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Protesters demands Congress pass the Dream Act

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Protesters gathered in Washington, D.C. and demand that Congress pass the Dream Act by the end of the week, according to organizers.

Operation Dream Act Now: The Resistance will urge lawmakers to pass such legislation by Friday as part of a spending bill to avert a federal government shutdown.

"There is NO excuse for failing to enact the Dream Act by January 19," the event's Facebook page says. "The reality is that immigrant youth are losing their livelihood right now, right at this very moment."

"When the history books are written of this time, will the political leaders of both parties be able to say they did everything they could to help protect immigrant youth or will their legacy be that they helped the Trump deportation machine shatter the lives of millions?" the page adds.

"Democrats and Republicans need to commit that they will withhold their vote from any spending bill that does not include a Dream Act."

Lawmakers must pass a funding bill by this Friday or the federal government will shut down, an issue that has become further complicated by disagreements over immigration.

President Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last year, and negotiations to protect so-called "Dreamers" receiving their protections have since become closely intertwined with spending talks.

Democrats and Republicans have struggled to find a permanent legislative solution to DACA, a program which shielded immigrants illegally brought to the U.S. from deportation.

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