The recent government shutdown has affected some, BUT NOT ALL, immigration services. Here's a summary of current status:
- Courts handling hearings for detained respondents are OPEN. Courts handling hearings for non-detained respondents are CLOSED.
- Non-detained hearings that have been cancelled will have to be rescheduled when the government opens. Individuals whose hearings have been cancelled should expect a long waiting period, but can try to file Motions to Advance.
- Courts handling detained cases do not have all their employees, and some judges may be working without their clerks.
- Detained courts are still taking filings.
- "Asylum clocks," which affects eligibility for work authorization, may re-start for those asylum seekers whose cases were scheduled for hearings with the immigration court and whose clocks were previously stopped.
- The Legal Orientation Program operated by the Department of Justice has been suspended. This program provides basic legal information to detained individuals in removal proceedings.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
- USCIS operates on applicant fees, so all services are open except E-Verify, which means that employers cannot electronically verify an employee's eligibility to work during the government shutdown.
- The Asylum Office is continuing to operate despite the fact that asylum seekers do not pay a fee to apply for asylum. However, trainings/hirings may have stopped, which may exacerbate to the continued interview delays around the country.
Customs and Border Protection
- Border security is considered an "essential" function, so CBP is operating as usual.
- Immigration enforcement is also considered "essential," so Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Enforcement and Removal Operations will continue to operate.
- The Department of State will delay certain services, such as visa processing and passport issuance.
- Travel for refugees approved to resettle in the United States has been temporarily suspended, but exceptions can be made.