Immigration court shutdown, resulting from budget battle

The popular sentiment on the result of the government shutdown, is that due to the USCIS operating on a fee basis, most offices will not be closed and processing of most applications will continue; a good article from ImmigrationImpact is linked here.

However, practically speaking, the USCIS amounts to layers upon layers of federal employees and you have to imagine defunding the agency will have an effect.  One such effect felt immediately by our own clients is that you cannot call a CIS District Counsel office, as some of these employees are on furlough; so the response from the email boxes used by lawyers to communicate with District Counsel says they will respond to emergency issues only, and provides a contact email for one attorney still there.

The articles also note that EOIR courts (immigration courts) may slow, or stall, on pending cases and processing.  This would only be due to staff or judicial officer furlough.  The post on the official EOIR web site says it is processing only those cases for detained individuals; and so any case involving an individual at liberty, or on bond, will be suspended.  This amounts to a vast immigration court shutdown; as most cases before immigration courts involve individuals who are not detained.

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