Congress has just two weeks to come to a consensus on how to codify protections for the Dreamers—roughly 700,000 unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States as children—before government funding runs out February 8, or risk another shutdown scenario.
But there is no clear path forward for Congress to pass such a bill.
While a number of legislative proposals exist to replace the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which will expire on March 5, the plans vary widely. The primary guidance lawmakers have from the White House consists of four goals that were agreed to in a freewheeling meeting between President Donald Trump and members of Congress earlier this month: Curtailing so-called chain migration, ending the diversity visa lottery, securing funds for the border wall, and passing a DACA replacement.
In the Senate, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham and Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin has been working on a plan to replace DACA.