Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) led a group of his colleagues in sending a bipartisan, bicameral letter to USCIS requesting a briefing to better understand how the agency reached this decision. "Congress has the information it needs regarding USCIS' fiscal outlook and funding need," said the spokesperson. 8337   Read Section-by-Section of H.R. "I regret to inform you that U.S. The news that USCIS had temporarily called off the furloughs initially came from Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick J. Leahy. Leahy said he spoke with USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow who informally requested $1.2 billion in emergency funding to get USCIS through the end of the calendar year. "Covid-19 has been an aggravating factor," he added, noting that the incoming fees have gone down with the restrictionist. Ensures that providing expanded premium processing services does not result in an increase in processing times for other benefit applications. 20071436 | Dated October 1, 2020. Citing coronavirus-related disruptions, U.S. The department is seeking "hundreds of qualified individuals" to fill positions in cybersecurity, information technology, intelligence analysis, law enforcement, travel security, and emergency prevention, response, and management, according to the announcement. Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, welcomed news of USCIS delaying furloughs late last month, but said he … Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will furlough you for more than 30 continuous calendar days, in a non-duty and non-pay status, for fewer than 90 days, beginning August 3, 2020," reads a furlough notice sent on June 29. (CNN)The federal agency responsible for granting citizenship, providing immigration benefits, and processing visa applications is bracing to furlough over 13,000 employees next month -- a move that could grind the US immigration system to a halt. Immigration agency warns of furloughs amid cash crunch. WASHINGTON—U.S. In May 2020, USCIS notified Congress of a massive projected budget shortfall that is threatening the agency’s operations and the financial wellbeing of thousands of USCIS employees. "The damage would be long lasting.". On September 30, 2020 the President signed H.R. Clarifies that the processing time clock does not begin until “all prerequisites for adjudication are received” by DHS. You need a functioning immigration service," Knowles said. 200 immigrants from 50 countries became citizens during the ceremony, one day before America's Independence Day. The furloughs, meanwhile, are getting closer for some employees who began receiving notices this week. According to Government Executive, a news site covering the federal government, USCIS officials told employees the agency still planned to move forward on previously planned furloughs unless it received a congressional bailout despite the agency now projecting a budget surplus and ostensibly being able to cover costs through September. If USCIS is essentially shut down, immigrants who are in the process of becoming naturalized U.S. citizens will not be able to complete the process in time to register to vote, DACA recipients will not be able to renew their benefits, asylum applicants will face increased delays, and businesses will be unable to hire or retain employees. Change of status requests for F, J and M - fee is no greater than $1,750 and processing time is no greater than 30 days. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Tuesday announced it … Our hope is that Congressional Democrats accept our proposal to keep the lights on in a responsible manner. Immediately give USCIS access to premium processing funds to pay for operational expenses, which are otherwise reserved for infrastructure improvement. regulations intended to curb legal immigration, Immigration judges accuse Justice Department of muzzling them, Trump administration's swipe at legal immigration puts thousands of lives in limbo, Supreme Court blocks Trump from ending DACA. USCIS Cancels Plans to Furlough 70% of Workforce, Averting Major Immigration Crisis The move comes after sustained pressure from lawmakers to … 8089. The NBC collects information, conducts background checks, and prepares a variety of applications for USCIS's local field offices. Update July 24, 2020: USCIS has announced that they have agreed to delay the start of the staff furlough until August 31st (from August 3) due to funding estimates showing surplus for the fiscal year and not the previously-projected $571 million deficit. USCIS cancels furlough of 70 percent of its workforce The immigration agency had planned to furlough 13,000 of its employees starting August 30, 2020 due to lack of funding Moneycontrol News Sens. USCIS employees on Tuesday received an email announcement from the department titled "Spread the Word -- DHS is Hiring," which further infuriated the workforce, said