With the government shutdown, the Obama administration has made sure some high profile government institutions are shuttered, including national parks, NASA, educational programs like Head Start, and some medical services at the National Institutes of Health.
However, President Obama has found the money to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to continue detaining and deporting foreign nationals, while at the same time, ending services that could help them stay in the country.
A report by Esther Yu-Hsi Lee at ThinkProgress breaks down the immigration services affected by the shutdown. It appears those geared to help immigrants are among those affected, while enforcement and deportation remains fully funded as a government “essential service.”
The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) will have to furlough over 70% of its staff, including those who work in immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals. This will slow down the hearing process for immigration cases even further; courts are already a year and half behind on hearing cases.
E-Verify (the online government service that verifies one’s legal status to work in the U.S.) will also close down during the shutdown, which means some employers could hesitate to hire anyone they think might be undocumented. This could keep millions of legal immigrants from getting a job to earn a living.
ICE operations, however, will remain fully funded, allowing agents to detain and deport foreign nationals, even while services that could help them stay in the country are suspended. The continued ICE operations will ensure the Obama administration continues to set records for deportations, at the rate of over 1,100 a day.
Victor Medina writes for Yahoo News and his political blog WhenLiberalsAttack.com. His other writing credits include The Dallas Morning News and SportsIllustrated.com. He has served as a Dallas County election judge and on the Board of Directors of The Sixth Floor Museum. You can follow him on his blog, VictorMedina.com or on Twitter at @mrvictormedina. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. Click here to receive a weekly email update from WhenLiberalsAttack.com. To be notified of future stories by Victor Medina, click the SUBSCRIBE link here or at the top of this page.