Government Shutdown Affects Immigration in Illinois

Photo by Tiffany Williams and Jennifer Doak

Photo by Tiffany Williams and Jennifer Doak

The government shutdown lasted for 16 days and as a result, it impacted many immigrants in Illinois and nationwide.

The shutdown disrupted the process of immigrants obtaining their citizenship. Because immigrants that seek citizenship have to go through a confusing process, which includes meeting a number of requirements, many of them feared deportation.

According to the USCIS , immigrants that seek citizenship in the United States must seek it through naturalization –  a process where “a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).”

Typically, more than 1,100 undocumented immigrants are deported daily, according ICE  (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

This is unacceptable. It’s selfish and it’s a testament of how the government can completely disregard a certain group without taking into consideration of their struggles.

People’s livelihoods are at stake and it’s frustrating for the one’s who have spent months and years trying to secure citizenship or asylum status.

This problem makes me question the politics of immigration issues in general.  Despite the abruptness of the government shutdown, immigration is still a complex issue that needs to be reformed and revisited.  After all, we all are immigrants in some way, shape or form and we shouldn’t make people suffer just because the process has been simplified for some of us.

Instead of deporting immigrants, we should consider deporting congress. How would they feel if they were in danger of being separated from their families, friends and communities that they’ve been accustomed to?

They definitely wouldn’t like it!


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