December 1, 2021

Volume XI, Number 335

Advertisement
Advertisement

November 30, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

November 29, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

What Happens to the Immigration Agencies When the Government Shuts Down?

The country dodged a government shutdown at the end of September, but we may be faced with the same problem on December 3, 2021, when Congress will again have to fund the government. Because we often come close to a shutdown (and sometimes shutdowns happen), it is important to remember how a shutdown affects the immigration agencies.

USCIS

Because USCIS is fee-funded, it generally continues working even during a government shutdown. However, there are a few programs that stop because they receive appropriated funds:

E-Verify

Because E-Verify receives appropriated funds, it stops during a shutdown.

It may not be possible to:

  • Enroll in E-Verify;

  • Create an E-Verify case;

  • View or take action on any case;

  • Add, delete, or edit any user account;

  • Reset passwords;

  • Edit company information;

  • Terminate accounts;

  • Run reports; or

  • Resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs).

In the past, during shutdowns, E-Verify has suspended the “three-day rule” and extended the time period for resolving TNCs. Employers are advised not to take any adverse action against an employee while an E-Verify case remains in limbo.

Department of Labor (DOL)

DOL would shut down. The FLAG and PERM systems are inaccessible and BALCA goes into a holding pattern. If this were to happen, we would expect DOL to suspend some deadlines. Remember that USCIS cases that require Labor Condition Applications or Labor Certifications such as H-1Bs, E-3s, or H-2Bs will be affected.

Department of State

Like USCIS, visa and passport operations are fee-funded and would continue despite a government shutdown. But certain consular operations can be affected if the post has not collected enough in terms of fees. Given the slowdowns at consulates due to COVID-19, a government shutdown could just add to the problems. Indeed, some consulates with inadequate funding might close except for “life or death” emergencies.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Because CBP staff are “essential workers,” ports of entry continue to operate during a shutdown, but application processing can be affected.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

ICE continues its enforcement and removal operations. The ICE Student and Exchange Visitor is fee-funded so continues to operate.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 274
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Amy L. Peck, Immigration Attorney, Jackson Lewis, Worksite Compliance Lawyer
Principal

Amy L. Peck is a Principal in the Omaha, Nebraska, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She dedicates her practice exclusively to immigration law and worksite compliance, and she is Co-Leader of the firm's Immigration practice group.

Ms. Peck is one of 21 Directors elected to serve on the 14,000-member American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Board of Governors. She currently is serving on the Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Council.

Ms. Peck is a member of the AILA National...

(402) 391-1991
Michael H. Neifach Jackson Lewis Employment visa Lawyer border security matters attorney
Principal

Michael Neifach is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is a recognized leader on immigration, visa and border security matters, and he is Co-Leader of the firm's Immigration practice group.

Mr. Neifach has held senior positions at the White House Homeland Security Council, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He served as General Counsel at ICE from July 2007 through January 2009. Following his government service, Mr. Neifach oversaw...

(703) 483-8300
Otieno B. Ombok, Jackson Lewis, I9 Compliance Lawyer, immigrant visa petitions Attorney
Principal

Otieno B. Ombok is a Principal in the White Plains, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Mr. Ombok specializes in all aspects of employment-based non-immigration and immigrant visa petitions. He also advises on I-9 compliance issues as well as outbound immigration matters. He has a natural facility in addressing client issues such advises both U.S. and foreign employers with regard to immigration matters. He has a natural facility in addressing client issues pertaining to healthcare visas for medical professionals,...

914-328-0404
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement