Lawmakers punt DACA decision to end government shutdown

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YONKERS -

So-called Dreamers say they are disappointed with Senate Democrats' decision to make a deal with Republicans that leaves out DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, in order to end the federal government shutdown.

Democrats called their decision to vote to discontinue the government shutdown a strategic retreat after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will open the floor for debate and votes on immigration and DACA in the coming weeks.

But immigration advocates worry Democrats don't have any way to make McConnell or Republicans take up immigration legislation.

Dreamers rallying in the Hudson Valley and Washington, D.C. are pushing for the passage of a clean DREAM Act that will protect them from deportation. The DACA program is set to end March 5.

"We're frustrated because we have come along so far and having our voices shut down, once again...it's devastating," said Maria Jose Guzman, of Yonkers.

The short-term spending bill passed Monday will only fund the government through Feb. 8. Democrats said they hope that's enough time to reach an agreement with Republicans on DACA and immigration.

Local immigration advocates say they're planning rallies in the Hudson Valley in the coming days.

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