DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Executive Order from Obama Administration repealed by President Trump in September 2017 stating that the initial EO was an “executive overreach”. The program had provided 800,000 undocumented youth who had arrived illegally in the U.S. under the age of 16 to apply for protection from deportation. After a background check, these people, known as Dreamers, could apply for two-year renewable permits to both study and work in the US. DACA even allowed Dreamers to get things like driver’s licenses.
Because immigration falls to the Congress, and not the President, under the Constitution many agreed with Trump’s assessment that the Executive Order constituted an overreach. Some criticized the program on the grounds that it rewarded illegal immigration. Because President Trump and many Republicans have insisted that any legislation on DACA be premised on funding for Trump’s “big, beautiful” border wall, Democrats and Republicans have had great difficulty negotiating. In early January, President Trump was presented with a bipartisan solution, a Dream Act sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois). This was not brought to a vote. Democrats have repeatedly refused to support a spending bill unless they secure protections for the Dreamers, leading to the shutdown as the Senate failed to pass a bipartisan short-term spending bill.
On 22 January the Senate passed another continuing resolution, funding the government for 17 days. The Senate minority leader, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), agreed to this deadline because the majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), promised a vote on DACA before the expiration of this budget on 8 Feb. Importantly, the 8 Feb. deadline falls before the date DACA recipients face deportation. Another shutdown is likely.