The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced earlier this summer that it was on the verge of furloughing more than 13,000 employees due to a severe drop in its funding. A spokesperson from the USCIS said that an uptick in incoming funds has staved off the furlough, which would have affected more than two-thirds of the agency’s workforce. Although there has been some financial assistance, the financial future of the agency is still precarious.
The vast majority of USCIS funding comes from fees paid by people who use the agency for immigration petitions and applications. The coronavirus outbreak in March caused an immediate and significant drop in immigration and travel plans, taking the USCIS’s funding out from under it. In recent months, it seems that some of the slowdown has been reversed, but the agency is still expecting a rough start in the next fiscal year.
Deputy USCIS Director for Policy Joseph Edlow has warned that special Congressional funding could be necessary to stop furloughs in the near future. He also expressed concerns about how a furlough would massively increase the USCIS’s backlog, which is already notoriously extensive. Immigration filings as simple as a family-based immigration petition could have months tacked onto them, for example.
There have also long been worries about how the Trump Administration’s strict stance on immigration could be limiting USCIS funds. Reportedly, the agency has seen a drop in revenue earned through petition fees each year for the past three years, indicating that the Administration’s moves to prevent immigration in large numbers have had a direct impact on the USCIS and its future stability.
(You can learn more about the narrowly avoided yet still pending furlough by clicking here and viewing a full article from CBS News.)
Proceed with an Immigration Lawyer
The USCIS has always had issues with processing immigration applications and petitions in a timely manner. With the agency’s funding weakened due to the coronavirus and a lack of Congressional support, it is likely that delays will only get worse in the coming months. It is a better idea than ever before to use an immigration attorney’s help for your case. Your immigration lawyer can take the lead, make certain you are filing the right type of application, prevent you from missing filing deadlines, and otherwise minimize the risk of making timely errors.
If you live in Omaha, choose Carlson & Burnett to be your immigration attorneys. We bring decades of collective legal experience to every immigration case we take, which translates directly to your advantage! Call (402) 810-8611 to see what we mean.