Immigration Crisis Temporarily Averted with Cancelation of Expected USCIS Furloughs
On Tuesday, August 25th, the immigration industry received welcomed and encouraging news. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it would not move forward with plans to furlough some 13,400 employees – or 70% – of its workforce.
The USCIS oversees the country’s naturalization and immigration system. This includes processing applications for green cards, visas, citizenship, and other immigration benefits. Had these furloughs gone through, they would have brought immigration processing in the United States to a near halt.
The announcement of the cancellation came in response to bipartisan pressure from lawmakers. On Saturday, August 22nd, the House unanimously passed an emergency measure with the intention of increasing USCIS revenues and prompting the cancelation of the furloughs.
In order to offset the furloughs, however, the agency has cautioned it may have to take other cost-saving measures. Deputy Director for Policy of USCIS, Joseph Edlow, said in a statement that these measures “will increase backlogs and wait times across the board, with no guarantee we can avoid future furloughs.” These measures may have an impact on application processing times but pale in comparison to the disruption that would have been caused if the furloughs had gone through.
Unfortunately, these measures may have only delayed the furloughs and do not guarantee long-term revenue stability for the USCIS. Although there is a possibility that furloughs may happen in the future, according to Joorney’s Paul Monson, for now it is “reassuring that USCIS will [continue to] process applications in a [relatively] timely manner.”
Joorney will be staying on top of updates regarding how quickly the USCIS will be able to catch up on the backlog of applications as well as long-term solutions to ensure that there are no further delays or potential furloughs. To stay current on the latest news, sign up for our newsletter.