NEW YORK – The Statue of Liberty, one of New York City’s and the world’s most popular tourist sites, will reopen on Monday after being shut over the weekend in the wake of a federal government shutdown.
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island were closed following the Senate’s failure to approve a new budget on Friday night.
New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday that the popular tourist attractions would reopen the following morning, saying that New Yorkers “will not stand by as this symbol of freedom and opportunity goes dark.”
“Shutting down the park jeopardizes an economic driver for the State of New York. But the Statue of Liberty is more than just an economic driver. This park is a symbol of New York and our values. And her message has never been as important as it is today,” Cuomo said on Sunday.
Cuomo added that the Statue was “symbolic for what is going on right now in Washington,” drawing parallels between the shutdown and the country’s history of immigration.
“The State of Liberty, America, New York, are all about immigration, it’s all about welcoming people. The concept of closing the doors to immigrants is repugnant to the concept of America. We’re all sons and daughters of immigrants,” the governor said.
Senators were unable to pass a bill Friday night that would have approved funding for the federal government, with Democrats refusing to negotiate with Republicans until an agreement is reached that protects the status of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children, known as “Dreamers.”
These so-called Dreamers had been protected from deportation under a Barack Obama-era policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
US President Donald Trump repealed DACA last year, and has given Congress until March to propose new legislation.