NEW YORK (AP) — Liberal activists are demanding that Democrats protect thousands of young immigrants from deportation, no matter what. The conflict comes to a head this week as the Republicans who control Congress scramble to get enough votes -- including some from Senate Democrats -- to avoid a partial government shutdown.

On Capitol Hill, Democrats are being urged to let the shutdown happen unless Republicans and President Donald Trump agree to restore a program that protects from deportation some 700,000 people who were brought to the U.S. as children and are now here illegally. There are protesters at the offices of Senate Democrats and threats of primary foes.

Indeed, immigration is becoming a political litmus test for Democrats, supplanting health care as a defining issue of Trump's second year as president.