As the country waits for Congress to resolve the government funding and debt ceiling stalemate, immigration reform simmers in the background.
In the midst of the government shutdown, House Democrats have just released their own comprehensive immigration reform bill. Their likely aim is to keep immigration reform, which had been front and center since the 2012 elections, a hot topic as other issues occupy the national debate and relations between party leaders continue to deteriorate.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced on October 1, 2013 that the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) will neither accept nor process any applications or related materials (such as audit responses) it receives, including Labor Condition Applications, Applications for Prevailing Wage Determination, Applications for Temporary Employment Certification, or Applications for Permanent Employment Certification, during the suspension of federal government services.
The current government shutdown will affect several areas of immigration compliance for employers and individuals. While attempting to be comprehensive, the following post is by no means exhaustive of the shutdown’s impact.
The federal government shutdown, which began at 12 AM on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, and is ongoing at the time of this writing, is having an immediate impact on the services provided by federal immigration agencies. A summary of the shutdown’s effect on various immigration-related services is below.
Effective October 1, 2013, U.S. federal government operations are experiencing a lapse in appropriations due to the inability of Congress to pass a funding bill.
With the failure of the US Congress passing a continuing resolution to fund the federal government before the beginning of the fiscal year (October 1, 2013), a shutdown of the federal government has commenced. What does this mean for processing immigration benefits and consular services?
The Government shut-down resulting from Congress’ inability to pass an appropriation measure or continuing resolution will have varied impacts on employers and individuals who require visa applications, and immigration processing at the several agencies with responsibility for the administration of the immigration laws.
The failure of Congress to agree on a new budget for the Fiscal Year (beginning October 1) is resulting in a furlough of more than 800,000 federal workers and government agencies temporarily closing or cutting back the operations of numerous federal facilities and the suspension of many services. This is the first government shutdown in 17 years.