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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

What Looming Government Shutdown Means for Federal Law Enforcement

An ICE agent.

By Steve Neavling

A looming government shutdown under President Trump likely would force up to 850,000 federal employees to stay home until Democrats and Republicans can end a budget impasse.

But a shutdown is unlikely to result in the furloughs of federal law enforcement officials and other “essential” employees from agencies such as the FBI, TSA, Homeland Security, DEA, ICE and Border Patrol.

Still, a shutdown likely would undermine the agencies’ ability to protect people from crime. During the last government shutdown in 2013, which lasted 16 days, the FBI was barred from hiring new agents and paying for training.

A shutdown would not impact the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia because Robert Mueller’s team is exempt from furloughs.

The full impact of a shutdown won’t be known until Monday.

The U.S. Senate has until midnight tonight to reach a bipartisan agreement to avert a shutdown. But Democrats expressed skepticism that an agreement would be reached in time because they are adamantly opposed to a GOP plan to end protections for younger immigrants who were brought to the country illegally.

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