How immigration is affected by the government shutdown

FLAGAs the US government goes into its first shutdown in more than ten years, confusion continues to reign over which programs have been put on hold and which government departments will continue to work.  In regards to immigration, the E-Verify program will not be operated by the Department of Homeland Security.

The E-Verify program enables businesses to check up on the legal status of potential employees, so for immigrants in the United States this means that businesses will no longer be able to use this service.  The great majority of passport agencies in the State Department are to remain open in order to both review and process passport and US visas requests, but if a building that houses one such agency does not get support in the shutdown, those applications will not continue to be processed, resulting in an even longer waiting period.

Border Patrol will stay on the job, although the amount of workers will go down.  The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service is to stay open in order to process requests for green cards as it is funded via user fees – money collected at a port of entry in the US.

Green card applications will, however, take longer to process – the same as visas – and immigration courts will also take longer to review cases, since 70% of the workforce of the Executive Office for Immigration Review will be cut during the government shutdown.