AILA's Featured Issues pages provide a one-stop shop on current immigration-related issues that AILA is actively tracking. This includes government actions and resources, AILA's policy recommendations, and materials and talking points to engage with Congress and the press.Start Your Research
AILALink puts an entire immigration law library at your fingertips! Search the AILALink database for all your practice needs—statutes, regs, case law, agency guidance, publications, and more.
AILA Doc. No. 19051433 | Dated May 14, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC - A bipartisan group of 38 United States Senators sent two letters to the administration, calling it to account for the crisis-level case processing delays at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These letters-one sent to USCIS Director Francis Cissna, the other to CIS Ombudsman Julie Kirchner-cite the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)'s January 2019 report on USCIS's agency-wide processing slowdown. Led by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the letters demand an assessment of how USCIS's own policies contribute to this trend and call for concrete plans to eliminate the agency's case backlog.
AILA President Anastasia Tonello stated, "AILA has made clear, through quantitative analysis of the agency's own data and specific case examples provided by our members, that USCIS processing delays have reached crisis levels and continue to grow despite a significant drop in application rates and an increase in the agency's budget. The consequences of these delays are dire. Business operations are being stalled, family reunification takes far longer, and vulnerable individuals are living in fear because the agency cannot decide their cases in a timely fashion. AILA thanks these 38 Senators, 19 Republicans and 19 Democrats, for coming together to work on these vital issues that impact us all. AILA calls for immediate hearings to examine the reasons for the delays and what solutions the agency has planned to address them. Those hearings can't come soon enough as more people and businesses across the country are harmed by these delays every day."
Benjamin Johnson, AILA Executive Director, noted, "The delays and backlogs at USCIS are at crisis levels. We thank the Senators for calling for USCIS accountability and transparency. America needs a strong, effective legal immigration system to keep businesses competitive and our families and communities strong. The increasing backlogs, delays, and inefficiencies at USCIS destroy plans and dreams, harming millions of individuals and U.S. businesses across the nation. AILA's more than 15,000 members nationwide have been urging USCIS to address these delays, delays that are doing significant, sometimes irreparable, harm to their clients. To address these delays and the growing backlog of 5.6 million cases, Congress should not only conduct oversight hearings but also pass legislation to ensure greater transparency and accountability within USCIS."
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 19051433.
American Immigration Lawyers Association
1331 G Street NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005
Copyright © 1993-2021
American Immigration Lawyers Association.
AILA.org should not be relied upon as the exclusive source for your legal research. Nothing on AILA.org constitutes legal advice, and information on AILA.org is not a substitute for independent legal advice based on a thorough review and analysis of the facts of each individual case, and independent research based on statutory and regulatory authorities, case law, policy guidance, and for procedural issues, federal government websites.