In a blow to House Republican leaders, the chamber on Friday defeated a three-week funding measure for the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) in a 203-224 vote. Though the Senate passed a full funding bill earlier Friday, with a lack of a funding resolution in the House, the operating budget will run out for DHS at midnight on February 27th.
Approximately 15% of the DHS workforce considered “non-essential” or not employed in a fee-funded position will be furloughed. As discussed in our previous alert, as a fee-funded agency, we expect a minor impact on immigration related services provided by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”).
Practically, this shutdown will not, in fact, shut down USCIS. During the complete government shutdown of 2013, we observed processing delays from USCIS, and expect the same until a budget is passed.
However, E-Verify will be shut down. At the time of the 2013 shut down, DHS announced, citizens and U.S. businesses will not be able to access E-Verify, the Internet based system that allows employers to voluntarily determine the eligibility of prospective employees to work in the United States.