Congress passes budget, president declares national emergency

15 Feb 19

UNITED STATES

Congress passed a budget late Thursday to avoid another government shutdown and that will continue to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2019. The bill provides $1.375 billion for border fencing and barriers, well short of the $5.7 billion President Trump has been seeking for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. White House officials reported that Trump signed the bill Friday afternoon, after announcing that he is declaring a national emergency to build the wall without Congressional consent.

Key points:

  • Under the bill, immigration-related services will continue to operate at the same funding levels.
  • The bill reauthorizes several immigration programs that were due to expire Friday without changes, including E-Verify, the EB-4 religious worker category, the EB-5 Regional Center program, and the Conrad 30 waiver for J-1 physicians.

BAL Analysis: The budget agreement will avert a shutdown and lapses in immigration and other government services until Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. Trump’s decision to bypass Congress by declaring a national emergency would shift money from other areas such as disaster relief to build the wall, and is certain to face numerous lawsuits and protracted litigation that would at least delay if not block the executive action.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balglobal.com.

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