At midnight, Congress failed to pass the 2019 fiscal budget and the government is currently in a partial shutdown. Several news outlets have been reporting during the weeks leading up to the vote that the obstacle to a budget bill surrounds the issue of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. The program began in 2012 and served as a temporary reprieve for young undocumented immigrants who entered the United States illegally as minors.
Known as ‘dreamers,’ under the program they are able to avoid immediate deportation while their status remains subject to renewal two years from their stay. The Trump administration announced on Sept. 2017 that the DACA program will cease by March 2018 by which no new requests is allowed. In response, Democrats are insisting on a renegotiation that would protect the 800,000 dreamers as part of the spending bill process, and their support for passage in the Senate.
However, Pres. Trump tweeted early this morning, there will be no negotiations on DACA until the shutdown ends. Negotiations among lawmakers took place around 1:30 am to pass a temporary spending bill that would open the government until Feb. 8 while Congress works on passing the budget. The meeting ended without a resolution.
Non-essential services such as the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will be closed. Essential services—the Armed Forces, Veteran’s hospitals and Medicare and Medicaid will continue; however, thousands of federal employees will be furloughed and subsequently, some services may be delayed. Federal employees including military personnel will be working without pay until the shutdown ends. Historically, workers received payments retroactively after the spending bill passed.
[SOURCES- Washington Post, Fox News, The Week]