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What You Should Know about Possible USCIS Furloughs and the Potential Impact on Your Application

by | Aug 5, 2020 | Immigration, Immigration News

USCIS has threatened to furlough more than 13,000 USCIS workers, alleging budget shortfalls. How could this impact your application? What can you do?

Since 2017, USCIS has implemented an arsenal of policies and procedures that have decreased its efficiency, driven up the cost of adjudications, slowed case processings, and caused “immigration chaos.” That’s not our opinion, either — it comes from a federal judge!

USCIS’ budget report shows that it will end the fiscal year with a surplus of $121 million. Despite this fact, the agency is still asking for emergency relief in the form of a $1.2 billion bailout from Congress. Without this funding, USCIS claims that it will not have sufficient funds to maintain its operations through the end of the fiscal year or be able to fund its operations during the first quarter of FY2021.

Threatening to furlough 13,000 USCIS workers if they don’t get the funding is their way of showing how serious the situation is. But it is also being used as a bargaining chip. Losing 13,000 workers would make an already slow process practically grind to a halt, hurting both foreign nationals and US businesses — not to mention their own workforce.

The furlough was scheduled to begin August 3 but has been postponed until August 31 as of this writing.

The question is whether taxpayers should be forced to bail the agency out. Although USCIS claims that its alleged budget shortfall is caused by the coronavirus pandemic, in reality it is largely due to the agency’s own fiscal mismanagement and counterproductive policies.

Join us in contacting members of Congress to urge USCIS to stop holding employers and foreign nationals hostage with the threat of furloughs. If Congress provides the $1.2 billion requested, it should be conditioned on key changes centered on transparency, fiscal responsibility, and efficiency, as well as avoiding any USCIS shutdown or furloughs.

If USCIS is essentially shut down until October 1st, 2020, employers will not be able to hire and retain foreign nationals who are vital to our economy, diversity, and innovation. We can’t allow this to happen, but any funding needs to be provided in the right way.

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