In a hurry, the Senate approved a bipartisan bill 88-9 to prevent a government shutdown just hours before the deadline on September 30. The bill offers a lifeline to fund the U.S. federal government for an additional 45 days to November 17, 2023.
SAN JOSE, CA, October 13, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — This significant development comes amid weeks of political discord within the House, where Republicans and Democrats wrestled over budgetary priorities. In the House, Democrats have actively attempted to slow down the passage of the GOP-led continuing resolution throughout the day on Saturday.
A government shutdown is anticipated to have far-reaching consequences across the country, affecting areas such as air travel, access to clean drinking water, and immigration services. Many government operations would come to a halt, although services deemed essential for public safety would continue.
“This 45-day stopgap measure provides a crucial lifeline to keep the government operational,” affirmed Lina Baroudi, an immigration attorney and owner of Law Office of Lina Baroudi in San Jose, CA. “While it’s a temporary reprieve, it underscores the ongoing uncertainty faced by immigration services and those navigating the immigration system.”
In this high-stakes legislative battle, the fate of government funding and immigration services hangs in the balance as Congress grapples with critical decisions in the face of looming deadlines.
Should a government shutdown occur in the future, it would have far-reaching implications for immigration services and processes in the United States. The uncertainty surrounding government funding has raised concerns about the potential disruption to various immigration-related agencies and programs.
How Would a Government Shutdown Impact Immigration?
While the recent bipartisan bill has averted an immediate shutdown, the temporary relief of 45 days leaves immigration services in a state of ongoing uncertainty.
As we look ahead to the possibility of a government shutdown, it’s essential to consider its potential impact on immigration:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), primarily funded through fees, would likely continue to operate during a government shutdown. This means that essential immigration services such as visa processing, naturalization, and green card applications would generally proceed without significant disruption. However, USCIS may face challenges in certain areas that rely on other government agencies for coordination.
Labor Department Certification
For individuals waiting for decisions on their work permit applications, a government shutdown could have indirect effects. The Labor Department’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification, responsible for certifying certain job positions, would likely cease operations. This could impact visa applications that require Labor Department certification, causing delays in processing.
At U.S. borders with Mexico or Canada, ports of entry monitored by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are expected to remain open, with passenger processing continuing. However, some visa applications filed at these border checkpoints may experience delays, particularly those that require in-person processing by CBP.
Visa Processing Abroad
While visa and passport operations at U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide are typically fee-funded and less affected by government shutdowns, the processing of nonessential visas, such as recreational ones, may slow down or be suspended. This could result in visa interview backlogs.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers would continue to remove undocumented immigrants during a government shutdown, primarily focusing on individuals held in immigration detention with removal orders. However, reduced immigration court operations could lead to fewer removal orders being issued.
Immigration courts, which adjudicate immigration claims, would primarily handle cases of individuals in immigration detention during a government shutdown. Cases for individuals not in detention are likely to be postponed, potentially causing significant delays. Immigration courts already face substantial backlogs, and prolonged shutdowns would exacerbate these challenges.
While the recent 45-day extension of government funding provides temporary relief, the uncertainty surrounding immigration services and processes remains. Any future government shutdown could disrupt various aspects of the immigration system, affecting applicants, visa holders, and individuals in immigration proceedings.
“Our commitment to serving migrants and ensuring their fair treatment within the immigration system remains unwavering,” Baroudi emphasized. “We stand ready to advocate for the rights and well-being of those seeking a better life in the United States, regardless of the challenges we face.”
The immigration landscape continues to be closely monitored by legal professionals and immigration advocates like Lina Baroudi and those directly impacted by these potential disruptions.
The Law Office of Lina Baroudi, located at 2670 S. White Rd., Ste. 260, San José, CA 95148, is dedicated exclusively to immigration law. Ms. Baroudi’s personal and professional commitment to immigrant rights stems from her own immigration journey as a young child from Syria to the United States.
Her approach to each case is marked by compassion, empathy, and an unwavering commitment to success. With over a decade of experience as an immigration attorney and more than two decades in the immigration law field, Lina Baroudi is a trusted advocate. She has been recognized in the California 2015-2020 Rising Stars List by Super Lawyers, an honor awarded to no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state.
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