uscitizenpod: USCIS and the Government Shutdown
In this episode, we talk about USCIS, the Government shutdown, and how to contact your federal government representatives.
The Government Shutdown does not affect Citizenship services.
The USCIS will continue to process USCIS Form N-400 Applications for Naturalization and interview applicants for U.S. Citizenship.
However, several USCIS programs will either expire or suspend operations, or be otherwise affected, until they receive appropriated funds or are reauthorized by Congress. These include:
1. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program. The EB-5 visa allows eligible Immigrant Investors to become lawful permanent residents by investing at least $1,000,000 to finance a business in the United States that will employ at least 10 American workers
2. E-Verify. This free internet-based system allows businesses to check the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.
3. Conrad 30 J-1 doctors. This program allows J-1 doctors to apply for a waiver of the two-year residence requirement after completing the J-1 exchange visitor program.
4. Non-Minister Religious Workers. This special immigrant category allows non-minister religious workers to immigrate or adjust status in the United States.
Source: Lapse in Federal Funding for Certain USCIS Operations
DACA is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This is an American immigration policy that allows some individuals who entered the country as minors, to live, work, and go to school in the United States with out fear of deportation.
Last September, the Trump administration tried to end the DACA program. In January 2018, a federal judge said that USCIS must continue to renew DACA applications.
Further note: Last week, Trump rejected a bipartisan Senate immigration proposal, which included shielding DACA recipients from deportation.
Source: USCIS: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Response to January 2018 Preliminary Injunction
Further note: The government shutdown occurred in part because the Democrats are demanding a congressional vote on an immigration reform package which includes path towards citizenship for DACA recipients. In response, the Republicans are demanding more money for national security which includes a wall along the US-Mexico border.
The Democrats and Republicans are still meeting about the budget which will include funding for CHIP--The Children's Health Insurance Program and disaster relief for areas such as Puerto Rico. Please watch the news for updates.
If you have an opinion about the budget, immigration, DACA, CHIP, disaster relief, or any other topic, you can contact your representative by phone or email via Senate.gov or House.gov.
Frequently, the website will ask about your Zip + 4, which is your zip code plus your route number, which you can find by following the link to USPS.com and entering your street address
You can also write or call the President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Leave a simple message such as: "I support DACA" or "I support CHIP."
Or you can exercise your right to peaceable assembly by marching with thousands of women across America this weekend and in the months to come.
A special thanks goes out to USCIS SF Community Relations Officer Lucee Rosemarie Fan. Every single day, Officer Fan and her fellow USCIS officers, help new US citizens achieve their American Dream. Officer Fan--good luck on your retirement!
Watch Officer Fan in action: Cantonese Public Engagement Event 2015
Watch more USCIS Officers in action: USCIS Civics Questions Playlist
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