Immigration agency to suspend almost 70 percent of its workforce

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is preparing to suspend nearly 70 percent of its workforce as the agency faces budget deficits amid the coronavirus pandemic, a spokesman for the agency.

About 13,400 of the agency’s 20,000 employees will receive a notice that they will be suspended starting August 3 if the agency does not receive additional funds from Congress, the spokesperson said in a statement.

The agency is primarily funded by fees for new immigration applications, but has suspended in-person services amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The spokesperson said USCIS has seen a 50 percent drop in receipts and incoming fees since March, and estimates that application and request receipts will drop by approximately 61 percent through the end of fiscal year 2020.

“This dramatic drop in revenue has made it impossible for our agency to operate at full capacity,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Without additional funds from Congress before August 3, USCIS has no choice but to administratively suspend a substantial part of our workforce.”

Last month, the agency notified Congress of a projected budget deficit due to the pandemic and requested $ 1.2 billion in emergency funds, the spokesperson said.

The official said USCIS continues to “have productive talks with Congress,” but also wants to give employees who can be asked for time to prepare and are legally required to give employees at least 30 calendar days notice. before an expected permit.

The agency, in charge of processing immigration applications, is at the center of many of the policies presented by the Trump administration aimed at limiting immigration to the US. USA President TrumpDonald John Trump Bowman has a double-digit lead over Engel in New York. McGrath leads Booker in Kentucky with results expected next week New York Republican Chris Jacobs wins special election to replace Chris Collins MORE He has once again made immigration policy a focus of his presidential campaign.

Most recently, Trump signed an executive order Monday to suspend the issuance of certain temporary worker visas until the end of 2020.