The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is a part of the Department of Homeland Security that regulates immigration and naturalization. The agency gains revenue by charging fees for the benefits the applicants are seeking. For example, the fee for green card applicants is $1,140. This is the money every applicant must pay the USCIS.
This is just a small part of how the agency gains revenue though. The USCIS has lots of revenue coming from applicants. In addition to the benefits the applicants seeking, the USCIS gains revenue from penalties. If employers are failing to mandate Form I-9 law or hire individuals without work authorization.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump issued a ban on all immigration. This was reasoned with protecting the American workforce. President Trump announced the immigration ban by saying “So the noble fight against the invisible enemy is inflicted as a steep toll on the American workforce. Therefore, in order to protect American workers, I will be issuing a temporary suspension of immigration into the United States. By pausing immigration we will help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens.”
Inevitably, the immigration ban resulted in applications to USCIS plummet. As a result of that, the USCIS could not gain any revenue from applicants to gain enough revenue to suffice itself.
USCIS Employees Issued Furloughs With No Pay
The USCIS employees were given notice that the agency will furlough employees without pay until further notice. The deadline for the furloughs beginning to happen is August 3rd. It is expected that about two-thirds of the USCIS employees will be furloughed until America reopens for immigrants.
Given the current situation of the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing, it is unclear when USCIS employees may be called back to work. There is also the case with immigrants who arrived in the United States before the pandemic. The estimates suggest that the number of immigrants who need the USCIS is in hundreds of thousands if not a million.
Although the USCIS offices won’t be closing right away, after August 3rd, if there aren’t enough employees, the USCIS offices will begin to close gradually until the immigration ban is lifted off. Also, the agency is seeking $1.2 billion emergency relief so it can provide stability amid the immigration ban.