Kenneth Palinkas, executive vice president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, which represents agency employees. Rigorous nonprofit news for Vermont. A joint initiative between the American Immigration Council and AILA seeks to change the playing field for immigrants facing deportation. If such furloughs are implemented, they will have a devastating impact on the agency’s ability to provide immigration and naturalization services to American businesses and families for many months, if not years, to come. Requires rulemaking to set fees for expanded premium processing services, but it must be consistent with the following: EB-1 petitions for Multinational Managers and Executives or EB-2 NIW petitions – fee is no greater than $2,500 and processing time is no greater than 45 days. USCIS is seeking a $1.2 billion bailout from Congress. Federal News Network: With Deadline Looming, USCIS Employees Brace for Furloughs – July 15, 2020; CNN: $1 Billion Shortfall, Furloughs Could Bring US Immigration System to a Halt – July 2, 2020; Federal News Network: Furlough Notices Arrive for Some 13,400 USCIS Employees – … 07.24.20 Leahy Announces That USCIS Is Postponing Furloughs Of 13,000 Public Servants (FRIDAY, July 24, 2019) – Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agreed to postpone its scheduled furlough of more than 13,000 public servants through Aug. 31. Citizenship and Immigration Services to call off plans to furlough more than 13,000 of … "The Trump White House is responsible for requesting supplemental funding, but all they have sent Congress is a one-page letter that provides virtually no information on the shortfall or proposed remedies," said Evan Hollander, communications director for the House Appropriations Committee. 8089: The Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, House Homeland and Border Security Chairpersons Send Letter Calling for Delay of USCIS Furloughs, House and Senate Committee Leaders Send Bicameral, Bipartisan Letter Calling for Delay of USCIS Furloughs, Senator Leahy Urges USCIS to Further Delay Unnecessary Staff Furloughs, AILA’s Director of Government Relations Shev Dalal-Dheini testified in the non-government panel, Senators Calls on DHS and USCIS to Save USCIS Employees from Unnecessary Furloughs, Senators Call for Emergency Funding of USCIS with Appropriate Guardrails to Ensure Responsibility and Accountability, H.R.7508: Supplemental Appropriations to USCIS, Congress Greatly Expands Premium Processing for Immigration Benefits, Immigration Agency Cuts of 800 Kansas City Jobs Expected to Trigger Backlogs, Delays Nationwide, USCIS Staff Furloughs Will Grind Legal Immigration to a Halt, US Immigration Services Set to Furlough Two-Thirds of Its Workers After Coronavirus Stimulus Talks Fail, USCIS Pleads for Money to Avoid Furloughs, Democrats Float Making the Funds Contingent on Policy Changes, With Deadline Looming, USCIS Employees Brace for Furloughs, $1 Billion Shortfall, Furloughs Could Bring US Immigration System to a Halt, Furlough Notices Arrive for Some 13,400 USCIS Employees, Immigration Budget Crisis Reflects Change in Policy, Trump Wasted So Much Money Harassing Immigrants That His Immigration Agency Needs a Bailout, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $1 Billion Dollars Without Changes at USCIS, USCIS Claims It’s Strapped for Cash, Requests Emergency Funding from Congress. On July 29, 2020, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship conducted a USCIS oversight hearing. U.S. It is unclear when and if the bill will be introduced or considered in the Senate. Legal Immigration System Faces Crisis as Imminent USCIS Furloughs Loom The agency that processes applications for visas, citizenship and other legal immigration benefits will furlough … AILA’s Director of Government Relations Shev Dalal-Dheini testified in the non-government panel, along with Doug Rand of Boundless, Michael Knowles, President of AFGE Local 1924, the local USCIS labor union, and Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies. A congressional aide told CNN that Democratic staff sent USCIS a proposal two weeks ago that lays out a plan to pay back the funds that might be appropriated, but haven't heard back from the agency. Kurzban's Immigration Law Sourcebook, 17th Ed. Furlough Notices in Hand, Citizenship and Immigration Employees Look for New Jobs Facing at least 30 days without pay, employees are frustrated. The bill, introduced on September 22, 2020, Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) includes the language from Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act (H.R. Drastic cuts will impact agency operations for foreseeable future . You can draw a very direct line from the decreasing receipts to this administration's priorities and policies," she said. Citizenship and Immigration Services”, AILA Member Talking Points on USCIS’s $1.2 Billion Emergency Funding Request, AILA