Deal Near to Reopen Government
After a three-day standoff, Senate Democrats and Republicans cleared a major hurdle today to reopen the government, likely by tomorrow. Although the Senate reached an agreement, they still have to officially pass the bill, then the House has to pass it, and finally President Trump has to sign it. All these steps are expected to happen in time for federal workers to resume work Tuesday. Today’s deal is only a temporary fix for three weeks, until February 8th.
As of today, January 22, 2018, all non-essential personnel are furloughed. The impact to immigration related agencies include:
- USCIS: USCIS functions are funded by USCIS filing fees so there is no impact. Only the E-Verify program is down.
- Department of State: Visa operations are fee-funded also and as such, visa applications should not be impacted.
- Customs and Border Protection: Ports of entry will remain open.
- Department of Labor: Processing of PERMs and LCAs (Labor Condition Applications for H-1Bs) have stopped. PERMs on appeal with BALCA are also on hold.
Since today’s deal is only a band-aid fix, ILG will continue to expedite PERMs and LCAs before February 8th to mitigate negative impact of another possible federal government shutdown.