USCIS is an agency in crisis that recently cited the COVID 19 pandemic as the cause of a “dramatic drop in sales” that may occur Require vacations from thousands of employees as soon as August 3 if it does not receive the requested $ 1.2 billion from Congress.
Even though the volume of new registrations has decreased significantly in the past two years, The processing times for cases have increased significantlyApplications are processed 46 percent slower. This is also not surprising given the misallocation of workers by USCIS, which exacerbates the existing backlog almost 200,000 when this administration took office. For example, applicants started in October 2019 Rejection of asylum applications received, under Other, because you didn’t write “None” or “N / A” when answering questions on the application form that didn’t apply to you. For example, an asylum seeker with only one sibling who did not write “None” or “N / A” in the empty boxes with the second, third, and fourth sibling names would receive a notice of defect or rejection that would not arrive until 6-8 weeks after sending the original application. In response to a call for examples from the American Immigration Lawyers AssociationOf the 189 rejected applications analyzed, 28 were rejected because they had no middle name, 20 because no other names were used, 64 because they had no passport or travel document number (I-94), 46 because they had incomplete family information, and 51 because you don’t write your name in your mother tongue, although in many cases your mother tongue uses the same alphabet as English.
The typical asylum seeker, who is not deterred by her fear of persecution in her home country, will then add the arbitrary answers “None” and “Not applicable” and resubmit the application. Therefore, the agency’s strategy is likely to deter asylum applications (as this administration has tried to enforce this at almost all levels Jurisprudence and regulatory changes) is undermined, the applicant’s case is significantly delayed and the backlog of the agency worsens as it has to re-examine the same application. A lawyer recently rejected an application for asylum by writing the asylum seeker’s name and identification number in a pen. rather than pencil, on the back of his client’s required passport photo attached to the application. Although the instructions set out to use pencil on passport photos, is such a refusal a good use of the agency’s bureaucratic time and resources in the crisis? This not only costs USCIS money if the entire package is returned to the applicant, but also means that USCIS has to process the same application a second time if the reason for the rejection has absolutely no effect on the reasonableness of the application or the ability of the agency has to review and decide the application.
USCIS has continued this trend of irrational inflexibility in its response to the COVID 19 pandemic and its reopening policy for its asylum offices, which will undoubtedly lead to further malfunctions and an increase in arrears at this “agency in crisis”. USCIS asylum offices opened, after June 4thto conduct asylum interviews. For these interviews, applicants must appear in person at the 8 asylum offices across the country (which means that applicants who don’t happen to live in Arlington, Virginia, New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, Houston, or San Francisco sometimes have to travel long distances to participate personally). Lawyers and interpreters must also appear in person. According to the information from the USCIS asylum offices, the applicant, the interpreter and the lawyer each sit in separate rooms of the asylum officer who conducts the interview using video technology. This means four different rooms for an asylum interview, with all four people communicating via video. All dependent applicants, including the spouse of the asylum seeker and the children who were under the age of 21 at the time of application, must also be present and wait in the waiting room for the interview to last, which may take a few hours.
USCIS insists that a personal appearance is required as the identity of the applicant must be confirmed on arrival for the interview with a personal photo and a fingerprint. It also does not appear to be possible for the lawyer and interpreter (who do not need to be photographed and fingerprinted upon arrival) to appear remotely, although video technology was used during this personal interview. In addition to presenting an impossible choice for asylum seekers – appear for the interview after waiting 3-5 years for the opportunity to submit your application while jeopardizing the health of you and your family, or delay the application even longer, by asking to postpone the interview until it is safer to appear in person. This policy unnecessarily misallocates agency resources so multiple rooms need to be used for a single interview. This leads to significantly fewer interviews per day (the San Francisco Asylum Office has announced that it will do so one Asylum interview per day) and contribution to the already extensive backlog of asylum offices in applications that have not been assessed. Instead, the agency should carefully consider whether to allow asylum seekers, their lawyers, and their interpreters for their interviews if they want to conduct the asylum interviews by video (with all potential concerns regarding credibility and communication). wherever technology allows, from home.
This government has the ability to respond to this pandemic with integrity and do what USCIS needs to do to protect the tens of thousands of hard-working USCIS employees from further vacation and layoffs. However, blaming the global pandemic is not the starting point. A $ 1.2 billion band– –The aid will not repair an agency that is affected by this government ‘s immigration policy and the Mismanagement of the agency. W.e as citizens, leaders and congress representatives, USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security must be held accountable.
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