The United States agency in charge of processing immigration applications has said it is preparing to suspend almost 70 percent of its workforce unless it receives new funds, a move that employees say would halt an already delayed system. .
The US Citizenship and Immigration Service. USA (USCIS), an agency of the State Department, relies on fees for new immigration applications for its operations and faces a historic budget deficit. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has made reducing legal and undocumented migration a centerpiece of his 2020 re-election campaign.
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The number of new immigrants arriving in the US USA It has been drastically affected by new regulations and a series of executive actions, along with travel restrictions established in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The agency has already seen a 50 percent drop in rates since March, when most travel and immigration stopped as countries moved to control the spread of the new coronavirus, a The USCIS spokesman said in a statement.
USCIS has requested a $ 1.2 billion bailout from Congress to avoid the projected staff cuts.
“On or before July 2, approximately 13,400 USCIS employees will receive a notice that if USCIS must proceed with an administrative permit, they will be suspended beginning August 3,” the USCIS spokesman statement said.
Refugees and ‘skeleton crew’ asylum
The permits, if implemented, “will surely cause noticeable delays immediately,” a USCIS employee who asked not to be identified told Reuters News Agency. “There are already so many delays to resolve. It’s crazy to even contemplate how bad this is going to get.”
Meanwhile, staff in the USCIS Refugee, Asylum and International Operations division have been informed in an email seen by Reuters that notices would be sent on July 24 and 25 to approximately 1,500 employees of that unit’s 2,200 employees.
Those kept would be a “skeleton team” to “keep the lights on,” the email said.
On Monday, Trump signed a presidential proclamation banning entry to various categories of temporary visa holders and extended a ban to some green card applicants, which the administration says would help open more jobs for unemployed Americans. Critics say the measures will harm the economy.