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What Happens to Immigration Agencies During a Government Shutdown?

What would a government shutdown’s effect be on immigration? As we navigate the uncertainties of today’s political landscape, it’s crucial to stay informed about potential government shutdowns and their implications on immigration matters. Here are potential effects on immigration agencies during a government shutdown. Let’s explore what you need to know. 🧐

🧳 USCIS Operations and a Potential Government Shutdown

Fees paid by applicants, not government taxes, primarily fund the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Therefore, during a government shutdown, USCIS will generally continue its immigration operations. However, some programs that receive federal funds, such as E-Verify, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program, Conrad 30 J-1 doctors, and nonminister religious workers, may face suspension. Unless there is a new law, the Special Immigrant Religious Worker Program may also expire. Employers can still use the alternate document review process for remote Form I-9 verifications if E-Verify is temporarily unavailable due to the shutdown. πŸ“‹

πŸ’Ό Department of State

User fees, not federal taxes, fund Visa and Passport operations under the Department of State. Therefore, they should continue to function as usual. However, some consular posts may limit their immigration services to diplomatic visas or life-or-death emergencies if they face budget constraints and a potential government shutdown. 🌐

πŸ›ƒ CBP and Border Patrol

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP), responsible for U.S. border security, considers its inspection and law enforcement personnel as essential. This means that border crossings will remain open for immigration, and passenger processing will continue, even if there is a government shutdown. πŸ›‚

πŸ”’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

ICE’s enforcement and removal operations will continue during a government shutdown. ICE Attorneys are likely to focus on detained cases, while non-detained cases will see hearings rescheduled. The agency will not accept filings for non-detained cases during this period. πŸš“

πŸ›οΈ Immigration Courts (EOIR)

Immigration Courts, operated by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), will prioritize detained cases.During the shutdown, immigration authorities will reschedule all non-detained cases and will not accept filings for non-detained cases. Affected individuals will receive updated notices of hearing. βš–οΈ

πŸ’Ό Department of Labor

The Department of Labor will cease processing all immigration applications for work-related green cards or visas in the event of a government shutdown. Communication channels, such as emails and inquiries, will also be temporarily unavailable. 🏒

It’s essential to be aware of the potential impact of a government shutdown on immigration matters. While many agencies funded by user fees may continue their operations, certain programs and services may face temporary suspension. So, to answer the question, “does a government shutdown affect immigration?”β€”yes, it does. If you have any questions or concerns about your immigration status during a government shutdown, consider seeking legal advice from a qualified immigration attorney. Stay informed, stay prepared, and make the right decisions for your immigration journey. 🌟 🀝

☎️ Contact usΒ today to learn more about how we can assist you in your immigration journey. πŸ“²