and the American Immigration Council Send Letter to Congressional Appropriators Regarding USCIS Emergency Funding Request, AILA Urges Strict Congressional Oversight Over Any Emergency Appropriations for USCIS, Missouri and Kansas Members of Congress Send Letter to USCIS Regarding Contractor Furloughs in Kansas City, H.R. A spokesperson for USCIS said the agency notified Congress in May of its projected budget shortfall and proposed that USCIS pay the money back to the US Treasury by adding a 10% surcharge to applications. Without this funding, USCIS claimed that it would not have sufficient funds to maintain its operations through the end of the fiscal year or to fund its operations during the first quarter of FY2021. To further advocacy efforts before Congress and the press, AILA is seeking sympathetic stories of foreign nationals or U.S. businesses who would be negatively impacted if the furlough of over 13,000 USCIS employees comes to fruition on August 30, 2020. 8337 - the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act (H.R. The Migration Policy Institute, a think tank based in Washington, DC, identified three major issues that led to the lack of funding, including a drop in petitions over the last two years, increased spending on fraud detection and vetting and poor management of cash reserves. 8089   View Section-By-Section Summary of H.R. Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick J. Leahy called for the U.S. It also increases revenues by raising existing premium processing fees for most form types and expanding premium processing to other form types to address USCIS’s current budget shortfall. USCIS declined to make Edlow available for an interview, but in a statement sent to reporters, he said a future furlough remains a possibility. 8089), USCIS announced that it will avert an administrative furlough of more than 13,000 employees, Case Backlog and Transparency Act of 2020, H.R 5971, Read AILA's Statement on USCIS's Announcement, View Section-By-Section Summary of H.R. Change of status requests for dependents seeking E, H, L, O, P and R – fee is no greater than $1,750 and processing time is no greater than 30 days. Please note that while the law takes effect immediately, the increased fees and expanded availability of premium processing will not take effect until USCIS is able to implement. "We've done everything we could to accommodate the service when COVID hit," said Palinkas, in reference to telework and other changes employees made during the pandemic. USCIS’s $1.2 Billion Emergency Funding Request. The delay has prompted Trump to announce that he would now take executive actions to revive a bill that Congress has failed to agree on. 8337, On August 25, 2020, USCIS announced that it will avert an administrative furlough of more than 13,000 employees, or nearly 70 percent of its workforce, that was scheduled to begin August 30, 2020, "as a result of unprecedented spending cuts and a steady increase in daily incoming revenue and receipts. "At this time, we do not have the number of … Vermont Business Magazine USCIS is currently scheduled to furlough 13,355 (or 67%) of its 19,881 employees on August 30, 2020, including over 1,000 in Vermont. 8337 - the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, which will fund the government through December 11, 2020. They’re considering furloughing more than 50% of the staff force. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will furlough you for more than 30 continuous calendar days, in a non-duty and non-pay … Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Tuesday announced it … "USCIS is collateral damage for this administration's immigration agenda. ", Leahy underscored his concerns Wednesday, calling on lawmakers to swiftly pass emergency appropriations and accompanying legislation to "ensure transparency and accountability.". USCIS has requested a $1.2 billion bailout from Congress to keep the agency afloat. 08/25/2020 . News: USCIS Averts Furlough of Nearly 70% of Workforce. U.S. By Geneva Sands and Priscilla Alvarez, CNN. American Immigration Lawyers Association. 8089, USCIS notified Congress of a massive projected budget shortfall, USCIS Deputy Director Releases Statement on USCIS’s Fiscal Outlook, USCIS Provides FY2019 Statement of Financial Condition, Impending USCIS Furloughs Will Contribute to a Historic Drop in U.S. Immigration Levels, USCIS Ombudsman’s Office to Be Adversely Impacted by Potential USCIS Furloughs, Rescission of Furlough Threats Is an Important First Step in Holding USCIS Accountable, USCIS Budget Crisis: What You Should Know, Client Template Letter to Congress Regarding USCIS Furloughs, How to Manage the Effects of the Looming USCIS Furloughs on Your Practice, AILA’s Statement for House Hearing on “Oversight of U.S. The anticipated agency furloughs will halt U.S. immigration, negatively impacting families, U.S. businesses, educational institutions, medical