The federal government will enter a government shutdown if Congress cannot agree on an appropriations bill or short-term spending measure by the end of the day on Friday, Nov. 17.
While many immigration services are funded by filing fees and may not be directly affected, some would come to a halt, including immigration functions at the Department of Labor. Lawmakers averted a shutdown on Sept. 30, passing a continuing resolution to continue funding the government for 45 days. They must now pass another bill to keep government open.
E-Verify and other programs. A number of programs would be unavailable until they are reauthorized by Congress, including E-Verify. In the event of a shutdown, employers would be unable to enroll in E-Verify, access or create E-Verify cases or resolve tentative non-confirmations. Employers would not be penalized for shutdown-related delays in E-Verify but would still be required to follow Form I-9 obligations and complete E-Verify cases when the system becomes available. Other programs that would be unavailable until they are reauthorized include the Conrad 30 waiver for J-1 physicians and the Special Immigrant Religious Workers program.
BAL Analysis: A government shutdown would have a significant effect on a number of immigration services, particularly those at the Department of Labor. While it remains possible that Congress could pass an appropriations bill or stopgap spending measure before Nov. 17, employers may wish to work with BAL to submit time-sensitive DOL filings before that date. BAL will continue following events in Washington, D.C., and will provide updates as information becomes available.
This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group.
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