Back to Top skip to main content
Green and Spiegel - An Immigration Law Firm - United States
Jul 24, 2020

USCIS Staves off the Axe... For Now

David Spaulding

Summary:

Patrick Leahy (U.S. Senator, VT) announced today that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is postponing a proposed furlough of employees through at least August 31, 2020 to provide Congress and the White House an opportunity to address its projected $571 million deficit.

Background:

USCIS administers immigration benefits within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  Much of its funding comes from fees.  Applicants and petitioners with business before the agency pay for those services and those fees have been dropping for some time and the agency was projected to run out of money before the end of the fiscal year.  There is some dispute between the agency, the department, and Congress as to whether the agency has the resources to cover its expenses through the end of the year though.  Nonetheless, USCIS had notified 13,350 of its 19,000 employees that the would be furloughed (laid off) as of August 3, 2020.

USCIS has notified Congress that it will delay the furlough until at least August 31, 2020.

This morning, DHS notified Congress that it would delay unpaid furloughs of USCIS employees until at least August 31, 2020. USCIS spokesperson Jessica Baker Collins stated “[t]his delay is intended to allow Congress enough time to act and provide USCIS with the funding needed in order to avert the administrative furlough altogether.”

What effect will the delay in furloughs have on the visible operations the public use?

It is difficult to predict the effect that delaying furloughs will have on operations. Due to COVID-19 quarantines and agency directives, USCIS offices have been shuttered, in-person services severely curtailed, and employees redirected to remote work appropriate activities.  Some of those activities have been reopened and some normalcy has been restored in recent weeks so it is hoped that a delay in furloughing will allow the agency to restore more of the in-person services on which some immigration processes rely.  Will the furlough delay address significant issues like USCIS’ failure to produce critical identity and work authorization documents though? That remains to be seen.

Conclusion:

A furlough delay is good and welcome news but a month’s reprieve is best looked at as creating the space for solving USCIS’ budget issues, rather than a solution in-and-of itself.  August 31, 2020 will come quickly and the disputes about what the numbers and causes of the budget crisis are suggests that reaching a deal within the Congress and between Congress and the White House will require significant work.

Our Firm:

The Green and Spiegel is an established immigration firm with extensive experience in these areas.  If you need help with such matters, please contact us on the web or via phone at (215)395-8959. 

Related Team

D Spaulding Team Page

David Spaulding

(215) 395-8959

(215) 395-8959

email David

Philadelphia (US Headquarters)

Full Biography

David Spaulding

Recent Blogs

Oct 19, 2020

USCIS Announces Increased Premium Processing Fees Effective October 19, 2020

Starting October 19, 2020, the fee for Premium Processing, will be $2,500 (previously $1,440) for all filings except those requesting H-2B (non-agricultural seasonal worker) or R-1 (Religious Worker) status, for which the new fee is $1,500 (previously $1,440).Any filings post-marked on or after October 19th must include the new fee amount. Any Form-1-907 postmarked on or after October 19th with the incorrect fee amount will be rejected and the fee returned.

Oct 13, 2020

US and European Partners are Moving Towards Reopening Transatlantic Travel by Adopting New Pandemic Protocols

KEY POINTS: • Foreign nationals who wish to travel to the United States from Europe either must fit into one of the travel restriction exceptions or obtain advance permission to board a plane to the U.S. • In the alternative, they may travel to a third country and quarantine there for two weeks prior to coming to the United States. • The U.S. and overseas partners are anxious to relax those restrictions. Advanced COVID-19 airport testing may provide a solution. • We expect some testing of these technologies followed by the announcement of new travel protocols in time for the winter holidays.

Oct 09, 2020

Biden Vs. Trump Comparison

As we approach the November elections it has never been clearer that this country faces upheaval and challenges that will bring about dramatic, lasting, and hopefully vital changes to our nation and its people. Here, we compare how the two candidates have and will handle immigration policy in the United States.