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USCIS is OPEN in Government Shutdown
Will USCIS be affected by shutdown? Answer is No.
USCIS has most of its services funded by the fees, that they charge from applicants.
Hence, government shutdown does not affect them.
USCIS premium processing including RFE cases are also processed.
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Thousands of migrants in legal limbo as shutdown forces multi-year court delays
January 11, 2019
Thousands of immigration hearings have been canceled due to the partial government shutdown, according to a survey, leaving immigrants in legal limbo as they await rescheduled dates that could be as late as 2022. Their cases will be added to a record-high backlog of over 800,000 immigration cases that existed before the shutdown started.
Shutdown nearly shuts U.S. immigration courts, but deportations continue
"You’re shutting down the immigration court over the issue of immigration," said Judge Ashley Tabaddor, president of the immigration judges union.
Jan. 5, 2019, 4:07 AM PST
By Lisa Riordan Seville and Hannah Rappleye
Two weeks into the partial government shutdown, the battle over the $5 billion border wall has ground key parts of the federal immigration system to a halt.
"You’re shutting down the immigration court over the issue of immigration," said Judge Ashley Tabaddor, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, the judges union.
But deportations are moving forward, aided by more than 16,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, who are working without immediate pay.
Flight records reviewed by NBC News show that since the shutdown began two weeks ago, ICE has continued regular charter flights to remove immigrants to Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Cuba. Dozens of flights have also shuttled detainees between U.S. cities.
But immigration attorneys and judges said that during the shutdown there hasn’t been "clear communication" about how cases are moving forward. The ICE press staff have been furloughed and aren’t responding to requests for information.
On Dec. 26, five days after the official shutdown, the nation’s nearly 400 immigration judges received notice they too had been furloughed. A few judges then began to be called in individually to hear cases of detained immigrants — the only cases moving forward, Tabaddor said. All other cases would be postponed. Some may be rescheduled years in the future.
"It’s going to be a huge disturbance to the orderly processing of the cases," said Tabaddor.