U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services could have to furlough 13K workers

Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 4:36 PM CDT
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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services could have to furlough a large number of people on August 3 if Congressional action is not taken to combat financial hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a statement from the Deputy Director for Policy, the department is largely funded by fees paid by applicants and petitioners, and due to the pandemic, that number has dropped by 50 percent since March.

“The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are long reaching and pervasive, leaving few unscathed in its wake. USCIS is still experiencing those very effects, which began with an alarming drop in applications at the end of March. Forecasts predict a crippling budget shortfall that requires assistance from Congress to allow USCIS to maintain current operations,” the statement reads.

The statement outlines the department has been working with Congress since May to find ways for the troubles to not fall on taxpayers, and instead, acquire funding that will be paid back to Congress over time from increased fees.

‘Without congressional action before August 3, USCIS will need to furlough over 13,000 staff members, which will have tremendous negative impacts on our mission administering our nation's lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity, and protecting the American people,” the statement reads. “We urge Congress to provide the funding needed to pay our dedicated staff and ensure our operations continue uninterrupted during these unprecedented times.”

USCIS has requested $1.2 billion in emergency funding. The statement says they would pay that money back by adding a 10 percent surcharge to applications.

There is a USCIS service center located in Lincoln at 850 S Street.