USCIS will not stop paying its employees... Rather USCIS will find "cost savings" in failing to actually work in a reasonable time frame on the cases that are submitted for review.
How bad could this be? We don't know yet.
However USCIS is now quoting that an Employment Authorization Document that took 45-90 days to process prior to Trump for legally working in the US will now take approximately 28.5 MONTHS to 37 MONTHS to be produced.... and on October 2 you will even need to pay extra for this application....
This begs the question. Is US immigration even open for business if you need to wait three  years for a work card to begin working?
The Trump Administration's message here is clear. If you want to end all legal immigration to the US vote for Trump in 2020. The best and the brightest will move away, and the good jobs will follow them out of the US.
With four more years of Trump, US workers will begin immigrating elsewhere for jobs and opportunity as large corporations will see no need to staff in such an inhospitable, anti-international, and hateful climate.
Bottom line for now: we can expect delays in every facet of immigration processing, and if Trump is re-elected in November....
Postal workers in Washington State have reinstalled high-speed mail sorting machines—dismantled after controversial orders from the U.S. Postal Service— despite USPS orders not to put machines back in use.
Hopefully USCIS employees will learn to fight back before most of them are furloughed at the end of the month for playing along with the Trump Administration for too long without taking a stand.
After embattled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced he would pause recent controversial changes to U.S. Postal Service protocol, the service told workers not to reinstall removed equipment.
40 percent of the high-speed mail sorting machines in the Seattle-Tacoma area were disconnected or dismantled since the changes went into effect, according to NPR, with workers in the Tacoma, Washington sorting plant saying eight of their 18 machines that sort and postmark letters were disconnected and pushed into a corner.
Sorting machines in Wenatchee, Washington were also reconnected, against the orders of the Postal Service’s head of maintenance, Kevin Couch.
Only two facilities, Seattle-Tacoma and one in Dallas, seem to be ignoring the Postal Service’s directive to leave decommissioned sorting machines out of use.
Since being appointed postmaster general in May, Louis DeJoy, a prolific GOP fundraiser and Trump donor, has enacted highly controversial changes to U.S. Postal Service protocol that workers say resulted in massive delays in mail delivery, including cutting overtime for postal workers, the nationwide removal of mail collection boxes and decommissioning or dismantling of hundreds of high speed mail sorting machines across the country.
The changes have led to widespread fear that the Postal Service won’t be equipped to handle the millions of mail-in ballots expected during the November election. Democrats on the state and national level have filed lawsuits against DeJoy, the USPS, and President Donald Trump arguing that the changes are an effort to curb mail-in voting during the November election. DeJoy testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday and is expected to testify before the House Oversight Committee on Monday.
USCIS, in yet another legal loss for its unconscionable conduct during the Trump Administration and during the pandemic, was forced by the courts to agree to expand the evidence for proof or employment eligibility based on USCIS's failure to timely print and mail out EAD cards after their approval.
As a result, employees may use Form I-797, Notice of Action, with a Notice date on or after December 1, 2019 just as they would an EAD card.
Employees may present their Form I-797 Notice of Action showing approval of their I-765 application as a list C document for Form I-9 compliance until at least December 1, 2020.
While USCIS will technically remain open after then end of this month, 75% of its workforce will be furloughed by the Trump Administration due to Trump's deliberate mismanagement of the agency to seek re-election.
Expectations are that while cases may still be filed with USCIS, any actual movement and work on those cases will grind to a virtual hault for as long as the Trump Administration finds it useful for Trump's re-election campaign.
“I don’t think I can emphasize enough how large an issue this will be – we’re looking at the final days of legal immigration as we know it in the United States,” said Ruark Hotopp, a representative for USCIS workers in Nebraska who has spent years assisting American businesses in his role at the USCIS.
“International students, scientists coming to America to study COVID-19, asylum seekers, workers recruited by American businesses, refugees – we’re talking about millions of people dealing with an immigration system running at 30 percent of the capacity it usually does. Our economy will lose billions in revenue, American businesses will lose access to the workforce they need, and hundreds of thousands of legal immigrants will be thrown into limbo.”
USCIS is basically out of money by choice. Here is how we got there. While increasing staffing at USCIS and increasing overall processing times the Trump Administration enacted the following attacks on legal immigration and nonimmigrant travel/work:
Ban on issuance of H, L and J visas;
Ban on all immigrant visas (other than certain immediate relatives and EB-5);
Shutting down our asylum system;
Admission of an unprecedentedly low number of refugees;
Implementation of public charge provisions with the goal, and likely effect, of ending much of family immigration;
Shutting down US consulates for over five months despite the fact that operations of businesses, schools and other institutions in many host countries have been fully operational for months;
Ceasing the printing of Employment Authorization Documents and green cards;
Implementation of a policy to separate children from parents;
Appointing individuals, whose main qualification is that they are opposed to immigration, to leadership positions in various immigration agencies;
Taking actions to significantly reduce foreign students in the U.S., including attempts to retroactively impose unlawful presence for technical and unknowing violations and attempts to disallow students to come to the U.S. or remain in the U.S. if their full time course of studies has become online because of the pandemic;
Increasing processing times to unprecedented levels, despite a reduction in applications, by issuing inappropriate and burdensome Requests For Evidences, not giving deference to previous adjudications and implementing a policy of across the board interviews of cases that were not previously interviewed with the main goal of delaying the process;
Denying applications that are approvable under existing law and previous interpretations;
Announcing intention to issue new regulations to further restrict H-1B approvals and extensions.
The USCIS furloughs appear to be another step along these lines in the direction of halting immigration. US workers will be the ultimate losers here as Corporate America will shift it's business outside of the US to where the best and brightest are still welcome, and fewer jobs will be created here locally as business pivot away from trying to work in the US when there are plenty of other options for them to pursue outside the US.
The Trump Administration has significantly changed the USCIS fee schedule by adjusting fees by a weighted average increase of 20 percent, adding new fees, establishing multiple fees for nonimmigrant worker petitions, and limiting the number of beneficiaries for certain forms.
The rule is effective 10/2/20. Any application, petition, or request postmarked on or after this date must be accompanied with the fees established by this final rule. (85 FR 46788, 8/3/20)
In addition to adjusting fees, the final rule removes certain fee exemptions, limits fee waivers, alters premium processing time limits, and modifies certain intercountry adoption processing.
Some of USCIS’s forms will change. USCIS will post the new and revised forms online 30 days before the new rule goes into effect. These forms include:
Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker;
Form I-600/I-600A, Supplement 3, Request for Action on Approved Form I-600/I-600A;
Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and
Form I-912, Request for a Fee Waiver.
USCIS will provide a grace period of up to 60 days in which it will accept both the previous and the new versions of certain forms as long as payment of the new, correct fees accompanies the forms. Applicants and petitioners must use the new or revised form by Oct. 2, 2020.
Immigration Benefit Request
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (online filing)
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