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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that handles naturalization and immigration in America. USCIS just released its report for work completed and statistics for the Fiscal Year 2021, and they are horrendously backlogged! The delays tripled from 2020 to 2021.

How many green cards were approved in 2021? Approximately 230,000 green cards were wasted due to their inefficiency in 2021, with 80K of those never to be recovered. 80,000 people could not become green card holders and never will because immigration cannot do their job. They fumbled and dropped the ball big time. They are simply NOT doing their job. Period.

Every single federal agency went through the same pandemic, from the US Post Office to IRS, etc. But the delays with USCIS are out of control. The filing fees are super high ($1,225 just to file for the I-485 Application to Adjust Status, for example, and $725 for N-400 Application for Naturalization), and still it’s not enough to get USCIS workers who hold immigrants’ lives in their hands to just do their job. Just like the rest of us Americans.

The rest of us are also in the pandemic, but we are doing our jobs. Why is USCIS exempt from that requirement?

You may say that immigration in the times of pandemic should not be our top priority, but here is the federal agency whose ONLY JOB IS TO PROCESS IMMIGRATION CASES. It’s not like they are out there saving people from COVID. They only do immigration.

If a private sector company was this terrible, the CEO would be fired and the Board of directors replaced. Why is USCIS held to a lesser standard?

My colleague, Matthew Maiona, writes in his blog post for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA),

 “Imagine you went to your local DMV to renew your driver’s license and they took your money and said, matter-of-factly, ‘Thank you, we will send you a license in 12 months.’ Would you be outraged?

“How about if you wanted to go on a vacation with your family and you went to the U.S. Post Office and applied to renew your passport and they took your money and said, ‘Thank you, we will send you that passport in the next 12-14 months.’ Would you be satisfied with that answer? In either scenario, would you believe that these two governmental agencies were fulfilling their responsibilities?”

This is what legal documented immigrants in the United States face today when renewing their work authorizations. Many are unable to prove to their employers that their LEGAL STATUS THAT ALLOWS THEM TO WORK LEGALLY IN UNITED STATES has no current documentary proof because our federal government agency is not doing their job.

Many immigrants are legally working in the US, but are not being paid well. They are getting paid less than the minimum wage. There are many reasons for this injustice to happen, but USCIS could do better to ensure that all immigrants have a fair chance at work. For immigration reform to be successful, USCIS needs to do its job and support those seeking permanent residency and work authorizations in the US.

Do you still think it’s not your problem? Imagine you go out to your favorite restaurant and there is no one there to serve you, to cook your food, to wash dishes after you, to pick the organic vegetables you are accustomed to eating? The lab that you need to process your COVID test suddenly lost 3 out of 7 technicians because their new work authorizations still have not arrived.

Immigration processing delays are an unknown factor for the labor crisis, the slowdown in response for COVID response, and the insane supply chain problems we are witnessing across the country.

What if you call your credit company or need computer help and no one is there to answer? And what about your elderly aunt or parent in a nursing home who has a Jamaican or Haitian nursing assistant to take care of them. What about the Russian or Philippino nurse in the ER? Your cleaning lady or someone who works at the dry cleaner’s office who washes your shirts – what if they just don’t show up? Is this your problem now? Yes – this is our economy, our community, and an ecosystem of people working together who we continue to rely on.

Each work authorization is someone else’s life. Not receiving one in time is a job lost, a trip they could not take to see their dying mother in Nigeria, a project they now cannot be included in because they have no proof of being authorized to work right now. As a matter of fact,  each job or project lost is money NOT being paid into our tax system and a community that got less. Less financial support, less community building, and fewer taxes supporting our communal needs.

The funny thing is that USCIS call it their “accomplishments” for 2021 in their release. That’s ironic since all they reported was that the applications numbers increased and they cannot keep up.

Is this the type of America you had imagined? Is this the right thing to do to immigrants?

Contact Shepelsky Law Group today to get the best immigration services from professional Immigration Lawyers in the U.S.

Call us: ☎  718-769-6352

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