What a Government Shutdown Would Mean for Immigration

A government shutdown appears likely.
A government shutdown appears likely.

With a Federal shutdown looming, immigrants are asking if the various offices handling immigration cases will be open. Here is the latest.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, the folks who handle citizenship, adjustment of status, and most of the good parts of immigration law, will be open.

Unfortunately, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, will also remain open. These are the folks who arrest and deport immigrants.

The immigration courts, which are part of the Executive Office of Immigration Review, will be a mixed bag. Here is the word from the courts:

If there is a government shutdown tomorrow, the NYC Immigration Court WILL BE CLOSED. During the shutdown, the only courts in this jurisdiction that will remain open are:

Varick St.
Elizabeth (for detained cases only)
Newark (for detained cases only)

Essentially, the courts that will stay open are dealing with detained alien cases.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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