Layoffs Averted at USCIS
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services leadership announced today that they have abandoned their plan to lay off 13,000 workers or roughly two-thirds of its workforce. USCIS, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, is a fee-funded agency. Ninety-seven percent of its revenue comes from the filing fees paid by petitioners and applicants seeking immigrant visa benefits such as naturalization or lawful permanent residency. The agency projected a $1.2 billion shortfall this fiscal year when a dip in revenue caused by COVID-19 was projected out to the end of the fiscal year. Additionally, the extra costs associated with additional processing imposed by the current administration’s policies added to USCIS’ money troubles.
Implementation of this plan would have disastrous consequences on the immigration system. The speed of processing applications and petitions for immigration benefits such as naturalization and lawful permanent residence would plummet. While the planned layoffs are averted, morale among USCIS’ workforce remains low.