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What's next for Democrats hoping to find a fix for DACA recipients?




A woman holds up a signs in support of the Obama administration program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, during a rally on Aug. 15 at the White House.
A woman holds up a signs in support of the Obama administration program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, during a rally on Aug. 15 at the White House.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi held the floor for about eight hours Wednesday, in an attempt to rally Democrats ahead of a vote on a new, two-year spending deal. 

Democrats in the House aren't happy that the budget package contains no fix for DACA — the so-called Dreamers who were brought to the US illegally as children. A vote could happen as early as Thursday.

So what's next for Democrats hoping to find a fix for DACA recipients? 

USC's Manuel Pastor says finding the leverage to move the debate forward could be a challenge:

Many feel that the fear that [Democrats] are losing their leverage right now. I believe that Senate Democrats have gotten some degree of leverage from their previous shut down — that is, they secured the promise to be able to debate bi-partisan legislation. In fact, it was a pretty significant move last week when Senator Coons and Senator McCain put forward a bipartisan bill that's pretty close to a clean Dream Act. 

The fact that something more open is going to be part of the debate moves the center of the debate within the Senate to probably what the Graham and Durbin legislation was. So I think there's a deal to be made in the Senate. The problem is that that deal will die when it goes to the House of Representatives. 

How do Democrats in the House peel off Republican support? 

It's not going to be the Democrats in the House necessarily; it's going to be the activists in the congressional districts of vulnerable Republicans — particularly in California. 

Manuel Pastor is the Director of the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at the University of Southern California.

Answers have been edited for length and clarity.