U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is preparing to furlough nearly 70% of its workforce it announced today. The U.S. gov’t agency is responsible for processing new immigration applications. Although it is funded by fees paid by applicants it is still facing steep budget shortfalls.
New regulations, a series of Trump administration actions, and the Covid19 lockdown have severely impacted the number of immigrants coming to the United States.
The workforce reduction could bring legal immigration to the U.S. to a virtual halt.
The agency has already seen a 50% drop in revenue since March when most travel and immigration stopped due to the Covid19 outbreak. USCIS is asking congress for a $1.2 billion bailout to avoid the staff reduction.
“On or before July 2, approximately 13,400 USCIS employees will receive notice that…they would be furloughed beginning August 3,” if a furlough is forced to take place, a statement by USCIS’ spokesperson read.
A USCIS employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Reuters that an already backed up system is only sure to get worse. “There are already so many backlogs to work through. It’s insane to even contemplate how bad this is going to get,” they said.
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