facilities, and churches. USCIS is part of the Department of Homeland Security, and as reported previously, the agency has been planning to furlough two-thirds of its work force for what it … "If you were to take a straight two-third cut, that's going to slow everything to a crawl," said Ur Jaddou, director of DHS Watch and former USCIS chief counsel. Time Is Running Out. Citizenship and Immigration Services urged Congress to provide $1.2 billion to address its severe budget shortfall. Timing of implementation is unknown at this time, but we expect a public announcement will be made. This includes government actions and resources, AILA's policy recommendations, and materials and talking points to engage with Congress and the press. USCIS FURLOUGH NEWS: No Deal Yet To Avoid Furloughs. Issuance of all correspondence and notices electronically. They say USCIS has enough carryover funds to avoid furloughs at the end of the month. Increases the premium processing fee for benefit requests that are already eligible for premium processing services from $1,440 to $2,500, except for H-2B and R-1 petitions. Without this emergency infusion, the agency warned it might have to furlough up to 80 percent of its staff by mid-July 2020. Email your members of Congress to support H.R. "We go through all this, and then we get hit with the furlough.". 1331 G Street NW, Suite 300 Allows for a biennial adjustment of premium processing fees based on the Consumer Price Index without rulemaking. USCIS must give employees a 30-day notice of an expected furlough. USCIS started issuing furlough notices to its employees, anticipating that the agency would need to furlough approximately 13,400 employees starting August 30, 2020, if the agency did not receive funding from Congress. "All USCIS operations, including naturalization ceremonies, will be impacted by a furlough," spokesperson Joe Sowers said in a statement. Another USCIS officer who was furloughed told VICE News, however, that the underlying funding problems are long-term in nature. The hearing consisted of a government panel with Joseph Edlow, Deputy Director of USCIS, as well as a non-government panel. ", USCIS expects to be able to maintain operations through the end of FY2020. On September 10, 2020, the Kansas Reflector reported that USCIS intends to furlough 800 people who work for a private contractor at the agency's National Benefit Center (NBC) in Lee's Summit, Missouri. Employees, lawmakers and outside experts have raised concerns that while the pandemic made the budget shortfall worse, it wasn't the only cause. Release Date . 4 months ago. "It's not in our national interest to let the immigration service fail. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) made a similar argument to the agency, as well. USCIS furlough could mean delays for Fiance visa cases. USCIS states, however, that “Aggressive spending reduction measures will impact all agency operations, including naturalizations, and will drastically impact agency contracts.”. Close to 70% of the agency’s staff, or 13,400 employees out of the 20,000 Americans currently employed by USCIS, will be furloughed and services will be suspended by August 3 if Congress and the Trump Administration cannot agree on a $1.2 billion infusion needed to keep the agency working. Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget in late June, urging action from the administration. Congressional Democrats have railed against the agency's plans to furlough workers, with some saying any additional money allotted for USCIS should have … AILA Doc. Requires a semi-annual congressional briefing and that within 180 days, USCIS provide a five year plan on establishing: Electronic filing procedures for all applications and petitions; Acceptance of electronic filing at all locations; and. On August 22, 2020, the bipartisan Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act (H.R. AILA continues to support the bi-partisan Case Backlog and Transparency Act of 2020, H.R 5971, and urges Congress to pass this much needed legislation along with other measures to get the agency back on track. Alert: View AILA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center, Changes to the H-1B Process and PW Levels, Featured Issue: USCIS Budget Shortfall and Furloughs, H.R. Read H.R. AILA's Featured Issues pages provide a one-stop shop on current immigration-related issues that AILA is actively tracking. Form I-765 – fee is no greater than $1,750 and processing time is no greater than 30 days. Notices went out to staff this week who can potentially be furloughed, about 13,400 people of roughly 20,000, according to an agency spokesperson. "Like it or not, I have to go," one says. The bill would: Read H.R. 8089) was introduced. "I regret to inform you that U.S. Copyright © 1993-2020 No. See update. