The impending U.S. Federal government shutdown 2013 is a serious concern for clients. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) reached out to government agencies to try and learn how a government shutdown will affect immigration cases.
Government agencies have not responded to inquires. There was a plan that the Federal government developed in 2011 when we had the same threat of shutdown. According to this 2011 plan, those agencies who are funded through user fees should remain open. Thankfully, many immigration agencies are funded by consumer fees, including the USCIS and the U.S. consulates abroad. The USCIS handles stateside green card processing as well as immigrant petitions for processing through consulates abroad. So far, our clients are looking good.
Other agencies such as the Department of Labor (employment immigration) and perhaps the immigration courts (deportations, etc.) might close, unless there is a mandate to keep them open for public safety or national security concerns.
The Washington Post has compiled a summary of government agencies and the impact of a shutdown.
You are welcome to contact me if you like to discuss further.