Going through the immigration process means spending a lot of time waiting for answers. These already long wait times are expected to get even longer as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services plans to furlough nearly 70% of its workforce. The agency will continue to process applications, but will only be able to do so at a severely decreased capacity. This will likely affect a number of immigrants in Louisiana.
USCIS is facing a budget shortage after Congress was unable to agree on a stimulus package that included funding for the agency. Of the 20,000 USCIS employees, 13,400 will be furloughed on Aug. 30, 2020. Doug Rand — a former White House employee who worked on immigration policy — recently spoke about the impact that this will have on specific groups of people.
Rand estimates that the furloughs will negatively impact the approximately one million immigrants who apply for citizenship every year. He also says that the annual three million people who apply for work permits will also have to wait far, far longer. On top of this, more than 76,000 permanent residents who need to renew or replace lost green cards may also face significant hurdles in their daily lives. Without a physical green card, permanent residents cannot work. According to Rand, the furlough will affect virtually every aspect of the immigration system.
Considering one’s own future as an immigrant living in Louisiana might feel overwhelming right now. There is a lot of uncertainty around the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and its current policies, which can make some people feel worried or concerned about their futures. Addressing these concerns with an experienced attorney may help alleviate some of these fears.