Here we go again! The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could potentially run out of money and shut down come Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. The issue arose from immigration amendments that the House attached to the proposed DHS funding bill last month. The amendments that were added to the bill would block any federal funds from being used toward President Obama’s executive orders to protect about 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allow them to work. Further, the amendments would cease the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gives temporary legal status and work permits to undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children. As of Feb. 25, 2015, the Senate Democrats have signed on with the Republican plan to get rid of the House provisions added to the bill. However, whether the bill will pass or not still looms. President Obama and DHS secretary Jeh Johnson have been calling on Congress to fully fund the department, saying temporary measures or a shutdown would jeopardize national security operations.
If the bill is not passed by Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, then approximately 30,000 of the DHS’s 240,000 employees will be furloughed. The remaining approximately 210,000 employees will still be employed, as their jobs are deemed “essential to the nation’s safety.” From an immigration perspective, the question becomes: how does a DHS shutdown directly affect the general public?