On August 25, 2020

Welch joins house members in emergency stopgap bill to prevent USCIS furloughs

USCIS is currently scheduled to furlough 67% of its employees on Aug. 30.

On Aug. 21, Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19), House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Ranking Member Ken Buck (R-CO-4), Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE-1), Representative Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO-5), Representative Peter Welch (D-VT-At Large), and Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD-8) introduced The Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act to temporarily prevent the need for furloughs by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by immediately increasing the agency’s premium processing revenues.

USCIS is currently scheduled to furlough 13,355 (or 67%) of its 19,881 employees on Aug. 30, 2020. If such furloughs are implemented, they will have a devastating impact on the agency’s ability to provide immigration and naturalization services to American businesses and families for many months, if not years, to come.

“The planned USCIS furloughs are an unnecessary disaster for Vermont workers, their families, and the local economies that rely on these jobs. This bill is an important emergency stopgap measure to protect the over 1,100 Vermonters and the more than 13,000 USCIS employees nationwide who currently face the risk of furlough. We will continue to work to change and reform the USCIS to ensure it fairly meets the needs of our immigration policies. But during this critical and challenging time, we must first prevent the furloughs which would be a devastating blow to the livelihood of Vermonters and USCIS employees across the country,” said Rep. Peter Welch.

The Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act would allow the agency to halt the immediate furloughs, while providing more reliable and expanded services for premium processing applicants. The fees collected by USCIS may be used to address backlogs and adjudication delays for other applicants.

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