What the Government Shutdown Means for Immigration Services

If three men cannot reach an agreement over my uterus wall linings by tonight, the United States government will shut down.

Unfortunately, this does not just mean Congress and the President. They are in perpetual shutdown mode. But there are basic federal government programs  designated as “non-essential” functions that would cease to operate.

  • The Department of Homeland Security will still be mostly operational including ICE and Border Patrol. They are essential for some reason beyond the realm of my intellectual prowess. Please welcome the shadow government of 2011. Also note that DHS will now use Twitter and Facebook to issue terror alerts. That part is not a joke.
  • USCIS should also be in the clear since they mostly generate revenue when they process applications. Again, this is when they actually process applications.
  • The National Visa Center should not face any cutbacks because they are hired contractually. Of course, they will still release a visa bulletin next month with further date retrogression. Alright, this one is not funny, I feel the pain as well.
  • Department of Labor and immigration courts that are under the DOJ will face severe setbacks. I wasn’t sure whether this was possible given the current case backlogs, but it would also increase the time for labor certifications and conditions applications. Delays in labor conditions would also delay H-1 B filings, which is a disaster.
  • The federal E-verify program will shutdown. It’s probably a great time to get a job.
  • FOIA (Freedom of Information Act Requests) will not be operational or slow down requests. It’s unimaginable how much slower they can get so lets just assume they will be closed for business.
  • None of the 1-800 government help-line numbers would be operational so there would be difficulty in gaining immigration case information. But you still need to press 1 for English.
  • People trying to get passport and visa renewals will face delays since federal buildings will be closed. Alternatively, this can also mean that removals may be slowed down for those who need a passport to get back to their countries and tourism would be severely impacted. Who on earth wants to come here?
  • Mom just texted me saying “Oh no! It all boils down to THE HOLE!!!!” Yes, well, that is mostly true. It’s all about “the hole” and definitely things in the near vicinity of “the hole.”

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