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Potential Government Shutdown’s Immigration Impact


Potential Government Shutdown’s Immigration Impact

For most of the week, it appeared that Congress would pass a continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown. Then, on December 20, the President informed House leadership that he would not sign a funding bill without $5 billion for a wall. Because it appears unlikely that any such bill will pass the Senate, we seem to be headed for a shutdown.

It is unclear how long any shutdown will last.  But during any shutdown, government personnel deemed “essential” will continue to work.  Other government officials will be barred from reporting to work.

Given past experience, we can expect the following if the government does shut down:

  • United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will likely continue normal operations because it is a fee-based agency.
  • Non-detained immigration court will likely be closed (though those with court dates should plan on attending until they receive confirmation that the hearing is cancelled).
  • Detained immigration court will continue normal operations.
  • E-Verify will be shut down.
  • Consular interviews for visa applications suspended with limited exceptions.

If you have questions about how the shutdown will affect your case, contact our office.

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