Lowdown on the shutdown

Kaitlin Clark, Entertainment Editor

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Confusion, frustration and panic surrounded the government shutdown, but as soon as it came, it was over, leaving many asking the same question: why did it even happen?

At midnight on Jan. 20, Congress failed to create a plan for government funding, marking President Trump’s hundredth day in office with a shutdown. This mainly meant that only essential government employees would be working, although they would not be paid immediately. There were, however, countless other repercussions, including the shutdown of many commissaries on United States military bases and the halt of experiments at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, according to CNN’s article, “the lesser-known effects of a government shutdown.”

It all began over the issue of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. This program allows the children of illegal immigrants, often referred to as “dreamers,” two years of protection from deportation and a work permit as long as they meet a series of requirements that can be found on the University of California at Berkley’s Undocumented Student Program page. Since Donald Trump’s inauguration over a year ago, he has rallied his supporters by declaring an end to the DACA program as part of his push to crack down on illegal immigration. He also pushed for the border wall that he so fiercely defended on the campaign trail, insisting that a physical wall between the United States and Mexico would deter immigrants from crossing the border.

President Trump has maintained that the Mexican government will pay for the wall, despite their insistence that no deal of the sort would be made. All of this culminated in a Congressional standoff in which Trump’s allies said that they would maintain the DACA program if their opponents agreed to the border wall. No decision was reached, and thus, with funding running out, the government shut down.

With Democrats fighting for dreamers who have lived in the United States for the majority of their lives and Republicans insisting that since they didn’t go through the immigration process legally, they should be deported, a series of debates and deals ensued.

Eventually, both parties settled on a short-term solution, funding the government for a short time while negotiations continue. The funding that both sides agreed on runs out on Feb. 8, giving Congress three short weeks to come up with a better solution while the immigration bill still hangs in the air, according to Vox.

Sure, the government is open for now, but if members of Congress can’t reach an agreement soon, we could very well be in the same situation once again.

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