The partial shutdown came about when Congress failed to pass seven spending bills, including for the Department of Homeland Security. While House Democrats are considering various options, they appear to be leaning toward funding Homeland Security through a so-called continuing resolution, which would keep spending at current levels, likely through February. The other agencies would be funded through separate measures.
Meanwhile, Mr. Graham floated his proposal, which would marry $5 billion for the wall with immigration law changes that might appeal to Democrats, including three-year, renewable work permits for the Dreamers, who were brought to the country illegally as children. Their status has been uncertain since Mr. Trump moved to end a program that protected them known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
But Mr. Graham has made similar proposals in the past, and they have gone nowhere on Capitol Hill. And Democrats have made clear that such a deal, which many DACA recipients do not want, is no longer of interest to them.
That is especially true with the potential for a case challenging Mr. Trump’s ending of the DACA program to make its way to the Supreme Court next year.
The budget fight is playing out amid the controversy over the deaths of two migrant children who were in the custody of Customs and Border Protection officials.
On Saturday, Mr. Trump tweeted that the children’s deaths were the fault of Democrats and their immigration policies, in his first public comments since the 7-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy died this month. Mr. Trump expressed no remorse for their deaths, and falsely stated that the parents of the children had said they were sick when they came in to the country.
In an interview with ABC News’s “This Week” on Sunday, the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Kevin McAleenan, said officials “did everything they could, as soon as these children manifested symptoms of illness, to save their lives.”
He said that the number of families with children crossing the border had risen, and that the system was not set up for children. “We don’t want them in Border Patrol stations,” Mr. McAleenan said. “We want them in a better scenario for these vulnerable populations that we are seeing.”