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"We've done everything we could to accommodate the service when COVID hit," said Palinkas, in reference to telework and other changes employees made during the pandemic. The relevant language begins on page 30 of the Act. 8089: The Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, House Homeland and Border Security Chairpersons Send Letter Calling for Delay of USCIS Furloughs, House and Senate Committee Leaders Send Bicameral, Bipartisan Letter Calling for Delay of USCIS Furloughs, Senator Leahy Urges USCIS to Further Delay Unnecessary Staff Furloughs, AILA’s Director of Government Relations Shev Dalal-Dheini testified in the non-government panel, Senators Calls on DHS and USCIS to Save USCIS Employees from Unnecessary Furloughs, Senators Call for Emergency Funding of USCIS with Appropriate Guardrails to Ensure Responsibility and Accountability, H.R.7508: Supplemental Appropriations to USCIS, Congress Greatly Expands Premium Processing for Immigration Benefits, Immigration Agency Cuts of 800 Kansas City Jobs Expected to Trigger Backlogs, Delays Nationwide, USCIS Staff Furloughs Will Grind Legal Immigration to a Halt, US Immigration Services Set to Furlough Two-Thirds of Its Workers After Coronavirus Stimulus Talks Fail, USCIS Pleads for Money to Avoid Furloughs, Democrats Float Making the Funds Contingent on Policy Changes, With Deadline Looming, USCIS Employees Brace for Furloughs, $1 Billion Shortfall, Furloughs Could Bring US Immigration System to a Halt, Furlough Notices Arrive for Some 13,400 USCIS Employees, Immigration Budget Crisis Reflects Change in Policy, Trump Wasted So Much Money Harassing Immigrants That His Immigration Agency Needs a Bailout, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $1 Billion Dollars Without Changes at USCIS, USCIS Claims It’s Strapped for Cash, Requests Emergency Funding from Congress. This news broke at the end of June 2020. Timing of implementation is unknown at this time, but we expect a public announcement will be made. AILA’s Director of Government Relations Shev Dalal-Dheini testified in the non-government panel, along with Doug Rand of Boundless, Michael Knowles, President of AFGE Local 1924, the local USCIS labor union, and Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies. Please note that while the law takes effect immediately, the increased fees and expanded availability of premium processing will not take effect until USCIS is able to implement. ... employees impacted by furloughs will be notified either before or on July 2 and their furlough will go into effect Aug. 3. The bill, which passed by unanimous consent in the House on August 22, 2020, seeks to immediately increase USCIS premium processing revenues. Change of status requests for dependents seeking E, H, L, O, P and R – fee is no greater than $1,750 and processing time is no greater than 30 days. See update. "Congress has the information it needs regarding USCIS' fiscal outlook and funding need," said the spokesperson. 8089), USCIS announced that it will avert an administrative furlough of more than 13,000 employees, Case Backlog and Transparency Act of 2020, H.R 5971, Read AILA's Statement on USCIS's Announcement, View Section-By-Section Summary of H.R. In a statement to CNN, the Office of Management and Budget said: "The Administration has formally requested the resources necessary to keep USCIS running. By Camilo Montoya-Galvez July 6, 2020 / 7:10 AM / CBS News First, let me explain what this is and what it means. Requires rulemaking to set fees for expanded premium processing services, but it must be consistent with the following: EB-1 petitions for Multinational Managers and Executives or EB-2 NIW petitions – fee is no greater than $2,500 and processing time is no greater than 45 days. Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at the institute, said the furloughs were "avoidable, at least to a certain extent.". It also increases revenues by raising existing premium processing fees for most form types and expanding premium processing to other form types to address USCIS’s current budget shortfall. Release Date . USCIS employees on Tuesday received an email announcement from the department titled "Spread the Word -- DHS is Hiring," which further infuriated the workforce, said Kenneth Palinkas, executive vice president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, which represents agency employees. In May 2020, USCIS notified Congress of a massive projected budget shortfall that is threatening the agency’s operations and the financial wellbeing of thousands of USCIS employees. Read H.R. USCIS News You can find all USCIS news releases and alerts on our USCIS News webpage, searchable by topic and date. Without this funding, USCIS claimed that it would not have sufficient funds to maintain its operations through the end of the fiscal year or to fund its operations during the first quarter of FY2021. