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  • Writer's pictureKatharine Speer Rosenthal

USCIS Should Stop Holding U.S. Citizens' Lives Hostage

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service processes immigration applications that U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents file for their loved ones. Over 2/3 of U.S. immigration applications are filed for family members (as opposed to employees), and most of these are for spouses and minor children of U.S. Citizens.

USCIS's operations are funded entirely by application processing fees. Yet the agency takes between 4 months and 4 years to just LOOK at an application.

Now USCIS is requesting a $1.2 billion Congressional bail-out and threatening to furlough 13,000 workers due to budget shortfalls. The agency claims this is due to drastically reduced applications during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they also report an expected surplus at the end of the fiscal year.

This is not a political issue. It is a question of customer service and the rights of U.S. citizens to be with their family. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service should live up to its name and provide a reasonably transparent, efficient, and fiscally responsible service to the American people.

If you agree, please consider contacting your Congressional Representative and asking them to both rescue USCIS from its current financial predicament and at the same time require additional accountability from this agency that holds so many American families' lives in their hands.

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