Although officially the U.S. government shutdown has ended, many are wondering what kind of ripple effects will be associated with it. Although the U.S. full faith and credit was not destroyed, there are still some latent effects which were caused by the hiatus. These latent effects are predominantly seen in financial markets however, there are considerable effects that the immigration world has also experienced. During the temporary shutdown, many immigration facilities were functioning to a lesser extent primarily because the industry is heavily funded by filing fees. The U.S. State Department continued to issue passports, visas and other critical services to overseas citizens as well. In addition, ICE continued to execute security-related measures despites the furloughs its “non-essential” personal experienced.

In other cases, the E-verify system (which many would consider crucial) was disabled during the government shutdown along with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). During this time, the department did not accept or process prevailing wage determinations – a necessity or all employer-sponsored green cards.

The effects of a closed government was not only seen in the applications for employer-sponsored green cards, but also government contractors. Government contractors were put in between a rock and a hard place when facing the decision to fire or furlough their staff. This cost this valuable industry which employs hundreds of thousands crucial time and money and in many cases came during a time of active projects.

We can still see the government shutdown´s effects in the time it takes for the immigration system to get up to speed – an inevitable obstacle for all. This ramp up time could cause valuable employees to seek a more beneficial situation time-wise, leaving employers without the talent they thought they were acquiring. The United States is not the only country attractive to talented immigrant workers, and the U.S. shutdown could very well have driven some of that talent away.

Immigration Reform

Finally we turn to immigration reform, an unresolved issue to this day and a constant area of uncertainty for businesses. Many businesses would be able to hire with less restriction, but due to the shutdown this process has been delayed even further. The displeasure of companies that are effected by immigration reform can be seen in examples of IT companies taking their operations internationally instead of domestically.

What is unfortunate is that this delay ad inability of the U.S. government to properly address immigration reform is actually deterring talented individuals from coming and applying to the U.S. We are starting to see significant operations beginning in previously unnoticed countries such as México. We need to continue to attract the world{s best and brightest to our doorstep ad the only way is with comprehensive immigration reform.

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Beeraj Patel, Esq.

Partner at KPPB Law
Beeraj Patel's philosophy is simple - make it easy for talented and ambitious individuals to have access to immigration materials so that they can make the choice which is right for them.
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