Approximately 13,400 employees will be notified if they will be laid off starting August 3, an agency spokesperson said. The agency has almost 20,000 employees.
“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.”
The immigration agency is at the center of a series of administrative policies aimed at reducing asylum and reducing legal immigration to the United States.
The agency’s depleted funds appear to be the result of administration policies that decreased the number of petitions, and therefore fees, received by the USCIS, said Sarah Pierce, policy analyst for the U.S. Immigration Policy Program. United States at the Institute for Migration Policies. As fees decreased, costs increased for background screening and fraud detection, according to Pierce.