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that the agency will avert an administrative furlough of more than 13,000 employees, scheduled to begin Aug. 30 as a result of unprecedented spending cuts and a steady increase in daily incoming revenue and receipts. Discussions between Congress and the administration over the issue are ongoing. Employees, lawmakers and outside experts have raised concerns that while the pandemic made the budget shortfall worse, it wasn't the only cause. Another USCIS officer who was furloughed told VICE News, however, that the underlying funding problems are long-term in nature. 8089), seeks to address USCIS budget shortfall by giving the agency immediate access to existing premium processing funds that were dedicated to infrastructure improvement to cover operating expenses. (Furloughs were initially set to begin on August 3, 2020, but were postponed.) "I regret to inform you that U.S. It is unclear when and if the bill will be introduced or considered in the Senate. Email your members of Congress to support H.R. The agency's handling of dwindling funds has become a source of frustration internally, particularly as the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees USCIS, pushes out recruiting notices. The bill, introduced on September 22, 2020, Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) includes the language from Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act (H.R. USCIS started issuing furlough notices to its employees, anticipating that the agency would need to furlough approximately 13,400 employees starting August 30, 2020, if the agency did not receive funding from Congress. The news that USCIS had temporarily called off the furloughs initially came from Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick J. Leahy. 8337   Read Section-by-Section of H.R. If such furloughs are implemented, they will have a devastating impact on the agency’s ability to provide immigration and naturalization services to American businesses and families for many months, if not years, to come. "We go through all this, and then we get hit with the furlough.". USCIS cancels furlough of 70 percent of its workforce The immigration agency had planned to furlough 13,000 of its employees starting August 30, 2020 due to lack of funding Moneycontrol News If USCIS is essentially shut down, immigrants who are in the process of becoming naturalized U.S. citizens will not be able to complete the process in time to register to vote, DACA recipients will not be able to renew their benefits, asylum applicants will face increased delays, and businesses will be unable to hire or retain employees. Federal News Network: With Deadline Looming, USCIS Employees Brace for Furloughs – July 15, 2020; CNN: $1 Billion Shortfall, Furloughs Could Bring US Immigration System to a Halt – July 2, 2020; Federal News Network: Furlough Notices Arrive for Some 13,400 USCIS Employees – … USCIS Averts Furlough of Nearly 70% of Workforce . This includes government actions and resources, AILA's policy recommendations, and materials and talking points to engage with Congress and the press. regulations intended to curb legal immigration, Immigration judges accuse Justice Department of muzzling them, Trump administration's swipe at legal immigration puts thousands of lives in limbo, Supreme Court blocks Trump from ending DACA. The anticipated agency furloughs will halt U.S. immigration, negatively impacting families, U.S. businesses, educational institutions, medical facilities, and churches. 4 months ago. "At this time, we do not have the number of … 8337 - the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, which will fund the government through December 11, 2020. Form I-765 – fee is no greater than $1,750 and processing time is no greater than 30 days. The ongoing saga over whether United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will have to furlough more than 13,000 staff took another twist recently as talks over bailout funds stalled. Leahy said he spoke with USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow who informally requested $1.2 billion in emergency funding to get USCIS through the end of the calendar year. According to Government Executive, a news site covering the federal government, USCIS officials told employees the agency still planned to move forward on previously planned furloughs unless it received a congressional bailout despite the agency now projecting a budget surplus and ostensibly being able to cover costs through September. Drastic cuts will impact agency operations for foreseeable future. USCIS is part of the Department of Homeland Security, and as reported previously, the agency has been planning to furlough two-thirds of its work force for what it … 8089. 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