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) employees will receive notice of administrative furlough … First, let me explain what this is and what it means. Discussions between Congress and the administration over the issue are ongoing. Search the AILALink database for all your practice needs—statutes, regs, case law, agency guidance, publications, and more. This news broke at the end of June 2020. “Recent assurances from Congress, and an uptick in application and petition receipts, have allowed USCIS senior leadership the flexibility to responsibly delay the start date of the administrative furlough of approximately 13,400 USCIS employees until Aug. 30,” Jessica Collins, an agency spokeswoman, said in a statement to Federal News Network. The notice also says the extended furlough is due to a "shortage of funds," adding that the measures taken to tighten the budget were "not enough at this time" to prevent furloughs. AILALink puts an entire immigration law library at your fingertips! ... employees impacted by furloughs will be notified either before or on July 2 and their furlough will go into effect Aug. 3. Washington, DC 20005. USCIS says it will cut spending to keep workers on the job but warns of slower processing times and longer-term revenue shortfall. As you may have heard, the USCIS is short on cash and can’t afford to pay its workers. CNN Sans ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network. Authorizes premium processing services to be provided to: Employment-based nonimmigrant petitions and associated applications for dependents; Any other immigration benefit type deemed appropriate by the Secretary. WASHINGTON—U.S. The AILA Career Center offers more than access to the best possible industry candidates. Due to a dramatic decrease in revenue during the coronavirus pandemic, roughly 13,400 U.S. The bill, which passed by unanimous consent in the House on August 22, 2020, seeks to immediately increase USCIS premium processing revenues. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that the agency will avert an administrative furlough of more than 13,000 employees, scheduled to begin Aug. 30 as a result of unprecedented spending cuts and a steady increase in daily incoming revenue and receipts.. USCIS expects to be able to maintain operations through the end of fiscal year 2020. USCIS News You can find all USCIS news releases and alerts on our USCIS News webpage, searchable by topic and date. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images), The Trump administration has employed a litany of. 8089), seeks to address USCIS budget shortfall by giving the agency immediate access to existing premium processing funds that were dedicated to infrastructure improvement to cover operating expenses. USCIS Averts Furlough of Nearly 70% of Workforce . 5971, Read AILA's Statement on USCIS's Announcement   Take Action. The ongoing saga over whether United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will have to furlough more than 13,000 staff took another twist recently as talks over bailout funds stalled. USCIS is planning to furlough over 13,000 employees on … "The receipts are down," Knowles said. In this report, USCIS projects that its net spending for FY2020 will exceed total projected revenue by eight percent. It also includes policy and procedure updates as well as late-breaking news about USCIS office closures and other emergencies. Employees were to remain furloughed until October 1, 2020. According to the Migration Policy Institute, “For each month the USCIS furlough lasts, 75,000 applications for various immigration benefits will not be processed.”. (Furloughs were initially set to begin on August 3, 2020, but were postponed.) immigration. Drastic cuts will impact agency operations for foreseeable future. American Immigration Lawyers Association 3 months ago. Update August 26, 2020: USCIS has called off the scheduled furlough. Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at the institute, said the furloughs were "avoidable, at least to a certain extent.". By Camilo Montoya-Galvez July 6, 2020 / 7:10 AM / CBS News The agency's handling of dwindling funds has become a source of frustration internally, particularly as the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees USCIS, pushes out recruiting notices. The relevant language begins on page 30 of the Act. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that the agency will avert an administrative furlough of more than 13,000 employees, scheduled to begin Aug. 30 as a result of unprecedented spending cuts and a steady increase in daily incoming revenue and receipts. Agency cutbacks like this furlough of private contractors will increase backlogs and processing delays throughout the country. In a statement to CNN, the Office of Management and Budget said: "The Administration has formally requested the resources necessary to keep USCIS running. Standoff over emergency funding leaves 13,400 immigration workers facing furlough. 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