NATIONAL – The US Citizenship and Immigration Services Agency will send more than 13,400 workers on or before July 2. But the agency says the leave will end if Congress approves a $ 1.2 billion funding request.
Here’s what you need to know about USCIS and its possible leave:
1. What does the USCIS do?
USCIS is responsible for processing asylum, visas, green cards, DACA and citizenship.
2. What influenced sales?
USCIS officials say the coronavirus pandemic affected the income stream. The agency relies on reception and application costs, which fell by 50% in March.
In fiscal 2018, the agency reported a decline of more than 1 million fewer applications compared to 2017, leading to a decrease in fee income by $ 152 million.
Before the pandemic, the agency reported an estimated deficit of 1.26 billion if it maintained current levels of compensation.
3. What role did the screening process play?
Immigration attorney Camilo Pachon Silva said that a tighter control process and constant rule changes also played a role.
“There are many people who are simply afraid of submitting applications,” said Silva.
Silva said she wouldn’t be surprised if the citizenship application process tripled to nearly two years. USCIS reports that the backlog in applying for citizenship is 675,000.
4. How has this affected the service?
The agency has decided on less than half of the applications because of a stricter control process, which has led to an increase in the backlog of all applications to 5.7 million files.
The increased audit process resulted in an increase in spending, according to the Migration Policy Institute, which reported fraud detection costs more than doubled from FY 2016 TO FY 2020 from $ 177 million to $ 379 million.
5. What is being done?
Silva said the agency also plans to cut remission of fees, which would harm the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Many people will not have the money,” said Silva.
6. What Happens When Congress Acts?
If Congress approves the funding application, the agency will add an additional 10% application fee increase. The intention was to increase the registration costs for the pandemic already. The proposed rate increase proposed last year includes an 83% increase in citizenship applications.
FULL USCIS STATEMENT BELOW:
“On or before July 2, approximately 13,400 USCIS employees will be notified that if USCIS has to continue administrative leave, they will be fired on August 3. While we continue to have productive conversations with Congress, we want workers who may be fired. have enough time to prepare. Furthermore, we are required by law to notify employees in writing at least 30 calendar days before the commencement date of an expected leave.
Unlike most other federal agencies, USCIS relies on fees, unallocated or taxpayers, to run our organization. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS has seen a 50% decrease in revenue and incoming fees from March and estimates that applications and petitions will remain well below the plan until the end of fiscal 2020. This dramatic drop in turnover has made it impossible for our agency to operate at full capacity. Without additional Congress funding before August 3, USCIS has no choice but to lay off a substantial portion of our workforce administratively.
On May 15, USCIS notified Congress of a projected budget deficit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and requested emergency funding of $ 1.2 billion to enable us to carry out our mission of managing the legal immigration system of our country, ensuring its integrity and protecting the Americans people. Importantly, this funding proposal also protects U.S. taxpayers by requiring USCIS to return the money to the U.S. Treasury. USCIS would repay these funds by adding a 10% surcharge to applications. ”