The United States government was partially shut down after Congress and President Trump failed to reach an agreement on federal spending Dec. 22.
The partial government shutdown is officially the longest in United States history. Now in its fourth week, the shutdown has impacted about 800,000 federal employees, furloughing 380,000 federal workers and 420,000 working without pay. The partial government shutdown is now the longest in United States history. Federal agencies and institutions such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the departments of law enforcement, justice, homeland security, treasury, commerce and parts of the State department have been affected by the shutdown. Roughly 25 percent of the US federal government has no funding, according to a BBC article titled “Trump ready for US shutdown to last ‘for years’.”
President Trump and his Republican allies have advocated for strengthening border security by building a wall along the country’s southern border, which Democrats adamantly oppose.
The Department of Homeland Security controls US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration; the Department of Justice houses the country’s immigration courts. As a result, around 800,000 people are currently facing delays in the status of their immigration cases. The shutdown has led to the closure of multiple immigration courts, adding to already historic backlogs. The immigration courts are handling cases for detained migrants, however, the majority of people facing possible deportation are not detained and currently lack access to the immigration court system.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York stated, “In fact, [President Trump] said he’d keep the government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years,” according to a New York Times article by Michael Tackett and Sheryl Gay Stolberg titled “Government Shutdown: Trump Suggests It Could Last ‘Months or Even Years’.”
The president confirmed Schumer’s statement Jan. 4, but added that keeping the government closed for a prolonged period of time is unlikely.
“I did. I did. Absolutely I said that. I don’t think it will, but I am prepared,” Trump said, according to the same article.
As of press time, the United States government is still partially shut down.