The federal government shutdown started with the president’s demand for border safety cash. But it surely’s additionally shut down E-Confirm, a federal program that is supposed to stop immigrants from working illegally.
If U.S. employers need to examine whether or not their potential hires are eligible to work, they cannot. The E-Confirm database is “presently unavailable resulting from a lapse in authorities appropriations,” in accordance with a observe on the government-run website.
“There’s an irony there,” says Julie Tempo, an legal professional specializing in employment and immigration regulation at Cavanagh regulation agency in Phoenix. “We have now an digital wall for E-Confirm that ought to be getting used, that the federal government has not funded,” Tempo mentioned.
The E-Confirm outage is only one approach the federal government shutdown is taking a toll on the U.S. immigration system.
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Border Patrol brokers on the Southwest border are working, however they will not receives a commission till the shutdown ends. So are tens of 1000’s of different immigration brokers within the Division of Homeland Safety.
However the U.S. Customs and Border Safety coaching facility in West Virginia is closed through the shutdown, in accordance with Sen. Joe Manchin.
And far of the nation’s immigration court docket system is closed, including to a backlog of greater than 800,000 instances and counting.
“We have by no means been in a scenario that’s so dire with regard to the backlog of immigration instances nationwide,” immigration decide Dana Leigh Marks informed NPR’s All Issues Thought of. Marks is former president of the Nationwide Affiliation of Immigration Judges, and one many judges who’ve been furloughed through the shutdown.
“When we’ve got to close down, these instances are delayed, generally for years, earlier than we’ve got area on our dockets to have the ability to reschedule them,” mentioned Marks.
However immigration hardliners suppose it might be a mistake for the president to again down from his calls for for a border wall now.
“There is a larger level that each the president and the Democrats are attempting to make,” mentioned Mark Krikorian, govt director of the Heart for Immigration Research. Krikorian is an enormous supporter of the E-Confirm program, however he downplayed the affect of quickly closing the website.
“It unlucky,” Krikorian mentioned. “But it surely’s simply a part of the bigger downside of getting this sort of sport of rooster over coverage questions.”