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Practice Note
 
News: What Happens During a Government Shutdown

Source: "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 11040730 (posted Oct. 1, 2013)"

CIS Ombudsman: The CIS Ombudsman's Office will be closed and will not be accepting any inquiries through their online case intake system.

DOL: The Administration is working very hard to avoid a government shutdown and believes there is sufficient time to avoid such an occurrence; however, prudent management requires the Department to plan for the possibility that it may need to suspend operations should Congress be unable to pass a funding bill by midnight on Monday, September 30, 2013.

OFLC functions are not "excepted" from a shutdown and its employees would be placed in furlough status should a lapse in appropriated funds occur. Consequently, in the event of a government shutdown, OFLC will neither accept nor process any applications or related materials (such as audit responses), it receives, including Labor Condition Applications, Applications for Prevailing Wage Determination, Applications for Temporary Employment Certification, or Applications for Permanent Employment Certification. OFLC's web site, including the iCERT Visa Portal System and the PERM system, would become static and unable to process any requests or allow authorized users to access their online accounts.

DOL's Office of Administrative Law Judges will be unable to perform any case-related activities, including conducting hearings. Hearings that have been previously scheduled will therefore be cancelled prior to the date of the hearing, and they will not be rescheduled for hearing until an appropriations bill or continuing resolution takes effect.

CBP: CBP hosted a conference call with travel and trade industry stakeholders on October 1, 2013, to discuss actions CBP is taking in response to the lapse in appropriations. Acting Commissioner Thomas Winkowski led the discussion. Highlights from the call include:

  1. All Ports of Entry are open. There is even no change in using overtime to handle flight arrivals and CBP continues to accept requests from airlines for new service. The Border Patrol and the Office of Air and Marine are also continuing with operations.
  2. The Admissibility Review Office (ARO) is open and continues to function.
  3. All global entry enrollment centers are open and interviews are continuing and all Trusted Traveler programs continue to function as usual.
  4. The CBP website will not be maintained during the lapse in appropriations.
  5. Approximately 6,000 CBP positions, primarily held by technicians and support staff, are impacted by the lapse in appropriations.

DHS: Due to the lapse in federal, DHSs website will not be actively managed.

DOS: The Department will continue as many normal operations as possible; operating status and available funding will need to be monitored continuously and closely, and planning for a lapse in appropriations must be continued. Review their Guidance on Operations for more information.

EOIR: EOIR has indicated that its response to a potential shutdown is the same as it was in 2011. EOIR has been advised to "put its shutdown plans in place." As with other agencies, personnel who are not considered "essential" will be furloughed. EOIR has indicated that the detained docket would likely be considered an essential function and would therefore be able to continue in operation.

Update from EOIR on October 1, 2013: Court functions that support the detained caseload will continue, but other functions are suspended. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is processing emergency stay requests as well as cases where the alien is detained, including case appeals, motions, federal court remands, and bonds. Please review their notice for more information.

ICE: From ICE Community Outreach - ICE detention and enforcement operations shall continue. ICE chief counsel trail attorneys will still work on the detained docket only during a shutdown. Please coordinate with your local Chief Counsel Office on more specifics. The ICE Community and Detainee Helpline will remain operational.

USCIS: All USCIS offices worldwide are open and individuals should report to interviews and appointments as scheduled. E-Verify is currently unavailable due to a government shutdown. Please see their notice for policies implemented due to E-Verifys unavailability.

DHS OIG: The majority of DHS OIG staff has been furloughed due to the lapse in appropriations.

SSA: SSA chart indicating which activities will continue or cease during the lapse in Federal appropriations and shutdown of agency operations.

Summary of Government Services:

 


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