Democrats want a permanent legal fix to protect so-called DREAMers, undocumented immigrants who arrived in this country with their parents when they were young children. The Democrats want to resolve the issue as part of year-end negotiations over funding the federal government. President Trump pushed back on their demands Wednesday.
KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: We are again just a few days away from a potential government shutdown. A deal in Congress to keep the government open is being threatened by a debate over immigration, specifically over protections for immigrants known as DREAMers. These are the roughly 700,000 people who are in the U.S. illegally and who were brought here as children. NPR's Kelsey Snell has more from Capitol Hill.
KELSEY SNELL, BYLINE: Nobody on Capitol Hill says they want a shutdown, but as President Trump said today...
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It could happen. The Democrats are really looking at something that is very dangerous for our country. They are looking at shutting down. They want to have illegal immigrants, in many cases, people that we don't want in our country. They want to have illegal immigrants pouring into our country.
SNELL: Democrats say that's wrong on multiple counts. Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was downplaying the threat of a shutdown.
CHUCK SCHUMER: We don't think we're going to get to that. There are good negotiations occurring between Democrats and Republicans to come up with a good DACA program as well as some good border security.