U.S. Government Shutdown 2013 and its impact on immigration

Hello friends, 

You must be aware that the U.S. Government is in a state of shutdown. What is a government shutdown? How does it impact a person? How does the shutdown affect the immigration processing in the U.S.? These are some of the questions that come to the mind. According to the USA government website, here is a list of activities of the federal agencies that will be affected :

  • "Vital services that ensure seniors and young children have access to healthy food and meals may not have sufficient Federal funds to serve all beneficiaries in an extended lapse.
  • Call centers, hotlines and regional offices that help veterans understand their benefits will close to the public.
  • Veterans’ compensation, pension, education, and other benefits could be cut off in the case of an extended  shutdown.
  • Every one of America’s national parks and monuments, from Yosemite to the Smithsonian to the Statue of Liberty, will be immediately closed.
  • New applications for small business loans and loan guarantees will be immediately halted.
  • Research into life-threatening diseases and other areas will stop, and new patients won’t be accepted into clinical  trials at the National Institutes of Health.
  • Work to protect consumers, ranging from child product safety to financial security to the safety of hazardous waste facilities, will cease. The EPA will halt non-essential inspections of chemical facilities and drinking water systems.
  • Permits and reviews for planned energy and transportations projects will stop, preventing companies from working on these projects. Loans to rural communities will be halted.
  • Hundreds of thousands of Federal employees including many charged with protecting us from terrorist threats, defending our borders, inspecting our food, and keeping our skies safe will work without pay until the shutdown  ends.
  • Hundreds of thousands of additional federal workers will be immediately and indefinitely furloughed without pay."

Services that will not be affected by the shutdown are listed below:

  • "Social Security beneficiaries will continue receiving checks.
  • The U.S. Postal Service will keep delivering mail.
  • Active military will continue serving.
  • Air traffic controllers, prison guards, and border patrol agents will remain on the job.
  • NASA Mission Control will continue supporting astronauts serving on the Space Station."

How has the government shutdown affected the immigration processings. Perhaps one of the most widespread impact of the shutdown is the non availability of E-Verify. Used by more than 409,000 employers in the U.S. only time can tell what impact the non availability of the service will have on business, trade, and commerce.

According to the USCIS website bulletin published on October 1, 2013. e-verify will not be available. E-Verify is the internet based verification system used by employers to check the legal status of job applicants. E-Verify website is run by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Here is the relevant part of that bulletin.

"While E-Verify is unavailable, you will not be able to access your E-Verify account. As a result, you will be unable to:

  • Enroll any company in E-Verify
  • Verify employment eligibility
  • View or take action on any case
  • Add, delete or edit any User ID
  • Reset passwords
  • Edit your company information
  • Terminate an account
  • Run reports
  • View 'Essential Resources.' Please note that all essential resources may be found by visiting www.dhs.gov/e-verify.

In addition, E-Verify Customer Support and related services are closed. As a result:

  • Employees will be unable to resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs).
  • Telephone and e-mail support will be unavailable. You may send e-mails, however, we cannot respond until we reopen.
  • E-Verify webinars and training sessions are cancelled
  • E-Verify Self Check will not be available

 

Do you have a burning question related to your immigration status and the government shutdown? Feel free to post and share here.

Thank you,

Admin

IANAL

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