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If you feel like you’ve only heard the adults around you talking about politics lately, you are almost certainly not alone.

Our representatives in Washington, D.C., have been making some big headlines lately, including shutting down the government for three days in January.

Our lawmakers disagree on a number of issues these days, and these disagreements led to the recent shutdown. One of the main sources of tension between Congressional Democrats and Republicans was a program known as DACA. This stands for DEFERRED Action for Childhood Arrivals.

After Congress failed to pass the DREAM Act legislation in 2011, President Barack Obama established DACA in 2012. Some people did not agree with how DACA was created because President Obama created the program through executive action—a power that is unique to the President of the United States. The goal of DACA was to allow people who entered the United States as minors, and either entered or remained here illegally, protection from deportation. Eligible people could receive a two-year deferment from deportation actions and become eligible for a work permit.

In September 2017, President Donald Trump RESCINDED DACA and gave Congress six months to find a way to fix the problem.

While nearly nine in 10 adults in the United States want DACA recipients to stay in this country, Congress has struggled to find a fix to this legislative challenge.

As part of the negotiation during the recent government shutdown, Congressional members agreed to further discuss DACA. After a three-day shutdown and some intense negotiations, legislators agreed to a short extension to reopen the government. The current continuing resolution funds the federal government through Feb. 8.

Unless Congress and President Trump act by March 5, people who have been protected by DACA will lose that protection.

Fact Box:
• 100 people serve in the United States Senate
• 435 people serve in the United States House of Representatives
• Last government shutdown: 2013
• DACA recipients: Approximately 700,000
February 2018