In the Event of a Homeland Security Shutdown

February 25, 2015

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program, which certifies universities to host foreign students and scholars and maintains a database that tracks international students’ whereabouts in the United States, will continue to operate in the case of a possible Department of Homeland Security shutdown, though its activities may be hobbled due to reduced manpower in administrative offices. For example, if SEVP were to revoke a university’s certification to host international students, it would need the legal office to sign off on it first. And it relies on the human resources office to process job applications.

“The Student and Exchange Visitor Program is funded by user fees,” a spokeswoman, Carissa Cutrell, said in a statement. “In the event of a government shutdown, or partial government shutdown, SEVP continues to operate, overseeing approximately 1 million international students and 9,000 schools certified to enroll international students, as well as the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.”

Funding for the Department of Homeland Security is set to expire on Friday, and a new spending bill has so far been stymied in Congress by a dispute over President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The Department of Homeland Security has said that a shutdown would result in the furloughing of 30,000 workers. However, 75 to 80 percent of the department's employees, including border patrol agents and customs inspectors, are considered essential and will be asked to come to work without a paycheck.

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