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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processing delays have reached a “crisis” level, hurting the ability of U.S. companies to recruit and retain foreign workers, according to a recent analysis of USCIS data.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) analyzed USCIS data for each of the past five fiscal years, finding that processing times have significantly increased. In a report released Jan. 30, AILA found:
AILA said adjudication delays have “undermined the ability of U.S. companies to hire and retain essential workers and fill critical workforce gaps.” A set of new Trump administration policies “act as bricks in the Trump administration’s ‘invisible wall’ curbing legal immigration in the United States,” AILA said. The organization recommended greater Congressional oversight of USCIS, increased transparency and urged the administration to reverse policies that are helping cause the delays, including USCIS’s rescission in 2017 of a policy of giving deference to prior determinations and a move in 2017 to a new in-person interview requirement for employment-based green card applications.
BAL Analysis: USCIS processing times grew significantly longer in the first two years of the Trump administration. BAL has also seen an increase in petition denials and requests for evidence. BAL continues to lobby on behalf of its clients for business-friendly immigration policies and is available to provide counsel on how best to plan for the possibility of processing delays and other challenges associated with new administration policies and procedures.
This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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