment of status with the court, if their schedule is cancelled, then they don’t have the ability to apply for adjustment of status; therefore they cannot apply for work permit. It’s really really unfortunate for those waiting for that instance to see the judge and apply for immigration benefits.”
According to tracking done by Syracuse University, more than 40,000 immigration hearings have been canceled due to the government shutdown.
United States federal courts will run out of funds to operate as normal beyond February 1st, according to officials.
According to a recent CBS poll, 71 percent of Americans do not think the issue of a border wall is worth the government shutdown.
A poll done by Politico and morning consult, showed Trump’s disapproval rating at an all-time high of 57 percent.
But those numbers might not mean much on thursday when the senate votes on the two bills.
There are 53 Republicans in the senate and 47 Democrats.
Each bill needs at least 60 votes to pass.