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Friday, February 3, 2023

Here’s How the Government Shutdown Affects U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The partial government shutdown that began at midnight on Dec. 22 affects about a quarter of federal government functions. About to wrap up its second week, the shutdown has left about 420,000 essential federal employees working without paychecks and more than 380,000 furloughed until Congress and the White House can come to a compromise on a continuing resolution to fund the government.

While the Department of Homeland Security is among the federal agencies feeling the impact of the shutdown, a number of agencies with law enforcement functions, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, remain operational.

“ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations, as well as ICE Homeland Security Investigations, will remain operational under a government shutdown because they have been deemed law enforcement necessary for the safety of life and protection of property,” ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen told ABC News.

But the shutdown is having an impact on the agency, said Acting ICE Director Ronald Vitiello

“We’re running out of resources, and the status quo is just not acceptable,” Vitiello told Fox News on Wednesday.

Of 20,052 ICE employees, 16,254 are exempt and must work without pay, according to a DHS directive released on Dec. 17. ICE detention and enforcement operations are open for business, as is the ICE ERO Detention Reporting and Information Line.

Since the shutdown, many DHS websites and social media accounts are not being regularly updated. ICE, which released a string of tweets on Dec. 21, was silent on social media until publishing four tweets on Dec. 26 and a tweet on Dec. 27.

More on the Government Shutdown: 


James Cullum
Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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