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AILA and the American Immigration Council Send Letter to Congressional Appropriators Regarding USCIS Emergency Funding Request

On May 29, 2020, AILA and the American Immigration Council sent a letter to congressional appropriators urging Congress to appropriate $1.2 billion dollars in temporary funding to USCIS only if the funding includes safeguards related to transparency, accountability, and efficiency. In particular, AILA and the Council emphasized that the conditions for USCIS to receive funding must include:

  • Measures to ensure USCIS is transparent, fiscally responsible and efficient;
  • Cost-efficient measures for adjudicating immigration applications and petitions, such as reinstituting the agency’s 2004 “deference” policy, giving adjudicators discretion of when to require in-person interviews, and reusing previously captured biometrics for all form types;
  • Measures to ensure that USCIS remains focused on its service-oriented statutory mission, rather than transferring funds to enforcement agencies;
  • Measures to generate new revenue, such as by expanding premium processing to other form types, and to increase the filing of applications and petitions, such as by improving USCIS customer-facing tools and resources and expanding the agency’s engagement with the stakeholder community; and
  • Measures to address challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as suspending all deadlines and extending all nonimmigrant statuses for at least 90 day beyond the duration of the COVID-19 national emergency and permitting naturalization oaths to be taken through video.

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Cite as AILA Doc. No. 20060230.

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