How Does a Government Shutdown Impact Immigration?

As of the date of publication, President Trump has refused to sign a bill that would fund the government because no bill has included funding for his desired border wall. As a result, many government agencies have been forced to shut down or furlough workers due to a lack of funding.

Depending on which agency is involved in your immigration matter, the shutdown may impact you in a different ways.

USCIS: USCIS is a fee-funded agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. As a result, it generally continues to run during a shutdown. However, some programs under USCIS receive government-appropriated funds, such as E-verify, EB-5s, Conrad 30 J-1 physicians, and non-minister religious workers, and they may be suspended or otherwise impacted.

Department of State: The portion of DOS that issues visas and passports is also fee-funded, so it should not be impacted by the shutdown in any major way. However, if funding becomes an issue, consulates are likely to only process emergency petitions.

CBP: Ports of entry are open, but CBP processing of applications at the border may be impacted.

ICE: ICE Enforcement and removal operations are still functioning, as is the Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

EOIR: The detained docket is still being held by EOIR, but the non-detained docket will be reset for a later date. Immigration courts with detained dockets are open to receive all filings, but will only process those for the detained docket. If a court has no detained docket, though, it will not be open at all.

If you have questions about whether or not your case may be affected by the shutdown, please reach out to an immigration attorney.

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