The government, as of Sunday afternoon, remains shutdown, after Senators were unable to reach an agreement to fund the government in time to keep it from closing due to lack of appropriations as Saturday dawned.
Negotiations stalled over one main point — the fate of the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and — until the Trump administration moved to end the program — were protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program.
A judge ruled that the Trump administration must continue accepting DACA protections renewal applications for the time being, although the program is still headed towards an ending date.
If the program is allowed to expire, it could open the door to the mass deportations that Trump promised during his rise to power, and Democrats obviously aren’t going to go along with that.
Democrats want to negotiate a plan to protect those whose security is threatened, thanks to the president moving to end DACA, and some Republicans want to go along with those negotiations, but members of leadership, including the president, aren’t interested.
South Carolina Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham is one of those Republicans interested in negotiations with Democrats, and he’s furious that the president’s advisers — particularly the controversial Stephen Miller — keep undercutting Congressional plans for moving forward on plans to deal with the end of DACA in a way that’s optimal for all involved.
On Sunday, before going into a meeting of moderate Senators, Graham relayed his frustrations to reporters.
Reporter Robert Costa posted that Graham suggested there’s a possibility of a “breakthrough” soon, while at the same time making it clear that “he can’t stand that ‘Stephen Miller’ is involved.”
Reporter Igor Bobic posted a similar observation, writing:
‘Walking into moderates meeting, Graham blasts WH staff, and calls out Stephen Miller by name, for undercutting president by pitching proposals he doesn’t support.’
He offered a quote from Graham about the matter, writing that he’d spoken as follows:
‘Every time we have a proposal, it is only yanked back by staff members. As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating on immigration, we are going nowhere.’
Miller, who has long been controversial, has actually already figured prominently in the debates surrounding the government shutdown.
Remember the recent meeting on immigration policy at the White House, where the president is reported to have referred to countries including Haiti, El Salvador, and some African nations as “shithole countries”?
That meeting — which helped push the government towards a shutdown since nothing constructive came of it — ended surprisingly poorly for the Senators who were there, and there have been reports that Stephen Miller is part of the reason for that.
The Senators — including Lindsey Graham — had been in contact with the White House ahead of their trip to the premises to present a plan favoring immigrants from the places that the president eventually called “shithole countries,” and before they made it there, they got the impression that the president was on their side.
Then, however, advisers like Stephen Miller and his chief of staff, John Kelly, got to him, and the president ended up effectively cursing out the Senators.
For now, few specifics of any currently under development plans are available for public consideration, and we have to wait and see when it will be that the nation’s leaders can come up with something and get the government functioning again.
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