USCIS Awaits Emergency Bailout From Congress Amid Deepening Financial Crisis
Staff Writer, LOS ANGELES:- The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is revered and responsible for its legal immigration works, is in crisis now due to the lack of funding, impending furlough of USCIS employees and uncertainty about a bailout from the US Congress.
The USCIS needs at least $ 1.2 billion fund to keep it going. In May, 2020, the USCIS wrote to the Congress mentioning that, if they do not get this bailout, they may have to furlough at least 13,000 employees from their total work force of 20,000. And it would only affect their works already delayed by the coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic.
USCIS receives funding mostly from the application fees for various visas, work permits, green cards and citizenship. These all works have slowed down due to the pandemic, thus affecting the USCIS’s income, simultaneously.
“We are thinking of adding 10 percent surcharge on application fees to mitigate the financial crisis,” USCIS acting chief Joseph Edlow was quoted as saying by the BuzzFeed News in May, 2020.
The 10 percent surcharge, however, would be inadequate to prevent the furlough of the 70 percent USCIS employees, until the Congress moves forward with an emergency bailout plan and funding for the USCIS, it is learned.
“The onus of rescuing and saving the USCIS now solely lies on the shoulder of the Congress. Only the Congress can prevent the furlough of the USCIS employees, who are very hard working and very nice people,” said a lawyer, who is based in New York.
“More promptly the Congress acts, more good results the USCIS and the various applicants would receive,” he added.
Meanwhile, the green card and work permit printing works at various locations of the USCIS have either slowed down or come to a complete halt due to the lack of funding.
A total of 50,000 green cards and 75,000 work permits, which were already approved, could not be printed due to the lack of fund.
The green card and work permit printing unit at Corbin, Kentucky completely came to a halt, while one more printing unit in Missouri is working with a very minimum capacity.
Earlier, an approved green would take hardly 48 hours to print. And now, it is consuming longer than the normal time for printing, according to people in the know.