24 Jun USCIS Plans for Employee Furloughs Starting July 3
Washington, D.C., June 24, 2020: In response to funding shortages caused by a huge drop in visa applications, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services is planning to furlough nearly 70% of its workforce.
Under current law, USCIS raises funds for its operations from application fees that immigrants and employers pay for visa processes. USCIS is now facing a historic budget shortfall caused by a massive drop in visa applications caused by Presidential Proclamations and COVID19-related travel restrictions.
President Trump has advocated for aggressive reductions in legal immigration, covering both green cards through employment and temporary work visas sponsored by U.S. employers.
A USCIS reported to the public that revenue from filing fees have decreased by 50% drop since March 2020 (coinciding with the severe travel restrictions into the U.S. and the closuring of US Consulates all over the world).
To resolve its operating budget shortfall, USCIS has asked for a $1.2 billion bailout from Congress to avoid the projected staff reductions.
“On or before July 2, approximately 13,400 USCIS employees will receive notice that if USCIS must proceed with an administrative furlough, they would be furloughed beginning August 3,” the USCIS spokesperson’s statement said.
The furloughs, if implemented, will necessarily delay visa processing. This comes on the heels of delays across the board in 2019 for visa processing that have created a cottage industry of federal lawsuits to compel USCIS action through mandamus claims.
In real terms, furloughs to 70% of USCIS employees will negatively impact the function of USCIS as an agency; the lives of USCIS employees and the lives, hopes and aspirations of thousands of legal immigrants across the world.
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