1. Action Alert
  2. Immigrants & Refugees

Failed Votes Pave Way for Shutdown Resolution

By Hannah Graf Evans, Jessie Palatucci, January 25, 2019


Urge your senators to pursue a long term solution without further militarizing our border or or shutting down the government.

This week, as federal workers missed their second paycheck and federal assistance programs scraped for cash, the Senate voted on two drastically different bills to reopen the government.

The first proposal – heralded by President Donald Trump as a “compromise” – threatened the rights of asylum seekers and drastically expanded the immigration enforcement machine. To sweeten the deal, it also included narrow, temporary (frankly, inadequate) protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and certain Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients.

The second was a clean, short-term spending bill to reopen the government—free of policy riders—that FCNL recommended senators support.

These votes were a test, and though they both failed to pass, they demonstrated a growing bipartisan desire to end the shutdown. Six Senate Republicans crossed the aisle and voted to reopen the government without funding for border wall construction.

As a direct result, a bipartisan conversation emerged between Senate leadership, and late Friday, President Trump announced an agreement to temporarily reopen the federal government. This paves the way for Congress to quickly pass clean spending bills to restore operations until Feb. 15 and begin paying workers who have now been furloughed for 35 days.

This temporary reprieve is encouraging. It provides desperately needed relief for people throughout the country. However, we still need a long-term solution. It’s important that we keep the pressure on throughout the next three weeks. Congress has a very short window to decide how they will proceed. Please continue to urge your senators to pursue a long term solution without further militarizing our border or shutting down the government.

Hannah Graf Evans

  • Legislative Representative, Immigration and Refugee Policy

Hannah Graf Evans lobbies for compassionate immigration policies. Our immigration system should empower immigrants and the American communities to which they belong, lift up the voices of border communities, and ensure adequate protections for refugees, asylum-seekers and victims of trafficking. Hannah co-chairs the steering committee of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, made up of over 45 faith-based organizations.

Jessie Palatucci

  • Senior Digital Communications Manager

Jessie Palatucci manages FCNL’s digital advocacy program and web communications. She writes extensively for FCNL’s digital publications and communicates with advocates throughout the U.S.