United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Struggling To Stay Operating

Posted on 05/19/20

A large drop in applications over the past several months for green cards, citizenship, and various other applications has threatened The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) revenue to continue processing applications. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the agency which is in charge of the country’s lawful immigration system had to ask for an additional $1.2 billion in funding from Congress as well as increasing application fees for a handful of programs.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency relies heavily on such application fees to continue its operations and without these revenues USCIS could run out of funds by the Summer. With far fewer people applying for immigration benefits within the United States, the additional cash infusion will help mitigate any impending concerns of running out of funding. “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, U.S.C.I.S. has seen a dramatic decrease in revenue,” a spokesman for the agency stated while noting that by the end of the Physical year (Sept 30th) the agency would be without funds. This fall in revenue is in part because a 60% decrease in applications. Without the $1.2 infusion from Congress and the Trump administration, the agency would not be able to continue its operations. The spokesman also stated that with additional charges taking effect, many applicants can expect an additional 10% surcharge to make up for the lost revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The administration has been blamed by many as the policies the Trump administration has enacted have held up applications and increased denials. Such attempts by the administration and red tape have also contributed to a number of people not applying for greencards, visas, and other other applications. “This administration is asking taxpayers to bail out an agency as a result of the very policies it put in place which have caused revenue loss,” said Melissa Rodgers, the director of programs at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco. “With extreme vetting, they are making every single application take longer to review, and processing fewer,” said Ms. Rodgers, who oversees a program to promote citizenship among legal immigrants.
“Word gets out that it’s not worth applying.”

Last november the agency had proposed one of its steepest increases in fees for legal immigration into The United States and for the first time charge fees to those seeking asylum and protection. The agencies chief, Mr. Cuccinelli, said these rate increases would help pay for its increasing deficit. Such increases in fees were seen as a way to discriminate against low income applicants and decrease the total number of legal applicants before the 2020 election cycle. Some fees assessed on the petition would increase nearly 60%

  • Most Applicants: $1,170 from $725
  • Asylum Seekers: $50 for applications and $490 for work permits
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: $765, rather than $495.

Immigrating to the U.S.? We are not afraid to represent your rights in court if they have been impeded upon by law enforcement or public defenders, you can trust our legal team to fight tirelessly on your behalf in court. Turn to an attorney who can help you navigate the process with minimal complications. At the Law Offices of James A. Welcome, we know how to protect the rights of undocumented immigrants in Connecticut. Even as an undocumented immigrant, you have legal rights. Becoming more informed and actively aware of the protections available to you can help make certain that your rights are not violated.

Resourceful information: https://www.uscis.gov/

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/17/us/immigration-agency-uscis-budget.html