Washington — After hours of deliberations, Republican and Democratic appropriators said Monday night they have reached “an agreement in principle” on legislation to fund the government past the Friday deadline and avert another shutdown.

Lawmakers were scrambling to flesh out an agreement and have a budget measure ready before the current continuing resolution (CR) expires Friday.

Over the weekend, talks between a bipartisan group of House and Senate negotiators, largely made up of appropriators with experience on committees with oversight of Department of Homeland Security (DHS), had broken down over the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) beds in detention centers — which Democrats want to cap and reduce.

“For far too long, the Trump administration has been tearing communities apart with its cruel immigration policies,” Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, the lead House Democratic negotiator, wrote in a statement. She argued, “A cap on ICE detention beds will force the Trump administration to prioritize deportation for criminals and people who pose real security threats, not law-abiding immigrants who are contributing to our country.”  A government data clearinghouse run by Syracuse University notes in an analysis of ICE datathat most ICE detainees have no criminal conviction and almost 75 percent have no serious convictions.

But President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have slammed Democrats for demanding a cap, accusing them of trying to hinder ICE’s ability to detain violent criminals. “The Democrats do not want us to detain, or send back, criminal aliens! This is a brand new demand. Crazy!” the president wrote on Twitter Monday morning.

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