Featured Issues

Featured Issue: USCIS Accountability and Oversight

3/22/23 AILA Doc. No. 22031106.

On February 9, 2022, USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou announced the agency’s new mission statement. The new mission statement is a reflection of stakeholder feedback, priorities of the Biden administration, and Director Jaddou’s vision for an inclusive and accessible agency. The agency’s new mission statement: “USCIS upholds America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility with fairness, integrity, and respect for all we serve,” signals to stakeholders that USCIS must operate with fairness and respect, a welcome change surrounding the culture of the agency.

This change reflects AILA’s aggressive pursuit in advocating for the agency to perform its duties with fairness, integrity, and respect for those it serves, as evidenced in AILA’s recommendations to the Biden administration, our USCIS Customer Service Policy Brief, and our March 2022 brief on the current status of USCIS processing delays.

AILA will continue to push for increased USCIS accountability and ensure the agency provides prompt and accessible customer service, timely and fair adjudications that are in line with its statutory purpose, and reverses harmful and inefficient employment-based, family-sponsored, naturalization, and humanitarian policies.

AILA will also continue to play a leadership role in advocacy by utilizing a wide range of available strategies, including legislative, executive, media, grassroots, coalition mobilization, litigation, and liaison to ensure agency officials take active measures in reducing and eliminating inefficient processes and policies to increase transparency at both the national and local levels.

AILA Resources on USCIS Accountability and Oversight

AILA Comments

Congressional Efforts

  • On October 25, 2022, Representative Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) introduced H.R. 9225, the Case Backlog and Transparency Act of 2022. The bill establishes USCIS and GAO reporting requirements on the agency’s processing delays, customer service tools, and efforts to reduce the immigration case backlog.
  • On February 28, 2022, 47 members of Congress led by Rep. Grijalva (D-AZ) sent a letter to DHS urging the agency to improve the USCIS Contact Center, with a particular focus on the process for scheduling local USCIS field office appointments.
  • On September 30, 2020, President Trump signed H.R. 8337, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 202 and Other Extensions Act. The bill includes language from the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, which among other things gave USCIS the authority to expand premium processing to additional form types. AILA continues to urge USCIS to implement premium processing for additional form types as quickly as possible, while ensuring no adverse consequences on standard processing of benefits.
  • On July 29, 2020, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship conducted a USCIS oversight hearing. The hearing consisted of a government panel with Joseph Edlow, Deputy Director of USCIS, as well as a non-government panel. AILA’s Director of Government Relations Shev Dalal-Dheini testified in the non-government panel, along with Doug Rand of Boundless, Michael Knowles, President of AFGE Local 1924, the local USCIS labor union, and Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies.
  • On February 26, 2020, Representative Cardenas (D-CA) and former Representative Stivers (R-OH) introduced the bipartisan Case Backlog and Transparency Act of 2020 (H.R. 5971). The bill included language addressing the agency’s crisis level processing delays and required new reporting requirements that would have both increased transparency of the causes of the agency’s growing backlogs and the agency’s proposed solutions.
  • On July 16, 2019, AILA President Marketa Lindt submitted a written testimony in connection with the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship hearing on USCIS policy changes and case processing delays.


Agency Announcements

Media Coverage