The United States government is still in the midst of a record-breaking partial shutdown, which entered its historic 26th day today. With no clear indicators of negotiations between the White House and Congress, about one-quarter of government agencies remain unfunded. This has caused furloughs and missed paychecks for many government employees who work within the affected agencies.
Immigration-related services which are affected by the shutdown include the Department of Homeland Security (including CBP, ICE, USCIS, and CIS Ombudmsan), the Department of Justice, and the Department of State. Here are our most recent updates on how the government shutdown is complicating normal immigration processes:
Department of State: The Frankfurt, Germany DOS Post has halted E-visa company registration appointments. It is not clear if other posts which use a registration process are affected as well.
Department of Justice: The court administrator for Dallas’ Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) is currently advancing cases on the detained docket that were previously scheduled more than 60 days out to an earlier hearing date with an Immigration Judge in order to fill new openings. EOIR is now permitted to assign any immigration judge who previously only heard non-detained cases to hear detained cases during the shutdown. DOJ has also currently postposed civil litigation in all matters except those “related to the discharge of the President’s constitutional duties” and “where there is a reasonable likelihood that the safety of human life or the protection of property would be compromised”.
Department of Labor: Department of Labor is not affected by the current shutdown.
Social Security Agency: The social security agency currently is maintaining key functions during the government shutdown, including the issuance of new social security cards and replacing lost social security cards.
E-Verify: According to www.e-verify.gov, all e-verify services are unavailable and the website will not be actively managed due to the lapse in federal funding.
Customs & Border Patrol: The CBP website is also not being actively managed due to a lapse in federal funding. More information can be found on their website.
According to USCIS, the funding for the EB-5 “Immigration Investor Regional Center Program” has expired as well. You can find updated guidance for this program here.
Check back periodically for more updates on the effects of the partial government shutdown on immigration services.