How Will The Government Shutdown Affect Immigrants Dealing With USCIS & ICE in Missouri?

The Senate and the House have failed to agree on a budget.  The government is in the process of sending 800,000 workers home without pay. Our office has already been contacted by several former and current clients regarding the government shutdown and how it might affect their pending immigration applications or deportation court case in Kansas City.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

The Washington Post reports that USCIS will continue operations as usual; however, the E-verify system will be shuttered during the furlough. USCIS purportedly makes enough revenue on filing fees to keep operations going.  Roughly 98% of USCIS employees will be kept in place. Thus, it appears at this time that USCIS applications will be processed as usual and no delays are expected.

Kansas City Immigration Court

Our nation’s deportation courts are already stretched to the limit due to severe underbudgeting.  The people working at the Kansas City immigration court do an amazing job with limited resources.

With regards to the shutdown, non-detained cases will be postponed until the shutdown is over.  They will be rescheduled at that time.  Here’s the official word that we received from the Court yesterday on the status of all cases at the Kansas City EOIR:

If there is a federal government shutdown – here’s the plan for the U.S. Immigration Court in Kansas City:

ONLY DETAINED cases will be heard.  All non-detained cases that were schedule to be heard, but were not resulting from the shutdown,  will be rescheduled once the shutdown is over.

Attorney’s and/ or their clients do not need to appear or provide written notice, of any kind, to the court, during this shutdown period in non-detained cases.   

The Court will be open to receive filings during normal business hours 8 am ~ 4:30 pm during the shutdown (or until further notice).  We also will be accepting mail and overnight deliveries.

Detained master calendar(s) on Tuesday & Thursday will proceed, as scheduled, with IJ O’Malley presiding. 

Anyone needing additional assurance or clarification, of this announcement, can contact us at the Court at 816-581-5006.  We would appreciate it if those calls are made ONLY if we have not addressed a unique concern in this posting.  We are short-handed and trying to keep our operation current.  PLEASE advise counsel NOT to call (if we’re running behind from the scheduled time on the detained hearing notice), to ask, if we have them on the schedule?  Unless we are more than two hours late, from the time on the notice, please don’t call us to ask such. Your case will be heard a.s.a.p.

We are particularly focused that this information is disseminated to those coming long distances in hopes that unnecessary travel & expense does not occur.

We appreciate your membership’s compliance with this advisory and related requests.

Immigration & Customs Enforcement

Due to the public safety related issues concerning ICE operations, ICE is considered an essential government function and their operations will not be affected by the shutdown.