5| USCIS is a benefits agency for the American people and their families, and should remain open
Sen. Leahy has written to the agency leadership again, urging them to hold off on furloughing employees through the end of the fiscal year, and providing assurances that, “Members of both parties and both chambers have publicly expressed support for USCIS,” committing to act by October 1.
We agree – USCIS must remain open.
Delaying furloughs would allow Congress to tackle the issue after they return from August recess, and to explore ways to increase revenue or access additional funds, such as expanding the premium processing service, or lifting restrictions on how certain filing fees are used.
If immigration becomes an impossibility, even for a short period, it is Americans who will be harmed – children waiting to be reunited with their parents, parents waiting to meet their adopted children, veterans who have served our country and are waiting to swear the Oath of Allegiance to become United States citizens, employers lacking those best qualified to help their businesses succeed and create new jobs, and all Americans who take pride in our nation’s role as a land of opportunity.
Virtually ending legal immigration would be also devastating for the U.S. economy, even in the short term; immigrants contribute tremendously to America, particularly the millions of immigrants serving in essential frontline roles to combat the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
On August 22nd, 2020, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 8089, a bipartisan bill that addresses the funding issues by reforming and expanding the premium processing service. That bill is now awaiting action in the Senate.
USCIS is tasked with serving the American people, and must continue to do so, at a time when the United States needs it most.