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. 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. American Immigration Lawyers Association "It's not in our national interest to let the immigration service fail. Agency cutbacks like this furlough of private contractors will increase backlogs and processing delays throughout the country. "The damage would be long lasting.". Immediately give USCIS access to premium processing funds to pay for operational expenses, which are otherwise reserved for infrastructure improvement. Issuance of all correspondence and notices electronically. "At this time, we do not have the number of … Our hope is that Congressional Democrats accept our proposal to keep the lights on in a responsible manner. "USCIS is collateral damage for this administration's immigration agenda. 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. "The receipts are down," Knowles said. Employees were to remain furloughed until October 1, 2020. Immigration agency warns of furloughs amid cash crunch. First, let me explain what this is and what it means. Without this emergency infusion, the agency warned it might have to furlough up to 80 percent of its staff by mid-July 2020. Standoff over emergency funding leaves 13,400 immigration workers facing furlough. Time Is Running Out. They’re considering furloughing more than 50% of the staff force. On July 29, 2020, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship conducted a USCIS oversight hearing. The anticipated agency furloughs will halt U.S. immigration, negatively impacting families, U.S. businesses, educational institutions, medical facilities, and churches. 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. WASHINGTON—U.S. WASHINGTON—U.S. 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. U.S. 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. ", Leahy underscored his concerns Wednesday, calling on lawmakers to swiftly pass emergency appropriations and accompanying legislation to "ensure transparency and accountability.". Release Date . NEW YORK, NY - JULY 3: A new U.S. citizen holds a flag to his chest during the Pledge of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony at the New York Public Library, July 3, 2018 in New York City. (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. Email your members of Congress to support H.R. The relevant language begins on page 30 of the Act. 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 News You can find all USCIS news releases and alerts on our USCIS News webpage, searchable by topic and date. Citizenship and Immigration Services to call off plans to furlough more than 13,000 of … USCIS is planning to furlough over 13,000 employees 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. Read H.R. They say USCIS has enough carryover funds to avoid furloughs at the end of the month. You can draw a very direct line from the decreasing receipts to this administration's priorities and policies," she said. 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. Employees, lawmakers and outside experts have raised concerns that while the pandemic made the budget shortfall worse, it wasn't the only cause. 8337 - the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act (H.R. AILALink puts an entire immigration law library at your fingertips! USCIS FURLOUGH NEWS: No Deal Yet To Avoid Furloughs. As you may have heard, the USCIS is short on cash and can’t afford to pay its workers. 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. Discussions between Congress and the administration over the issue are ongoing. 08/25/2020 . The NBC collects information, conducts background checks, and prepares a variety of applications for USCIS's local field offices. Sens. 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 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. USCIS Cancels Plans to Furlough 70% of Workforce, Averting Major Immigration Crisis The move comes after sustained pressure from lawmakers to … 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. 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. 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. Timing of implementation is unknown at this time, but we expect a public announcement will be made. CNN Sans ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network. 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. 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. Washington, DC 20005. The furloughs, meanwhile, are getting closer for some employees who began receiving notices this week. It also includes policy and procedure updates as well as late-breaking news about USCIS office closures and other emergencies. 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. By Geneva Sands and Priscilla Alvarez, CNN. Citizenship and Immigration Services urged Congress to provide $1.2 billion to address its severe budget shortfall. 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. 20071436 | Dated October 1, 2020. No. "We go through all this, and then we get hit with the furlough.". Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) made a similar argument to the agency, as well. 8089) was introduced. By Camilo Montoya-Galvez July 6, 2020 / 7:10 AM / CBS News "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. 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. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images), The Trump administration has employed a litany of. 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. 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 F, J and M - fee is no greater than $1,750 and processing time is no greater than 30 days. 1331 G Street NW, Suite 300 5971, Read AILA's Statement on USCIS's Announcement   Take Action. 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. Form I-765 – fee is no greater than $1,750 and processing time is no greater than 30 days. USCIS is seeking a $1.2 billion bailout from Congress. 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. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agreed to postpone its scheduled furlough of more than 13,000 public servants through Aug. 31. 8089. AILA's Featured Issues pages provide a one-stop shop on current immigration-related issues that AILA is actively tracking. The bill, introduced on September 22, 2020, Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) includes the language from Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act (H.R. It is unclear when and if the bill will be introduced or considered in the Senate. 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. 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. "Like it or not, I have to go," one says. immigration. AILA Doc. Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick J. Leahy called for the U.S. Drastic cuts will impact agency operations for foreseeable future . 8089   View Section-By-Section Summary of H.R. On September 30, 2020 the President signed H.R. 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 … Update August 26, 2020: USCIS has called off the scheduled furlough. 8337 - the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, which will fund the government through December 11, 2020. The news that USCIS had temporarily called off the furloughs initially came from Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick J. Leahy. USCIS Averts Furlough of Nearly 70% of Workforce . Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will furlough you for more than 30 continuous calendar days, in a non-duty and non-pay … 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. USCIS declined to make Edlow available for an interview, but in a statement sent to reporters, he said a future furlough remains a possibility. USCIS says it will cut spending to keep workers on the job but warns of slower processing times and longer-term revenue shortfall. "All USCIS operations, including naturalization ceremonies, will be impacted by a furlough," spokesperson Joe Sowers said in a statement. Allows for a biennial adjustment of premium processing fees based on the Consumer Price Index without rulemaking. 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. 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 … WASHINGTON—U.S. A joint initiative between the American Immigration Council and AILA seeks to change the playing field for immigrants facing deportation. On August 22, 2020, the bipartisan Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act (H.R. 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. 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. Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at the institute, said the furloughs were "avoidable, at least to a certain extent.". “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. American Immigration Lawyers Association. USCIS states, however, that “Aggressive spending reduction measures will impact all agency operations, including naturalizations, and will drastically impact agency contracts.”. 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. 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. 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. Ensures that providing expanded premium processing services does not result in an increase in processing times for other benefit applications. U.S. In a statement to CNN, the Office of Management and Budget said: "The Administration has formally requested the resources necessary to keep USCIS running. (Furloughs were initially set to begin on August 3, 2020, but were postponed.) "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. USCIS’s $1.2 Billion Emergency Funding Request. "I regret to inform you that U.S. ... employees impacted by furloughs will be notified either before or on July 2 and their furlough will go into effect Aug. 3. "I regret to inform you that U.S. Copyright © 1993-2020 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. 4 months ago. "Covid-19 has been an aggravating factor," he added, noting that the incoming fees have gone down with the restrictionist. 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. Furlough Notices in Hand, Citizenship and Immigration Employees Look for New Jobs Facing at least 30 days without pay, employees are frustrated. "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. Kurzban's Immigration Law Sourcebook, 17th Ed. 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. Drastic cuts will impact agency operations for foreseeable future. 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. The hearing consisted of a government panel with Joseph Edlow, Deputy Director of USCIS, as well as a non-government panel. 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. News: USCIS Averts Furlough of Nearly 70% of Workforce. 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. 3 months ago. 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