With another government shutdown looming this week, Senate Democrats, including Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, are still hoping to strike a deal on protections for the undocumented immigrants known as "Dreamers." But at a news conference Monday, Brown suggested that failure to reach an agreement on the issue is "unlikely" to result in another shutdown.
The program known as Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals, or DACA, protects immigrants brought into the county unlawfully as children from deportation. It became a sticking point that resulted in last months' shutdown. This time, Senator Brown says Democrats may have to separate the immigration debate from the budget battle.
"We need a long term budget, then we need immediately to begin a debate on how we're going to protect these DACA kids," Brown says.
Brown says he wants the Senate to discuss comprehensive immigration reform that includes not just protections for Dreamers, but also addresses the President's call to reduce legal immigration through the country's visa lottery and family-based visa programs.
"I don't want to slam the door shut, I don't want to reduce the number of legal immigrants this country brings in," Brown says.
But he says he's willing to negotiate. In 2013, Brown voted for an immigration bill that included a repeal of the visa lottery and reductions in family-based immigration.