By Pat Kessler

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s beginning to look like a federal government shutdown is more and more likely, and it could have dramatic effects in Minnesota.

Congress has a Friday night deadline to pass a bill to fund the government, but many lawmakers say they want immigration fixed at the same time.

The calls are pouring in to the Immigration Law Center in St. Paul, which offers legal help for young people who came to America as children, illegally, with their parents. They’re often called “Dreamers.”

John Keller and his staff work on behalf of more than 6,000 Minnesota Dreamers who may be deported unless Congress includes an immigration fix in the spending bill.

“I think a symbol of just how hyper-politicized almost everything is in Washington — that we can’t get this relatively small package protection done for a group of people the American public overwhelmingly supports,” he said.

The House bill extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years and delays a tax that Minnesota Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen says would be devastating to the state’s medical device companies.

“Unless action is taken, by Congress, the companies in Minnesota will have to start writing checks to the federal government on their sales, not on their profits,” Paulsen said.

A shutdown won’t affect essential services like Social Security checks, airport security, air traffic controllers, or the Postal Service.

But thousands of federal workers would be furloughed, national parks and museums would close, and you won’t be able to get a passport.

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