Government Shut Down Goes Into It’s Third Week With No Resolve In Sight
It has now been 17 days since the government shut down on December 22, 2018 after President Trump declared he would veto any and all funding bills that did not include five billion dollars towards the building the border wall along the U.S./Mexican border. More than two weeks into the government shut down and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight.
Currently, roughly 25 percent of the federal government is closed. The shut down includes multiple government agencies; the Department of Homeland Security ( DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the State Department and the Treasury Department. Many immigration functions are being affected by the government shut down:
- Many Customs and Border Protection and Transportation Security Agency employees are going without pay but are continued to work as they are seen as “essential employees”
- The USCIS “E-Verify” program is federally funded and is thus affected by the shut down. This is a program used by many employers to determine if a new employee is eligible to work .
- immigration judges can neither grant relief from removal nor issue any orders of deportation. The Department of DOJ has shut down all non-detained immigration courts which will add to the already massive backlog.
The President has met with Congressional leaders several times to discuss potential trades for the border wall, like providing protection for Dreamers, but to no avail. The President has told Democratic leaders that he would continue to government shut down for “months and even years” if they did not agree to his demands.