Although the federal government is "shut down," the majority of U.S. Department of Homeland Security employees are still working. The department furloughed 13 percent of its staff today, according to its contingency plan.
Overall, Homeland Security has 16 departments, offices, and agencies under its umbrella. Those 16 include 230,937 employees. And they furloughed 30,846 of them until Congress can pass a budget.
The department wrote in its contingency plan: "Certain functions and activities that will be permitted to continue are 'exempt' from work restrictions specified in the Anti-Deficiency Act (ADA). The ADA codifies the Constitutional requirement that 'No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by Law.' Federal officials are prohibited from entering into contracts, incurring obligations, or performing activities without having a current appropriation. The Act further restricts acceptance of voluntary services or personal services beyond authorized levels 'except for emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property.' As a result, only activities that qualify as exempt may continue to operate during a lapse in appropriations."
The three largest agencies under Homeland Security are Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security Agency. Those three have 168,541 of Homeland Security's employees, or 73 percent. They're letting 16,921 employees go.
One of the largest cuts appears to have been to the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office. While the office only has 109 employees to begin with, they're trimming it down to 6. The Secret Service saw smaller cuts. It has 6,537 employees and is furloughing 534 of them.
More than likely, the biggest change to the department that citizens will see are its websites. None of them will be updated while the federal government is shut down. Also, the E-Verify system that is run by Citizenship and Immigration Services is inactive.
Examiner asked the department if they plan on making any more cuts, but has not heard back yet. Presumably, they are short-staffed at the moment.